The following story is part of a volume of stories collected from the residents of the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. For more information on this project, click here.
Mary was born in Tracadie in June of 1949. Mary enjoys life to the fullest. If you see a motorized chair going down Main Street with ‘Elvis’ on the back – that’s Mary!
A Very Special Christmas
Mary’s brother worked on the Christmas tree lot for many years. One year, Mary’s brother had a great idea – to tie notes with your own name to a branch on one of the trees.
Mary tied her string and name with a little note on the back saying, “I wish you a Merry Christmas and if you could I would love a little doll.” Sure enough, Mary received her new, tall, bride doll in the mail, just after Christmas.
Her bride doll had beautiful long golden coloured hair with ringlets. Attached in her hair was a veil that seemed to sit perfectly on her shoulders. Her dress was gorgeous, white with sequins and beads that were carefully placed in their own spot. The dress was very full and fell right to the doll’s toes. The shoes that Mary’s bride doll wore were the prettiest white slippers that had one strap right across the top. Mary describes this as what she would have wanted to get married in: it was the dream of her life.
When Mary received her doll, it came with a note saying, “Thank you for the letter. It was easy to find. I hope this will replace your little doll.” This was Mary’s favourite.
She idolized this doll and took very special care of it, making sure nobody else was to touch it. Mary loved her brother for letting her tie this one special note to the tree. If she had not gotten to send this note, she would have never received her beloved bride doll.
About two years after, the company put a stop to the sending of letters this way. The notes were crossing the border, but lucky for Mary, she had sent her note just in time and got her baby.
Collected from Mary Deon, by Carriff Shabala, Fall 2011. All photos by Kathryn Collicot