Friday, December 18, 2015


One Christmas, a long time ago, I was a little girl who loved her dolls. I had clothes for them, accessories, and some even had their own little beds in my room. I always thought every little girl had a doll. Never dreamed anything different.
It was the Sunday before Christmas and my father took me to church service after Sunday School to see a special choir of children from an orphanage in Rome. They were in the US to visit and perform at several churches along the East Coast.
Some of the families like mine volunteered to take a child home for dinner. The week before, my mother asked to see  a photo of the young lady because she wanted to buy some clothes for her to take home. When I looked at the photo, I saw a skinny eight year named Marianna. We were the same age and the same height. We both had dark curly hair and dark brown eyes. Except for where and how we lived, and the fact that I was chubby, we could have been sisters.
I was excited to have Marianna come for dinner and happy that my mother bought her clothes. After we ate Sunday lunch, I took her into my bedroom to see and play with my toys. Her eyes grew huge and began to tear up. I understood a little Italian enough to get the just of a conversation. She walked over to my window bench where my dolls "lived" and picked one up and hugged it.
The doll named Anna was one of my favorites. Dressed in a pink and white gingham dress, she had blonde hair I could comb. Marianna hugged Anna and refused to let her go. She said she never had a doll before, let alone one as "bella" as this one.
Well I was not a happy camper. I yelled at her, "Let let Anna go. That doll is mine." She refused and asked me to please give Anna to her. That made me more upset. Enough so my father heard me and came in to see what was wrong.
I told him about Anna and how she was not going anywhere. He walked over to Marianna and had her give him the doll. He then said in Italian that he knew I would be happy to give it to her. After all, I had so much...a good home, loving parents, and many other dolls. He handed it back to her and she hugged him like he just gave her the world.
I watched in silence thinking I never realized how lucky I was. I too went over and hugged Marianna. She taught me a a most important lesson about giving and love I will never forget. This holiday season we should all care about those less fortunate and try to help in whatever manner we can.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season. I hope you spend it with family and friends.