My Favorite Christmas Present… EVER!

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. I received a Mrs. Beasley doll for Christmas as well and loved her until I saw a particular episode of The Twilight Zone. There was an evil talking doll. Couldn’t sleep that night. In the morning, I stuck Mrs. Beasley in the garbage can and piled trash on top so that my parents wouldn’t see her.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Julie – How sad :-(. I am not a fan of anything scary like the Twilight Zone or horror movies and understand what freaked you out. No thank you.

  2. Donna Marie says:

    My transistor radio when I turned 16!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donna Marie – Your comment about your transistor radio made me smile. I remember getting a transistor radio for Christmas one year. It was white and black. I had forgotten all about it. I loved it. :-)

  3. Debbie K Stanley says:

    I know I am behind in sending this, but here goes. In 1966, when I was around 5 yrs. old, I found a “walking” doll thrown out in our neighbor’s trash. She had matted hair and was missing one arm! I took it home with me and loved it so much! I was thrilled on Christmas morning, Santa had left me a brand new one. I never knew what happened to the one I had found. I kept that doll for years. My two older daughters played with her too. I had actually given her away by the time my youngest came along. Your story about your Mrs. Beasley brought back all such sweet memories. My “walking”doll was definitely my favorite gift.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie –

      What a nice story about your walking doll and how she came into your life, not once but twice. :-) Your mom must have know if you loved the forlorn one you found in the trash, you would certainly love a brand new one. I am so glad you took the time to comment and tell me. XO to the memories of our lovable dollies.

  4. I had a Mrs. Beasley doll that I adored. I was born in 1971 so I am not sure while I even had one but I loved that doll. Every picture it was me and Mrs. Beasley. When I was in 3rd grade or so we had a garage sale and when I came home Mrs. beasley was gone. I was so upset. For 35+ years, I brought it up every chance I got about how my mom just gave her away. I didn’t get rid of one toy of my children becasue of this. On my 45th birthday my mom gave me MRS BEASLEY! I opened it up and CRIED. She said now will you forgive me? I have it on a shelf and every time I see it, I smile. This summer I watched the enitre series and had the best time. I loved seeing this article and thank you for writing it!

  5. What a great post, Diane. My favorite gift was also a doll, named Drowsy. We were staying at my grandparent’s house, and of course were up early before them. I was happily playing with Drowsy, pulling her string to make her talk. The first thing she said was, ‘I wanna another drink of water!’ Not a minute later my Grandma came into the room carrying a glass of water and said ‘which one of you kids wanted a drink?’ She was reminded of that every Christmas! Drowsy stayed with me a long time and was much loved – just like my Grandma.
    I hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas, and thanks for all these wonderful stories.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bren – What a cute story about your grandmother and Drowsy. :-) It made me smile big-time and I showed your comment to my sister and daughters since we had Drowsy too. I still have her as she was another favorite doll I could never part with. Did yours have pink Pjs with the kitty cat print or the pink with white dots? Mine had the kitty cats. :-)

      1. Thanks for your reply Diane, and it made me happy that you shared my story. My Drowsy had kitty cats, too (much cuter than polka dots!). I had her for years but then she had to be thrown away after our basement was flooded. :-(
        I’ve read your blog for a long time, and I love it. You always brighten my day! Thanks for all you do, and hope you have a very happy new year.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          So sorry that your Drowsy got ruined in a basement flood> :-( My sister even uses the name Drowsy in part of her email address. :-) Happy New Year.

  6. Nancy Rector says:

    What a lovely post that took me back to my youth. Didn’t have a Mrs. Beasley but I watched Family Affair religiously. The video you found was just priceless.

    Thanks so much,

  7. Deanna Rabe says:

    “Once I was a little girl, just like you!” That’s the only thing I remember that she said! I loved mine too, but my brother was a big chewer – he chewed on my Barbie’s legs, doll fingers – Mrs. Beasley’s included. I kept her for a while but then I got rid of her when I got married, I think.

    Its fun to see others who also had the same toys in childhood.

  8. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    God Bless All and Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year!

    My favorite Christmas gift was and is, my handmade Raggedy Ann that my mom made to replace the one my mom worked on in the hospital that my much older sister destroyed. I believe I was 6 years old, 64 years ago. I have picture of R A and my handmade baby pillow (real feathers from a few home plucked chickens) and a flannel jacket that was part of a set (when I was 8). Memories are so special.

  9. Reading this brought back such wonderful memories for me. I too had a Mrs. Beasley doll, however mine was much smaller and she didn’t talk but I loved her just the same. Thanks for posting this and giving me a trip down memory lane.

  10. HI Diane,

    I loved that show!!!! I thought cissy was so beautiful a and glamorous!! I did not have Mrs. Beasley doll but remember it very well. I am a few years younger. I did LOVE my Chrissy doll in her anger lace mini dress and her cousin velvet dressed in blue or purple??
    I also loved dawn dolls and Barbie too. Life was so nice and innocent then.
    Thanks for the memory and merry Christmas

  11. How cute! I remember that show and Mrs. Beasley. I got the Chatty Cathy doll as a kid. It was the latest technology back then, and because I was named Kathy, well… I guess my parents must’ve thought she was worth the splurge. I don’t have her anymore, but I still have my original Barbie from Christmas of 1965. She has a blonde bob hairdo and came wearing an elaborate wedding gown. The Barbie clothes back then were so well made. I have a small collection of cool Barbies now, actually, but I’d never mention that to anyone outside my family–because they’d probably think I was silly. haha! Thanks for sharing your Mrs. Beasley story. :)

  12. Sweet memories! I didn’t have a Mrs. Beasley, but my younger sister did. I had a Chrissy doll. My sister was mad at me for something, and she grabbed Chrissy by the hair and yanked her away from me, breaking my favorite doll. My parents were soooooo upset – she probably cost way more than the Mrs. Beasley. So they took her away from my sister and were supposed to give it back to her when I got a new Chrissy doll. I don’t think they ever did. I found a mini Mrs. Beasley several years ago at an estate sale, and gave it to my sister at Christmas. She was thrilled to get her, and says she couldn’t remember the argument or that she’d broken my Chrissy doll. I think that was the magic that was Mrs. Beasley! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  13. I think my favorite Christmas present was a nurse’s bag. I also had a doll, not sure what her name was, , but you could pull a string and she would talk. I remember she had a yellow yarn pony tail and a red, blue and white top over red legs. My Mom’s cousin (their Dad’s were brothers) is actually related to the actor Brian Keith on her Mother’s side of the family. She wrote an entire chapter on Brian for her family history. Thanks for the Christmas memories. And yes Barbies were great too. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Who knows their may be a new Mrs. Beasley under your tree this year.

  14. Wow, is that how much it cost? It was THE BEST house ever. I remember playing in it for hours-must’ve been around 8. The cardboard furniture was great. Your Mom sounded awesome-my Mom made Barbie and Skipper Easter outfits, by hand. I came home from school, and they were dressed in their finery on my bed. The best Barbie player friend moved in across the street (Carol Julian, where are you?), and we meshed so well playing Barbie it was magical. We had the same ideas, and never had any disagreements. Sat under the tree for hours in the summer, forget eating lunch! One day, she came over, and pulled out a brand new Barbie out of her case. She smoothed her doll’s hair ever so lovingly, but put her back into the case because I didn’t have a new one, and she didn’t want me to feel bad. I was so sad when she moved, it wasn’t the same ever again. One little girl visited her grandma on our street, and she brought her Barbies over. She had a case full of homemade/crochet Barbie clothes, all made by her grandma. We freaked out when we saw them. And yes, I do remember the Barbie books, I still have some. Along with Barbie records, not just Barbie’s single, “Barbie Sings.” Haven’t listened to them in 50 years, goodness. I had the Barbie MG car. Ken took a nasty tumble off of the roof (courtesy of a bored brother). Oh, to go back into time.

  15. That is such a sweet Christmas and childhood memory. My best Christmas was the year that I received Barbie, Ken, Midge, Barbie’s car and wardrobe. I was a little old for Barbie, being almost 11 but, I was so happy. My mom was a single parent and usually she didn’t have a lot of money to spend at Christmas, however that year she didn’t get laid-off as she usually did because she finally had enough seniority where she worked. I still have ally my Barbie’s and although I have let my grandkids play with them, I limit it to a few times so they stay safe. It was a wonderful Christmas that I remember fondly after 55 years.

  16. Oh Diane I love this story. Christmas 1967 was my first Christmas as a married woman…jeeesh…am I old or what. Anyway, I loved the show Family Affair. Buffy and Jody were the cutest. I’ve seen reruns a few times on MeTV and they seem so corny now. LOL Maybe your daughter will surprise you this Christmas with a new Mrs. Beasley? Wishing you, Ed & your girls a Merry Christmas and God’s blessings for a happy 2018. Vikki in VA.

  17. Diane, thank you for the sweet story.
    My favorite Christmas gift was a Toni doll. Mother made a glamorous wardrobe with a black file coat trimmed with black feathers. I played with her for years, along with my NewBorn Baby. When I returned from my honeymoon mother had given all my dolls to the little girl across the street. I was heartbroken but never said a word.

  18. Gail Vernali says:

    Thank you for this Christmas story such lovely memories. I had a Mrs. Beasley Doll as well given to me by my Godmother, I no longer have her, but she was also loved by my sisters too. I can remember all six of us watching Family Affair together, Something I haven’t thought about in decades. I will be sharing this memory with my sisters at Christmas.

    Thank you and Happy Holidays to all

  19. Melissa Leach says:

    My favorite Christmas gift I received as a child was the solid wood dresser and hutch my Dad built for me. My Mom filled the hutch with handmade doll clothes and added child sized china dishes in the hutch for me and my dollies. I had those piece for years. When my daughters out grew them I gave them to a family that had fallen on hard times. It was hard to give them away but, I know my Dad would have approved. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Oh, what a precious story! I’m a tad older than you, but my three children and my husband and I watched A Family Affair on a regular basis and I do remember Mrs. Beasley! My daughter was only a couple years old so she didn’t get a doll, but the Chatty Cathy was one she wanted. She named her baby doll, Danielle, and said she wanted a little girl named Danielle. She now has her own daughter, 26 year old Dannielle, and she spelled it with double N’s and double L’s. Thanks for the walk down memory lane…..your Mrs Beasley is still beautiful. I’m really glad you still have her around! Merry Christmas, Diane.

  21. Love your memory and story. My BFF and I shared a similar love for a doll we called ‘the Janey doll’. Not sure that was her real name or brand it was a generic doll that stood almost as tall as we were at age 5. We both got one for Christmas and took them everywhere. I have no idea what happened to them, but recently I saw a similar doll in a vintage store and it made my heart go pitter patter. (I didn’t buy it). Merry Christmas! Loved your pics.

  22. Lora Cotton says:

    Silly??? NO!! I was only 3 or 4 yrs old when I got my Mrs Beasley, but I loved her DEARLY!! She is long gone unfortunately, but I will carry her memory with me till I die. No other doll has ever been so well loved AND cherished the way the Mrs Beasley doll is!!!

  23. Pam Clark says:

    I think I had a Mrs. Beasley, but I didn’t love you as you did. I played with baby dolls. But I did love Family Affair. I sold my Family Affair lunchbox on eBay a few years ago for about $30. I had s a rush on Uncle Bill!

  24. TerriC/HoustonLady says:

    Hi Diane,

    Oh my Goodness! That was the best Christmas present I received too. When I was in the third grade I needed prescription glasses and I insisted that I get glasses just like my Mrs Beasley ( and I did!) I wish I had my Mrs Beasley doll. I will have to check out YouTube : ) Thanks for this brought back so many good memories.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family

  25. Romeogirl says:

    So sweet! I’ve only recently given up my whole collection of baby dolls.

  26. Michelle Hanson says:

    I am sat at My computer typing this with tears streaming down My cheeks as Your heartfelt memories of Younger days and best present ever story really struck at My heartstrings.
    Originally from England My Gran and Granddad gave Me a PADDINGTON BEAR when I was three after a trip to CANADA to visit two of their Sons in Victoria BC.

    I absolutely LOVED and ADORED the Paddington Bear Books and the original TV show. Now 47 years later, a little matted but still intact He lives on a chair in My Bedroom. Long gone is the Felt coat and Hat but I can still remember the gorgeous Blue coat with bone toggles and His Brown Hat. When We Emmigrated to Canada in 1977 I accidentally left His Suitcase at the Vancouver Airport while waiting many hours for a connecting flight to take Us to Our new home.
    I cannot tell You how very devastated I was to realize My mistake as He was My only true and trusted Friend what with all the massive life changes I had been thrown into.

    I too will never let Him go……Even today He is an amazing source of comfort and LOVE.
    I suffer from severe Crohn’s Disease and at times My emotions can get the better of Me so it is nice to know I will always have Him.

    I want to thank YOU from the depths of My Heart and Soul for this moving post!!
    This time of Year is always a challenge for Me and You helped Me remember better days and how the Magic that is Christmas is all about and for CHILDREN and CHILDHOOD and those amazing memories made and treasured forever!!

    I want to wish everyone: A Magical Christmas filled with Peace, Love, and Laughter to last the New Year through!!
    And that: Blessed are those that see life through the eyes of a child!!

    Blessings from the North,

    xo Michelle

  27. I also got a Chatty Cathy in 1964. She also was sitting out unwrapped on Christmas morning. I ran into my parents’ room and said “Look who Santa brought me!” I still have her. We had a widowed neighbor who made doll clothes and my mom wanted to help her financially, so most of the doll clothes I have are not the originals.
    Some years later I got a Chrissy doll. Does anyone remember her? She had red hair that grew very long if you pushed a button in her tummy and would go back in her head if you turned the button on her back. I also got her little sister/cousin ? I think was named Violet.

  28. Great story! I did not know they sold Mrs. Breasley. I too loved Family Affair. How wonderful that you kept yours.
    I wanted the doll “Chatty Kathy.” My parents got me her best friend who’s name was “Charming Chatty. “ she too, wore glasses like Mrs. Beasley. And she had little freckles across her nose. She came with ten tiny records that you could place into a slot on her side and then you pulled the string and she would say what was on the records. There were ten categories. Shopping, playing, talking, going to lunch, happy birthday and I forget the rest. Talk about high tech in 1961! My mother lovingly made her a whole wardrobe including matching knitted sweaters for each of us! She never left my side. Unfortunatly, I was not so careful to keep her as you were. But she was my best present! Thanks for sharing your story!

  29. Norma Rolader says:

    Oh what a precious and beautiful memory and thank you for sharing with us and Ms Beasley!!! God bless and I ask for prayers this Christmas due to they have put my husband a few weeks ago into in home hospice … Merry Christmas to you and your family

  30. Oh wow! That is such a cute story. I have also kept one of my toys to remind me of childhood. Oh, the happier days. Merry Christmas!

  31. I loved your story as it brought back memories for me. I, too, loved Family Affair, but I mostly identified with Cissy since I was in high school and she was near my age. I had so many Christmas presents that I loved, but I think my favorite was Barbie. My cousin had one and we loved playing with them. Christmas time growing up was such a fun time!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  32. I never had this doll, but always watched the show. On a side note, Mr. French, Sebastian Cabot, was the only actor that visited the troops in Vietnam Nan who were fighting way out in the boonies. Bob Hope always went to the Southern cities where it was safer and had large concentrations of US troops. My husband was an advisor to the Vietnamese in the northern sections and there weren’t many US troops around. My husband was so appreciative the Mr. Cabot risked his life to visit the outlying troops. He never got any recognition for this, but just did it quietly.

  33. Such a sweet Christmas memory to share—thank you. I still have a “Tammy” doll that my mom painstakingly sewed many clothes for. So much better than a Barbie. And that’s why we got them.

  34. Sandra Schneider says:

    I still have my Thumbelina. She is a baby doll with a round wooden knob in her back. When wound up, Thumbelina would move slightly…like a stirring baby. I dressed her in real baby clothes and carried her everywhere. I believe it was 1961 when, when Santa delivered her to me. I remember that Christmas morning like it was yesterday.

  35. Carolyn Green says:

    Diane, thanks for the stroll down Memory Lane! Family Affair was a favorite of my brother and mine as well. So sweet that Mrs. Beasley is still a part of your family. I think my favorite Christmas gift was my Easy Bake Oven.

  36. I am sat here on a very cold evening here in England, reading this amazing story and looking at how remarkable it is you still have your favourite presant ever, it’s magic it really is, although I never heard of Mrs Beasley, she looks pretty good for a gal her age…I hope you will enjoy her for many years to come…xx

  37. Oh Diane, this brings back great memories! I remember the show and Mrs. Beasley so well. I asked for a Baby Secret for Christmas. Do you remember her? She too, had a string to pull that made her talk and tell secrets.

  38. mary heicher says:

    I was married two years after you received Mrs. Beasley, I do remember the show though and enjoyed it ,
    But don’t let anyone here me say that, after all, I was being all cool and groovy then lol.
    The doll I wanted wicked bad as a little was Chatty Cathy.

  39. Bennie-Ruth Dean says:

    Why not ‘slipcover’ Mrs. Beasley – match the fabric, or have some made at a company like Spoonflower, and give her an overlay using one of the new iron on tapes (no sewing), get her a new wig. When you have a loving memory, it would be nice to pass her on to your family. When I was little I had an old doll that received a makeover frequently around Christmas because my mother had an acquaintance who had a doll hospital.

  40. Jan Loehr says:

    My sister and my cousin and I each got Barbie dolls, one blonde, one brunette and one redhead! We loved those dolls and of course got matching outfits for all of them and it was such fun for a year or two until we outgrew them! I knew that you were on the right in your precious black and white photos as your sister’s hair was different!! LOL….Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jan – Barbie was so much fun to play with because of all her clothes and accessories. Do you remember the high heels and the clutch handbags? She was all about the fashions, some which were actual knock-off’s of popular fashion designers dresses of the day. Carol collects them so I gave her mine to take care of. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

  41. Carla from Kansas says:

    Loved your story Diane.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Carla – I hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the season. XO

  42. Linda L Weeks says:

    I had a “Chatty Cathy” doll, maybe you remember those – like Ms. Beasley, had the string you pulled to make her talk. We never gave her a break, she had to talk at least 15 times a day for the longest time, but eventually she got so she didn’t know what to say, and when we pulled the string she said a cheerful but alien word “Braaaaheeee”. I thought that was funnier still. Wonder where she went?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda –

      My sister and I had Chatty Cathy dolls, too. She was the first doll we ever got for Christmas. Santa had her unwrapped and sitting in a doll high chairs so as soon as we came into the living room on Christmas morning so it was the first thing we saw. She was quite popular. Ours had dark hair, but I think she came with blonde hair, too? I remember that “Braaaaheee” sound once the voice player was at the end of its life. :-) So funny.

      If you want to see her up close again, I am sure there are videos of her on YouTube. I was surprised by how many videos there are where people share their favorite toys they had growing up. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

  43. I have a Mrs Beasley too – also a beloved Christmas gift! Her glasses broke right away, so had to be tied on with a string . My Mother recently moved to a smaller home and Mrs Beasley had to come home with me (along with Raggedy Ann). I may want to order the ‘new’ version too!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shannon – So sad to hear your Mrs. Beasley’s glasses broke right away. :-( I can’t believe mine still has hers. Mine were held on with a rubber band that attached from each end of the glasses and ran behind her head under her hair. I always thought she came with the rubber band, but my parent’s might have come up with that fix so her glasses wouldn’t fall off. I am sure when she came to live with you after your mom moved, you gave her a big smile and hug. She and Raggedy Ann are buddies now. So many fond memories. Merry Christmas.

  44. Norma Jean says:

    Thank you for the wonderful walk down memory lane. I’m very close in age to you and recall fondly Family Affair and Mrs. Beasley. I never had a Mrs. Beasley doll but I did receive a Chatty Cathy and oh how I loved that doll. I still have her to this day! She looks a little worse for wear but for some reason I’ve held onto her all these 50 years. Merry Christmas to you and your family! And thank you again for the wonderful memory! By the way, your living room looks just like mine did growing up!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Norma Jean –

      Chatty Cathy was popular. She was the first doll my sister and I ever got for Christmas. It was probably around 1963-65? I think holding on to our dolls keeps everything we remember about our childhoods alive. Just seeing them is the best and a lift on a bad day.

      My mom enjoyed decorating our house. It had a pretty modern vibe that was the trend back in the mid-60s. The rug was a bold move on my mom’s part, but lasted for years and went with any color she added to the room. It could be why I like lots of color against white walls. Who knew it would become poplar again. When I look through Crate and Barrel and other catalogs I say to myself… that table was in my house growing up. :-)

      Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

  45. oh what a beautiful memory. i have to send this to our daughter who also loved he Mrs. Beasley. we loved the show Family Affair and watched it all the time. our daughter identified strongly with it because she is also a redhead. her doll went evrywhere we did but sadly it went missing after a tram ride around the park one summer. she cried and cried and we all searched the tram route over and over but to no avail.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pamela –

      Oh my goodness… how traumatic for your daughter. You must have been so upset not being able to find her Mrs. Beasley. I can understand her tears. So sad. I can imagine how much she identified with Buffy as there were many red-headed girls. Buffy was a great role model. I always wanted her curly pigtails. :-) The show was also such a nice family show with a good plot and characters. I would love to watch a few episodes now. Maybe over on YouTube I will find them. I hope your daughter enjoys the post. XO

  46. DonnaMarie says:

    Loved your post and the trip down memory lane. My favorite gift was underwear and a red plaid scarf. Back in the late 50’s my father’s workplace had been on strike for quite some time and my parents were struggling to make ends meet with a family of 6. I was about 10. That Christmas I really realized it’s not the gift, it’s the love. I will never forget that Christmas. It was the best ever.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi DonnaMarie –

      What a wonderful memory to cherish not only at Christmas, but all year long. You are right, it is all about the love. Do you still have the scarf or a photo of you wearing it. If you did, it would be frame worthy to display on your wall. Merry Christmas.

  47. 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. Diane Henkler says:

      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.

  48. Which one are you in the photo with your sister on the couch?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      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!

  49. 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. Diane Henkler says:

      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.

  50. Marianne A. says:

    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. Diane Henkler says:

      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.

  51. 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. Diane Henkler says:

      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.