SAMANTHA PARKINGTON American Girl
Cranberry Christmas Dress
Costume Completed: 2006
Samantha Parkington is not feeling much like celebrating as Christmas 1904 approaches; Grandmary has already denied her request for a Nutcracker doll she's been hoping for and worse, her family's traditions have all been upended as the household works to host her Uncle Gard's girlfriend, Cornelia, for the holiday season. Samantha begins to resent Cornelia, believing her visit will spoil Christmas; once she arrives, however, Samantha finds herself drawn to this free-spirited and forward-thinking woman. The two form a genuine bond as Cornelia happily joins Samantha in gingerbread house making, caroling, and even sledding. Samantha wears her brand new cranberry dress for Christmas, and when Uncle Guard proposes, Samantha is thrilled to have Cornelia join the family.
After falling in love with the books, Samantha was given to me as a birthday gift when I was 9 years old back when there were only three American Girl dolls and the collection was still owned by Pleasant Company. I loved her clothes, and coveted the kid-sized versions in the Pleasant Company catalogs, but never owned one. In 2006 I was new to eBay and trolled around seeing what I could find. When I saw a child-sized version of Samantha's Christmas dress for sale, I wondered if I would remotely fit into it as an adult. Remembering their outfits famously ran large, I pulled out my old catalog (yep, totally saved a few) and looked at the measurements. It would be close, but I thought it might fit, so I took a chance and bought it. This was a size 12, and other than being a little short in the sleeves, fit me just fine. After that, I made a hobby of trolling eBay for Pleasant Company outfits, though I have held out for size 16 - the largest they made - for everything else. If I found this in a 16 I'd grab it just for the better arm length and re-sell this one, but for now, I'm happy just to have it.