Karen here with a historical look back at what girls who lived during the same time as some of the historical American Girl dolls might have requested or received for Christmas Gifts. Today I am starting with Samantha.


What gifts would girls Samantha be hoping for for Christmas in the early 1900’s?

Girls Samantha’s age would most likely have wished for a new porcelain doll or one of the newest books!


Books like A Little Princess  published in 1905 by Frances Hodgson Burnett would have been a most treasured gift by someone like Samantha!



Girls Kit’s might have been hoping for gifts even during The Great Depression, I wondered did families even celebrate Christmas?


In 1934 For those who’s family could afford it a new Betsy Wetsy doll or pram would have been the gift of choice for many, a book was also a popular for girls in the mid 1930’s was Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers  was published in 1934.



In 1944 During the time Molly would have been getting ready for Christmas,  Paper Dolls were becoming quite popular. They could be produced fairly inexpensively and girls loved them.


A Book that may have been a gift for girls was The Hundred Dresses was first published in 1945 by Eleanor Estes, and it was illustrated by Louis Slobodkin this book was the winner of the Newberry Award and is still listed as one of the top 100 books to read to children.




In 1954 Girls Maryellen’s age were hoping for a Betsy Mcall Doll! She was the top selling doll of the year.



As for Books the second book in the Borrowers Series  The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton  was published as was Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Suess and the 32 nd Nancy Drew The Scarlet Slipper Mystery.



In 1974 the most popular selling doll was the Mrs. Beasley talking doll. It was also a great year for books! Judy Blume’s Blubbler was published in 1974 as well as There’s A Wocket In My Pocket by Dr. Seuss 


It is amazing to me looking back over history how much has changed and how much is still the same. I love that the gifts that girls from the early 1900’s to present day today are pretty much the same. I like that so many of us still love dolls. I also am thrilled that these amazing gifts of literature are still available to read and purchase for girls of today. What an amazing gift! I hope you have enjoyed this look back at Christmas Gifts over the decades and that maybe you were inspired to pick up one of these wonderful historical books and give them a try this holiday season!