If only I had a picture!
Some of us in a group called Remember in Abilene When... on facebook have commented on Mrs. Baird's Bakery in Abilene, Texas having a wonderful display on the front lawn for Christmas. There were reindeer and a sleigh with the real, live Santa in it. Just ask any of us who were there! We stood in line waiting our turn to climb up in the sleigh and tell Santa what we wanted for Christmas. There was a microphone and a speaker so the parents waiting below could hear what the children were requesting.
In 1956 I told Santa I wanted a walking doll and a stroller, but my Daddy had told me it would cost too much. Mother said Daddy was only telling me that so I would be surprised at Christmas, but it backfired on him when I told that to Santa and everyone else there that night. Mother and Daddy probably laughed more than anyone in the crowd, but Daddy was described as turning several shades of red.
Afterwards we were allowed to tour the bakery and received a mini loaf of bread with butter. It always smelled so good when we drove by the bakery, but the smell inside the bakery and the taste of the warm, freshly baked bread were unforgettable.
On Christmas Eve I was thrilled to find I did get my walking doll and stroller. I've searched the Internet for pictures of her, but have not found one with a dress like she wore. Even though it's worn, I have it somewhere, but I'm not sure if anyone kept the doll. I think she may have been EEGEE's Susan Stroller Doll. Her kneecaps were hinged so when they were bent, you could hold her hand, balance her on one foot and move her forward one "step" at a time. I remember taking her to my grandmother's house in Cherokee, Texas where to my horror my cousin pushed her around in the stroller as fast as he could go, crashing it into the stove. I also remember how proud I was to take her to kindergarten to show everyone.
She survived hair styling by me and my friends although it became an uncombable mess over the years. Mother kept her and she was loved by my nieces, nephew, and daughter. Mother used the worn fabric of the stroller as a pattern to remake it for my daughter's dolls.