Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Dolls of Memory: Halloween and Autumn
I belong to a Facebook Group titled “For the Love of Fall and Halloween.” That says it all. We love, love autumn. We countdown the days to Halloween, and share our collections of Halloween decorations and autumn leaves. It is inevitable that the dolls and figurines of the season also frequently appear. I love the season because of the memories it evokes. When I started school, it always seemed to get cooler much faster than it does now. Fall meant apples and new school books, new clothes, new friends, and new classes. My mother would be sewing my Halloween costume, and we would be planting mums in different colors.
Autumn meant caramel apples and The Spoon River Scenic drive. It meant leaf collecting, and handmade ink blocks to make our own leaf designs and stencils. Fall fashion meant new sweaters and boots, plans for Thanksgiving, and cool, crisp nights.
We got out the blow mold ghosts and masks we loved to decorate with, and took out my cutouts for our window. Some were vintage examples, scarred with ancient scotch tape but still beloved. Others, equally loved were now faded, collage projects of construction paper, poster paint and old magazines. My favorite decoration along these lines was a Halloween poster the local 7th graders made for
Auto. The grim reaper, hooded and draped
with real material, reached out a hand made of chicken bones! The effect was
truly eerie! I wish I’d had Instagram in
those days! Bell
My collection of witch dolls, some from
came out, along with my Crypt Keepers. Even our doll houses had ghosts. One Tootsie
Pop ghost wrapped in Kleenex was a gift in grade school from a little friend
named Joanie. It still haunts the doll house.
Others are was novelty candles.
Beanie Baby ghosts and other Halloween plush share room with vintage
pumpkin lanterns and hard plastic figurines. Salem
On Halloween night, after we decorated with gourds and as many jack o’ lanterns as we could carve; my dad took me and my friends trick-or-treating.
The next day, sugar skulls and assorted skeletons and Calaveras decorated the house for The Day of the Dead, an important holiday to my mom and me; we both taught Spanish.
By the time “The Nightmare before Christmas” came out, I was in Halloween Heaven! I also recommend Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and the Bradbury narrated animated film of the same title.
At Thanksgiving, my Pilgrims and Native American dolls decorated our table along with turkey statues and chicken candles. We hardly had room to eat!
In memory of those wonderful days, and of my family that made them so good, I share with you some of the fall dolls and collectibles from my collection. Turn out the lights, plug in the blow mold décor, switch on the led candles and turn up the air conditioning so you can cuddle up under your favorite blanket as you enjoy this tour of autumn dolls, toys, and collectibles.