Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christmas gift from Paris...

Today is December 7. To some, it's just another day. To Americans in 1944 it was the day that brought the realities of World War II into their lives and forever changed the fabric of this nation.  

My mother's family was like so many others. My grandfather soon left for training in the Army, and eventually was one of the many soldiers who fought their way so bravely onto the shores at Normandy. He would spend the next few years in France, Belgium and the Rhineland as Allied troops fought to defeat the Nazis. 

Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Chandler in 1943

He left a week-old baby girl here in America, and did not see her again until she was three. She was on his mind, though, and he wrote letters when he could although many arrived with portions censored. 

Christmas of 1944 he managed to get a sergeant in his unit to buy a doll in Paris to send back home to his baby girl.

She always kept it carefully wrapped and put away. I only remember seeing it a few times. 

This Christmas, my mother gave it to me.

A treasure that not only brings back so many wonderful memories of my "Pappaw" Chandler, but also honors the sacrifice so many have made for the cause of freedom. 

A precious gift that is truly priceless...

My beautiful mother and grandmother

Remember this season so many who have sacrificed through the years so that we can freely celebrate Christmas. Let us take the responsibilities that come with freedom seriously. Let us never forget.



  1. This is such a sweet post, Anita. That doll is exquisite -- so different from most dolls I've seen. That is a beautiful gift with priceless memories. And as you say, a reminder of things that we should never forget.

    Thanks for sharing and have a Blessed Christmas season.

    Denise at Forest Manor

  2. Shenita @ Embellishments by SLRDecember 7, 2011 at 5:32 AM

    Anita, what beautiful sentiments! I am sure you will treasure this doll forever; and be able to pass it along to your children. What a great legacy!

  3. Pam - @diy Design FanaticDecember 7, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    You doll is such a treasure Anita. What a special gift. My husband's father was a reconnaissance photographer during WW2 & was in Pearl Harbor in 1941 during the attack. He was in the barracks and not on a ship that morning. My father enlisted in the Navy the following year at the age of 17. My husband has a fascination with WW2 and always asks me if I remember what happened on this day in 1941.

  4. Thank you for sharing a story about your family heritage. The vintage photos and beautiful doll are priceless.


  5. what a lovely story and i love the old pictures.The doll is a treasure for many generations .We have so much to be greatful for and we take so much for granted .We should never forget the men and women that fought for our freedom.Thank you for shareing such a lovely post.Warm wishes to you and your family for the holiday season:)

  6. What a beautiful story and the doll is a true treasure, and can I just say you totally look like your grandmother. When I saw the pictures I had to take a second look because they look like you only in black and white.

  7. Anita, Love you and thank you . Returned with God's Mercy safely from SC. I will never forget, Dad had beautiful goodbye and I arranged for military flag honors service for his service to the Navy.I thank God for all my family who served and passed and the present and their families. Thank you doesn't seem adequate for your prayers, service of your family and kindness, hugs, Emelia and family.

  8. God bless your family!
    Thankful that so many have given it their all to fight for our country so we have our freedoms and can celebrate each and every day as free citizens of the united states.

    Precious pictures of your loved ones and the doll is a treat.

    Precious that you have it and can enjoy this piece of history and call it your own. What a great dolly to have in your home.

    God bless,

  9. What a beautiful post, tears in my eyes from it. That doll is priceless, Anita. xo

  10. I almost missed this post until I scrolled down from your Christmas tablescape. This is such a sweet story. I love the doll and am happy you have had it passed on to you. I imagine it has a lot of sentimental value to you and your mother. Blessings, Pamela

  11. Ann@A Sentimental LifeDecember 7, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    I truly love this post. What a wonderful story and gift. Living through those times was a precious gift itself.

  12. What a beautiful heartfelt post, Anita. I can feel the emotion through your words. You are blessed to have such a treasure in this doll and in your memories.

    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  13. It is so amazing that you look so much like your grandmother! You have her cheekbones. If she was wearing eye makeup, you could pass for sisters! Such a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.