Josefinas Surprise: A Christmas Story by Valerie Trippthis book was so heavy on the catholic traditions, i almost couldnt get through it. & its not even 70 pages long! full disclosure: i was raised as an atheist who actually was not allowed to participate in religious traditions. i didnt know about praying or the bible until i was eight years old, & the only because i was exposed to them at a sleepover. (i know. the scandal at most sleepovers in 1987 was maybe an illicit viewing of dirty dancing on VHS. for me, it was a conversation about jesus.)
i still consider myself an atheist & have only been inside a house of faith once, last christmas eve, for quaker meeting (my partner is a practicing quaker). i respect other peoples religions & faiths, but because its not something i grew up with, i dont really understand or have a lot of interest in learning about the details. a big chunk of this book involved josefina overcoming her shyness in order to play maria in a new mexican pageant sort of retelling of the birth of jesus. it contained a lot of detail about what the pageant involved (riding a mule from house to house singing a special carol about needing a place to sleep) & i was totally zoning out on it.
much more interesting to me was the story of nina, josefinas doll (which was discontinued by american girl a few days ago). nina is a rag doll sewn by josefinas mother, originally for her oldest sister, ana. every christmas, mrs. montoya would make a new dress for nina. when francisca, josefinas second oldest sister, turned eight, ana passed nina on to her. when clara, the next sister in line, turned eight, francisca gave the doll to her. the doll was supposed to be passed on to josefina the previous christmas, but that was right after mrs. montoya had died & everyone was too upset to follow the usual traditions. dolores suggests that clara find the doll & pass it on to josefina this year. clara says she will, but she looks all shifty.
while all this is going on, the montoyas go to the church to get out the special embroidered tablecloth thingamajig (sorry, i hear the word church & just check out mentally, its like trying to read latin). mrs. montoya embroidered it. unfortunately, it was damaged in the flood that killed so many of mr. montoyas sheep. clara completely loses her shit & is all, christmas is ruined! (which totally made me think of this awesome entry from damnyouautocorrect.com, to the point that i started laughing while writing this review & my boyfriend came in to see what the hell was so damn funny). dolores, of course, is like, well just have to fix it!& gets all the girls to help out. shes like a really cheerful sweatshop overseer.
josefina catches clara weeping into the nina doll. she doesnt say anything to clara, but she tells dolores what she saw. dolores suggests that after mrs. montoyas death, maybe clara just wasnt ready to let nina go. this is pretty much confirmed when dolores lets josefina borrow a thimble that had been a gift from mrs. montoya & clara says, id never give away anything that was a gift from mama. dolores works her dolores-y magic & clara surprises josefina on christmas morning with the nina doll, dressed in a new outfit modeled after the special new dress josefina made for herself for the holiday. & when they get to church, they learn that the little jirl who was supposed to play maria in the pageant thing is sick, & josefina offers to take her place but only if papa will be jose. kind of icky to ask your dad to play the role of your husband, but whatever.
i have always thought that josefinas christmas dress with the black mantilla was just gorgeous.
Samantha: An American Girl DVD
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Sign in. Stars on the purple carpet at the Emmys decide which TV show characters would make great superheroes or supervillains , and more. Watch now. Set in San Francisco, Ivy Ling is a Chinese-American who struggles to find a balance between her two cultural identities. With the help of her best friend, Julie Albright, Ivy makes a
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Adler and Valerie Tripp. The film follows young, wealthy Samantha Parkington's adventures with three poor orphan girls. Samantha is the first in the series of An American Girl films. Nellie O'Malley, a domestic worker girl about Samantha's age, moves into the house next-door with her father and 2 younger sisters named, Bridget and Jenny. Samantha is an unspoiled young girl without class biases or prejudices and takes an instant liking to Nellie, teaching her to read and sharing Nellie's household tasks such as carpet beating, darning, and other small jobs. Samantha and Nellie become fast friends.