One of my earliest memories is of Christmastime when we would visit my grandparents, on my mother’s side, who also lived in Levittown. Those innocent years, when family got together at the holidays. My parents, brother, and I would make stops at my grandparent’s house and sometimes over to Uncle Frank & Aunt Celeste’s, also in Levittown, if they didn’t visit Grandma’s at the same time as us. Always a fun time for us kids as there was a pool table, shuffle board, and lots of games.
My grandfather was the influence for our “platform” (that’s what we called it), which was a platform structure that supported our Christmas train set, race car set, village. and tree. My grandfather did a much larger display complete with houses, tree, road signs, and street lights that light up. The train would go around and stop to pick up logs, and then go on it’s way all the way through the cave along the back wall, only to return and drop the logs off again. Funny how this never got boring. My Uncle Frank had larger antique trains, as big as an adult hand, which I thought were neat but his “platform” was only large enough for the tree and the train to make a circle around it. Funny, today, I think I would be more interested in the larger, older, train.
Back to grandma’s. On a bookshelf, year-round actually, sat a tease-of-a-toy that I so wanted to play with, but was not allowed to touch. A wind-up Elf doll. It sat for many years out of my reach on the top shelf of the bookshelf. The tune it plays is Jingle Bells, which it will still play very slowly and with stops until you give it a budge. When grandma passed there were three items from the house that I wanted for the memories they held for me.
First was a cuckoo clock. It doesn’t work. In fact when I took it off the wall it was gutted. Attempts to repair it were many, and I guess that the last time it didn’t work out, frustration found the insides to a trash container. It looks lovely in our dining room. Second was the coffee table that resided in the “big room”. It has the grain of a very large tree and I remember as a very young boy trying to see how big that tree must have been, and wondered how many coffee tables were made out of it. It keeps moving room to room, trying to find the best place for it. And third was this doll. Permanent dust and faded colors from sitting on the shelf 24/7 for decades, the fascination I had over this Elf was amazing. It now sits in a china cabinet, also in our dining room. Lovely.
I googled it before writing this post and did find an auction web site for a very similar one, $75 for a near mint condition, with box. I am glad my motives were not money. LOL. The page I am referring to is on Roaring-Twenties.com, Sold by Berman & Anderson Inc. “A Santa Creation, key-wound Sitting Musical Pixie”, http://roaring-twenties.com/wind_up_elf.htm. When it plays, the head rolls around. So cute. I am so grateful to have it today.
A bit more searching and I found the exact one, an auction on WorthPoint.com – another mint-condition, still in box, doll. Their description, “This charming large 1960s vintage pixie Elf is a shelf sitter, about 9” tall in the sitting position. He is a motion music box with a wind-up key in the back. He plays Jingle Bells and rotates his head when wound, seeming to look happily all around the room. He wears a green wool felted suit with red trim and has a white collar. He comes in his original box which says “A Santa Creation Exclusive, Sitting Musical Pixie Plays Jingle Bells, Handcrafted in Japan exclusively for Berman & Anderson Inc.”
By the tag, my grandmother’s doll was bought at Pomeroy’s (so many memories!) in the Levittown Shopping Center, for $4.00.
I write about it today out of memory of my grandmother. She has been gone two years now, but I still miss her very much. I have this “Grandma” Christmas ice cube ornament that I got for her many years ago. Now, funny, like the Elf, I keep this little snow guy out all year at my desk. I remember she loved it and kept it on the bookshelf too, with the Elf. I find it funny that I am doing the same as her, keeping it out all year. I have to wonder what her motivation was to keeping the Elf out all year. Maybe it was because she liked how I and other grandchildren’s eyes would light up when we saw it. Yeah, that is it. That was her.