by Susan Hale
It is Christmas Eve 1930. The Dalley family has just moved into a new home - a lovely Tudor Revival bungalow. Mr. Dalley wants to make this Christmas special for his wife and their twins, Norman and Norma. He has made sure that Santa will bring Norman a train, a wagon and toy soldiers. For Norma he told Santa to bring a doll carriage, a baby doll, and a riding toy, but he wanted something really special for his little girl.
What could be better, he thought, than a house of her very own. A special dollhouse that looks just like their new home.
And there is Santa on the roof all set to deliver the presents Mr. Dalley asked him to bring.
Mr. Dalley has a plaque engraved for the house so Norma will always remember the special Christmas of 1930.
On Christmas morning Mr. Dalley gets up early and takes Norman and Norma sledding. Mother doesn't go because she has things to do at home.
Mother greets them at the door.
"Hello my dears," she says. "Come in and see what Santa has left you!"
Norman and Norma can't believe their eyes!! They don't know what to look at first.
Mr. and Mrs. Dalley stand back so they can watch the children's reaction.
"Thank you Santa!" says Norma.
"Thank you Santa!" says Norman.
The dogs, Peewee and Buster want to be included in the excitement.
Then Norman remembers something.
At the same time Norma remembers too.
"Mother!" They call together.
" We have a present for you!"
"For me?" says Mother. "Oh children, you shouldn't have."
Mother opens the large box.
"Oh children! It's lovely! How did you know I needed a new table cloth and napkins."
"We knew you would like it Mommy!" says Norman.
"Daddy helped us pick it out." says Norma.
"I am the luckiest mother in the whole world." says Mrs. Dalley.
The children are very proud.
"Daddy, sit down! We have something for you too!"
Mr. Dalley unwraps his present and finds a magnificent pipe.
"This is quite a special pipe," says Mr. Dalley. "I have never seen another like it."
"Do you really like it Daddy?" says Norma excitedly. "I picked it out. I liked the horsey."
"And I wrapped it," added Norman.
"My darling children," says Mr. Dalley. "I have never received a nicer present. I shall keep this pipe as my very best."
Christmas 1930 is a happy one for the Dalleys.
Little Norma cherished Dolholme, her very special dollhouse. She kept it close to her for 80 years.
But there came a time when she could no longer keep it with her and it came to live in Mindolton with Susan, Daphne and the other residents.
And although they never met Norma they recognized a kindred spirit in her and silently promised Norma that they would keep Dolholme safe for many Christmases to come.
We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, full of love, laughter, and kindred spirits.