Thursday, 8 December 2011

L. Nichols, Christmas tree fairy doll maker

A bit of Christmas nostalgia, because its that time of year, a Christmas memory of my father making the fairy doll for the tree.

 Actually we didn't call her the Christmas Fairy, my mother called her The Swedish Queen of Light. I just about remember her Birth. My father decided that we would ditch my mother's 1950s doll with the Celliod wings and plastic moulded crimped hair (she wasn't ditched she was moved down the tree "Sorry Miss Wings your services are no longer required as head honcho of our tree, we think we can improve on you, so take a more lowly position" This was the sixties, no constructive dismissal for fading fairy dolls, life was harsh and Miss Wings just tightened her smile and accepted the unacceptable.

Forced to accept a more lowly position

It was mean of my father but He had Plans. I was sent to bring all my "ghastly" dolls, I had three. I don't know where they came from but they all had helmets of real hair fixed in a perm which unglued from their heads.They had pink flat chested bodies and their legs were moulded together and fixed heads but moving arms and rather stunningly moving eyelids over ice blue eyes and rose bud lips. I was only too pleased to offer a victim. I had the lowest possible opinion of dolls and as far as I was concerned my father was helpfully engaged in the ritual humiliation of one of the ghastlies.

One my mother's old lace petticoats was rescued from the duster bag and used for a body hugging evening gown, then foil from the Christmas milk ( this was the days of doorstep bottles that acquired Christmas finery) was cut into wings. She was given a sceptre to hold and a crown ( the mythology was confused) and a length of sequins sewn every where it could conceivably go.

In my father's hands the prim doll was morphed into an elegant no- better- than- she- should- be late night reveller who was put to hold drunken sway over the Christmas tree. We were all enamoured with her, she suited us all much better than the old one, the first to go on the tree each year she sets the tone (or lack of it) She was made in a rush of enthusiasm with everything to do still about us for Christmas, it could even have been on Christmas Eve itself, thrown together with careless stitches and glue.

My brother and I with daddy about the time the Fairy doll was made


  1. I too have an old Christmas Doll (Angel) for our Tree that I have had since I was a child.I am 63 now and Angel is not far behind.
    She has had a new dress several times over the years. Like yours only the arms move. I have looked for a new Angel, but nothing looks right to replace it.

  2. You must not replace her she holds all your Christmases passed Christmas trees should not be sleek design statements but drunken amateur totems to family.


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