Heart of the Home

| January 2006

A Letter From Kate

Dear Readers,

I began collecting Barbie dolls about 15 years ago. It began with a holiday-edition Barbie that I saw in a store one year. I was so enchanted, I had to have her. I kept her in the fancy box she came in, as most collectors do, and I put it out on display.

Through the years, I have received Barbies as gifts from family and friends, and I have about 30 collectible Barbies now, all in their original boxes. I have birthstone Barbies, an Elvis Barbie and a presidential candidate Barbie, among many others.

One of my favorites is a 40th-anniversary edition doll my husband gave me. She is wearing an elaborate black dress and sparkling jewelry, and she's holding a bouquet of 40 tiny, pink roses. The Barbie even came with a miniature replica doll in her own tiny box. I have her displayed in a place of honor.

Some of my other favorite Barbies include two dolls dressed as Scarlett O'Hara from 'Gone With the Wind.' One is wearing a green floral dress, and the other is wearing a red velvet dress. They are modeled after costumes from the movie, and they are almost exact reproductions of the dresses Vivien Leigh wore. I also have Barbies dressed as characters from 'The Wizard of Oz.'

I usually receive a special holiday-edition doll each Christmas, and I occasionally see a new one that appeals to me. I have them displayed in a bookcase at home, in their never-opened boxes. Sometimes it's hard to repress the little girl in me and not rip open the boxes and play with them. But I'd like to preserve them for future generations, so I restrain myself.

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