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The must have Christmas present of 1984

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Alexander Residence: The must have Christmas present of 1984

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The must have Christmas present of 1984

I was tweeting about what to buy my 4yo this Christmas, do I buy the Barbie she has seen advertised on telly really wants?  I object to Barbie on lots of levels (pink stinks, unrealistic images of the female body, gender stereotyping, over packaging, not Sindy), but I know deep in my heart that I also really loved my Sindy dolls.  Elsie, who writes the wonderful Babylonlanetales blog and specialises in the art of coveting things, sent me a picture of the Sindy house she bought her 6yo daughter on eBay (very good move).  I was suddenly transported back.  When I was little I so coveted a Sindy house like this:

Look at that pool and roof terrace!

Many years later I found out that one Christmas my parents did buy me a Sindy house. But when my Dad took it home and began to put it together he decided it was badly made heap of plastic junk and took it back to the shop.  Instead I got a Dolls House.  In all fairness, this was a great present which stood the test of time.  Although its occupants upgraded to a larger residence, its contents are still cherished possessions:

Mum's fallen asleep in her dinner, toy's everywhere, nothing new.

Mr A's mum remarked recently that the Dolls House bears a striking resemblance to the real Alexander Residence.  We both peered inside, looked round the room we were stood in, looked back into the Dolls House and went quiet for a moment.  It's scarily spookily true (except we have carpets).   I wonder if this one move by my parents all those years back may have helped define my tastes somewhat. So extending that argument to its logical conclusion...had I been bought a Sindy House, would my house now sport a roof terrace, stables and pool?

I doubt it, so many influences contribute to defining your tastes (and your income). But it hit me that toys can have a huge impact on your life.  And that I am still no closer to knowing what to get the 4yo.  Sorry, I get in some hideous wrangles over the politics of toy buying,  I now know how my parents felt...

So did your toys define you?  What stands out looking back?  What do I get the 4yo for Christmas ;)

By the way, I've been shortlisted for the Brilliance in Blogging Award, if you've enjoyed reading this, would you take just one little minute to vote for me?  I'm in the first category- Fresh Voice of 2010

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At 12 December 2010 at 13:56 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I never had a dolls house :-( I always wanted a Girl's World that I could put make up on and style her hair. My niece who is 4 years younger than me got one. I got an etch a sketch instead. Not quite the same.

My house looks just like yours at the moment but I really can't be bothered to tidy it up. If onle we could click our fingers like Mary Poppins. x

At 12 December 2010 at 15:10 , Blogger Badschnoodles said...

My sister had that Sindy house! It was 2nd hand then so was missing lots of bits (no pool...). I made my Barbie a 'bedsit' out of a toy cot with a bed, sofa & kitchenette! I remember a shoe-box car, making tiny peas and pizzas out of fimo and sewing clothes for her too! Maybe that's where I get my crafty tendencies...

At 12 December 2010 at 15:34 , Blogger Emma said...

Ah, I had that house (I think it was given to us by Mum's friend with older daughter) I must have been quite young as I remember it being really really tall - almost as tall s me. It was a cool house :)

For years I wanted Hungry Hippos game, I asked for it every single birthday and Christmas and could ever understand why the hell they didn't just buy it one year to shut me up - same thing Dad did buy it once and thought it was plastic tat!

At 12 December 2010 at 16:06 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Oooh Greenie001 I coveted etch a sketch and girl's world! I wish for Mary Poppins to visit a lot, my fave xmas film. Maybe this Christmas she will come, I've been VERY good!

Badsnoodles - 'barbie bedsit' that's brilliant and so creative, yes it definitely explains a lot. I loved the things I made for my toys best of all too. Need a good nosy round your crafty blog :)

Emma, you lucky lady, JEALOUS! (but I will still be your friend!) We bought our kids hungry hippos, never had it as a kid. It drives me crackers, it's all her friends want to do when they come and play and it's so noisy, they've lost loads of balls etc etc...your dad was right :)

At 12 December 2010 at 19:47 , Anonymous @jencull (jen) said...

I grew up with Sindy too, not Barbie. Never liked Barbie (because I was a Sindy fan). I always wanted one of those houses too *sigh* Thanks for the memories. Jen

At 12 December 2010 at 20:18 , Blogger Kate said...

My Dad spent weeks making me a wooden dolls house for Christmas when I was about 6. He couldn't hide it whilst building it so told me he was going to send to some poor children. When I finally unwrapped it on Christmas morning I burst into tears 'cause the poor children wouldn't get it! Poor Dad. (Note I turned down his offer to send it on to them..)

At 13 December 2010 at 17:34 , Blogger This Mid 30s Life said...

What a beautiful dolls house! And Kate that is brilliant, you angelic thing you.

I was really into Barbies. For my 6th birthday I was given the Barbie Dream House which was the BEST PRESENT EVER. It was 3 stories with a lift you pulled up with a string & pulley. After a while it was passed on to my cousins (why??) who flattened it within the month. Devastated.

I also remember my older brother making all my barbies commit suicide by jumping off the roof.

At 13 December 2010 at 20:40 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Poor Jen! I am going to have to buy a Sindy house and invite you round to covet with me.
Kate that is a priceless story, bless your Dad.
This Mid 30s life, barbie suicide ha ha! oooh you just reminded me of the romances between my best friend's sindy dolls and her big brother's action men.

At 14 December 2010 at 21:53 , Blogger planb said...

Congratulations on being shortlisted! And I too, wanted that Sindy house - you've taken me right back, with the picture! - never got it though... poor me!


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