Culture

Dolls / Puppen

My Oma began a wonderful tradition with her grandchildren that my mother has chosen to carry on now with my boys.  Oma purchased a little Puppe (doll) at the birth of each of her grandchildren and kept the dolls in a large corner hutch in her kitchen. Each doll had a basket into which sweets were placed, so when we visited we always knew to check and see what our doll had for us! Being the first grandchild, my doll is the oldest and most interesting. His name is Robertle, and he was made by the famous Kaethe Kruse company. I love his delicate features and sweet outfit, but my husband finds him a bit creepy for some reason…not sure why as his mother collected many dolls from around the world! Now that I am grown, Robertle lives in our dining room hutch 🙂


When my boys go to my mom’s house, they visit their own matching dollies, in search of chocolate.

One of my favorite toys from my childhood is my American Girl doll. If you are lucky enough to have owned or played with one, you’ll know that these are very special dolls. Beautifully detailed and robustly built, the core collection of dolls all come with a back story and their own series of books. My maternal grandmother purchased the ‘Kirsten’ doll for me when I was born and saved her for me until I was old enough. Having a doll with the same rather uncommon name meant a lot to me growing up, but her origin story impacted me even more.


Kirsten Larson’s fictional journey as a Swedish immigrant to America taught me very real lessons. I came to recognize the courage and determination that my Oma needed when she came over from Germany at only 17. The power of friendship and the sorrow of loss were explained to me for the first time. And the strong work ethic and independence expected of the main character reflected the way I was raised by of my own family.

Did you have a special doll growing up? Have you ever been greated by a doll bearing sweets?

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