Monday, December 15, 2008
Elves at Work
High atop bookshelves in the children's section of the public library, elves are at work!
Toys are cut from wood, painted and decorated. Greenery is assembled into decorative boughs, and all a child has to do is look up and marvel at Santa's Workshop Come to the Library.
Many Christmases ago, when I was very small, custom, elf-made gifts were such a delight. While there were Schwinn bikes and Chatty Cathy dolls to dream about, the gifts we truly cherished were handmade.
There were lots of doll clothes...the baby doll's layette, the bride doll's trousseau and tiny Sisette's royal blue dress of polished cotton.
Instead of manufactured furniture in a dreamhouse, Barbie (or my Barbie lookalike) had a wardrobe made of plywood, complete with shelves and an aluminum foil mirror set in a painted popsicle-stick frame. She sat on a plywood sofa with clothespin arms and carpet-scrap upholstery. Her best friend, Midge, joined her on an oatmeal-box chair covered in contact paper. She slept on a cigar-box bed topped with a piece of painted plywood. The headboard and footboard were made of wooden, round-top clothespins, and her pink bed linens were handmade.
Playhouse appliances were never ordered. I had a custom, fiberboard sink with real running water. A red plastic bin served as the basin set into a cut-out section of the counter. A five-gallon jug underneath contained water and had a hose that ran from it to the pump by the basin. Just pump the water, and wash the dishes!
I wonder what the elves are custom-making this year!