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My Favorite Christmas Present… EVER!

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Today I am taking you on a trip down memory lane. As Christmas is only a few days away and I am not doing any DIY projects this week or next, I thought it would be fun to share something totally different with you today.

Nostalgia plays a huge role for so many of us at Christmas. I may be way over 50, but every year, Christmas brings back the kid in me.  Christmas was always magical for me as a kid, but in 1967 it was extra special as it was the year that I received my favorite Christmas present, EVER!

People Magazine Cover - October 2017 issue

I got the idea for this post when my youngest daughter called me in early October to ask if I had seen the latest edition of People Magazine?

I hadn’t. She told me to go to the grocery store and check out the next-to-last page. I was intrigued, so I went that evening…

…found the magazine and this is what I turned to.  It made me smile, big time!

Tv Show Family Affair

Back in 1967, when I was in third grade, my twin sister and I loved watching the show, Family Affair.


The show starred Brian Keith who played Uncle Bill, a single bachelor living in Manhattan with his butler Mr. French. He is enjoying his life of freedom until his late brother’s three children show up (twins Buffy and Jody, age 6, and Cissy, age 15). Uncle Bill and Mr. French have to make serious adjustments to their lifestyle as they became surrogate parents to the three kids.

Since my sister and I were twins, we felt a special connection with the boy and girl twin characters on the show, Buffy and Jody.

But what we loved more was Buffy’s doll, Mrs. Beasley, who was part of the family. If you are around my age, you may remember the show and Mrs. Beasley?

My sister and I adored Mrs. Beasley and asked Santa to bring her to each of us. We wanted her more than anything we had ever asked for. We even made up a song about how much we wanted her and would sing it all the time in late 1967 to remind our mom and dad that we really, really wanted Mrs. Beasley for Christmas.

We didn’t believe in Santa Claus anymore and my mom told us she was having a hard time finding two since most stores were sold out that Christmas.  :-(  We were not expecting to get her.

The best Christmas presents

You can imagine how excited we were on Christmas morning when we each unwrapped our very own, Mrs. Beasley(Check out the wall-to-wall carpeting. It was multi-colored stripes.)

Mrs. Bealsey
I am on the right crying happy tears.

We learned that a few days before Christmas our cousin who was much older and working in a store, saw that a shipment of Mrs. Beasley’s came into the store and called my mom to tell her she could buy two. :-) Just like Buffy on Family Affair, Mrs. Beasley rarely left our sides.

Family at Christmas in the 1970's
My siblings and I with our paternal grandmother.

She made it into quite a few family photos that Christmas.

We loved our Mrs. Beasley’s. Many older friends and relatives didn’t quite understand why we wanted an old lady doll and not a pretty or a baby doll.  For us, Mrs. Beasley was special.  She was a friend who talked to us when you pulled the ring on a string under her skirt. She had warm and bright eyes and an infectious smile that always made you feel happy even when you were feeling sick or things were not going your way. Mrs. Beasley was always there, smiling and ready for a hug.

I had her for a long time, so long that even my daughters played with her when they were little. She was getting threadbare and old. She no longer talked and my girls put baby diapers on her like they did on all the dolls they played with. One day they were taking all their dolls out to walk around our neighborhood in a big baby carriage we had at the time. We stopped to chat to a neighbor and when she looked in the carriage she recognized Mrs. Beasley and said, “Oh my, it looks like Mrs Beasley is so old she is incontinent.”  That made me laugh out loud. :-)

As my daughters got older, poor Mrs. Beasley was falling apart, her hair was flattened and hard, and the fabric around her body and feet began to tear at a simple touch, but I couldn’t bear to throw her out.  She meant so much to me and kept memories of my wonderful parents and childhood alive.

She was and…

the doll Mrs Beasley from Family Affair

…still is doing just that for me. I will never be able to part with her.

For me, she holds all things good in life. Her arms are falling off, my daughters put an ACE bandage on her left arm to help hold it on. To get her ready for her photo shoot, I ironed her collar and skirt, as well as added the painter’s tape to her left arm that has a big tear in it. The fabric is so thin, it can’t be sewn. Even after 50 years and lots of play time, she still has her glasses and best of all… she still makes me smile every time I see her and give her a hug.

My sister still has her Mrs. Beasley also and as I found out recently, many others who loved her back in the late 60’s do too. I think this is why she is being sold again and advertised in People Magazine. Nostalgia and memories are strong and pull at our heart strings. Mrs. Beasley was unlike any other doll. She wasn’t pretty or a cute baby doll, but her warm, loving eyes and very happy smile always makes me smile back and puts me in a positive mood.

She hasn’t talked in years when I pull her string. I remember a few of the lines, but went in search on YouTube to find and hear all of them. As I was sending the video link I found to my sister,  a new video started playing and I continued to watch this video on YouTube.  It made me cry happy tears. I like when the woman in the video says…

“You think I am silly, don’t you?” 

No, I am just enjoying keeping the magic of Christmas alive. :-)

What was your favorite Christmas present you got as a child?

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  1. When I was eight years old, I got a purple bicycle with a banana seat and streamers from the handle bars. I was in heaven! Only, it rained that Christmas – so my mom let me (shocking!) ride it IN THE HOUSE!!! Does it get any better than that??? Christmas memories are such fun!

    1. Hi Rebecca – What a fun mom and memory!!! Rain on Christmas day was never fun, snow yes, but not rain. I bet you can remember every detail of getting to ride the bike in your house. Not many can claim the experience. I fondly remember banana seat bikes with the high handlebars and streamers. They were the coolest.

    1. Hi Liz – I am the one on the right with the bangs, crying happy tears :-) The way people told us apart was my sister has a cowlick that made her bangs go up. My bangs always went straight across.

      1. I would have guessed wrong, lol. It must have been so much fun to have a twin growing up. Happy Holidays!

  2. Hello!
    Fun fact: in the French version of the Family Affair TV show, the name of that doll was “Mademoiselle Petronille”! I never knew what her original English name was, since I only watched the show in French.
    I would have loved to have that doll!

    Our youngest daughter’s favourite Christmas gift was “Domino”, a stuffed dog from the movie 101 Dalmatians. Over the years, that little dog went everywhere with her, at the hospital, on trips. Even when she moved in with her then boyfriend, she took Domino with her. And when her boyfriend left her a few months ago, the first thing she grabbed from the apartment to come and live with us for a while to mend her broken heart was the one and only Domino!
    That dog is 27 years-old and he’s very frail now… But he’s still there for her. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Hi Chantal –

      What a fun fact to know. I never knew there was a French version of the show. I am going to look it up to learn more. Thanks for telling me. I know how your daughter feels. Domino is her best buddy through it all. My daughters each have a stuffed animal that they still have and would never part with either.

  3. Great story!!! I totally remember Family Affair and Mrs. Beasley. I used to think Uncle Bill was so handsome! Now my favorite Christmas gift? Hmmm….hard to say. Maybe my Barbie styling head?Maybe my Chrissy doll? The one whose hair you could make long or short? I loved getting clothes too.

    1. Hi Marianne –

      I agree with you about how handsome Uncle Bill was. I like all his movies, especially The Parent Trap with Haley Mills. My next door neighbor had a Chrissy doll and I fondly remember the Barbie styling head my best friend had. We played for hours with that and thought one day we would be famous hairstylists in Paris or New York.

  4. I received a Barbie Dollhouse!! I loved it and played with it for many years.
    I passed it down to my cousin who I hope enjoyed it as much as I did!
    Merry Christmas to you and Ed!!

    1. Hi Nancy – A Barbie dollhouse was something I always longed for, but never had. My best friend had one with cardboard furniture that was printed in patterns and every detail like tufted buttons. I loved every inch. It was all foldable and easy to store. We played with it for hours on end. A few years ago I ran into that friend and asked her if she still had it and she did. :-) I am sure your cousin enjoyed your dollhouse as much as you did. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

      1. Yes, I had that same cardboard one, and made a curtain room divider because it was an efficiency. I felt that Barbie needed privacy, not to entertain Ken in her bedroom. I also had Chatty Cathy-still have her, and her records. Barbie was a staple, and had the bubble head, Francie, Skipper, Midge and the first Ken ever made-with felt hair. Some have survived (barely), along with a gaggle of clothes. They were so exquisitely made, and we will not see that level of quality again (maybe designer Barbie, but I doubt it). Anyway, I’m 62 today, and loved your post about the 2 Mrs. Beasleys. Your parents were very cool. Does your sister still have her Mrs. B?

        1. I received the cardboard house when i turned 10. It was $4.99 plus tax.

          My fav Christmas gift was probably Barbie. My mom made many of her clothes by hand…all french seamed. I still have her and all those wonderful outfits along with the many store bought ones…remember the fashion books the outfits came with showing other outfits to purchase?

          1. Yes, I still have those style booklets, and Barbie records. My mom made outfits by hand for Barbie one Easter, so sweet.