American Girl Traditions

This post is sponsored by Sivan Social. All comments and opinions are my own about our American Girl Traditions.

American Girl Traditions

It’s no secret that we love American Girl around here. Our dolls go on vacation with us, our dolls decorate for the holidays, and our dolls admittedly have a nicer kitchen than I do. Some may think we’re crazy, and that’s fine with us. Those who get it, they know.

American Girl isn’t just about dolls and accessories. It’s about the bonding that happens between girl and doll, and in our case, between girl and mom.

American Girl Traditions

When I was young, my mom and I bonded over dolls, and I have continued that tradition with my own girls. Whether we are shopping together at American Girl with stars in our eyes or we are crafting and creating for our American Girl doll house, there’s a whole lot of bonding that happens with our beloved dolls.

Bring home an American Girl doll for the holidays

This year, there’s even more reason to celebrate because a new friend came home with us this holiday season. We lucked out and got the doll my girls had their eye on all year long, Truly Me #88. It happened by chance as we hadn’t intended on doll shopping at the Seattle American Girl store, but everything came together to bring the doll home and my girls couldn’t be more excited.

American Girl Traditions

We’ve had exactly 11 American Girl Christmases, and I can tell you: they are pure magic.

They don’t get a doll every year, but there is *always* American Girl under the tree on Christmas morning. Some years it might be AG clothing to make a beloved doll feel new again, some years it might be furniture for their epic American Girl house we made a few years ago, some years it’s fun accessories to enhance their playtime, and some years they are lucky enough to run to a new AG friend under the tree.

I’m going to be honest and say that I’ll probably be in mourning when we realize we had our last American Girl Christmas. There are some brands that simply exude holiday spirit, and American Girl is definitely one of those brands. It just isn’t Christmas morning without a new friend or making doll play new and exciting again. Luckily for me, I have many, many more AG Christmases to look forward to with my three kiddos.

American Girl Traditions

So, when the girls got together and decided to ask for Truly Me Doll #88 together, I was helpless to say no. I mean, who can blame them? The doll is gorgeous, and she has epic, multi-colored hair to boot.

The long history of our American Girl traditions

I remember vividly the moment I saw an American Girl doll catalog the first time. At that time, there were no American Girl doll stores, so American Girl existed only in the glossy catalogues I would get a few times a year. I would go over each magazine dozens of times, and I could tell you every bit of info about all three dolls that was hidden away in the glossy catalog.

But, nothing can compare to seeing an American Girl doll in person. One look at Kirsten and I was absolutely smitten. I loved everything from her neatly braided hair to her St Lucia accessories, and I read her story so many times that I knew much of it by heart. I had owned my share of dolls before Kirsten, but even in my young age, I knew American Girl was something special.

American Girl Traditions

Maybe it is the magic of opening an American Girl box to reveal your doll, which any little girl will tell you is more exciting than you can ever imagine. Or, maybe it’s all the impossibly small details and accessories that made me fall in love. Quite possibly it’s the story of the doll that brings the magic; because once you’ve heard her story, she’s less of a doll and more of a beloved friend. 

Most likely, the magic of American Girl is all of these things and more. That is why American Girl traditions have remained a beloved part of the holidays since the mid-’80s.

Bonding with dolls

Once the doll is unwrapped and her story read, the fun doesn’t stop there. That’s when you get to imagine her story and immerse yourself in the history. And, that’s when the next level of bonding and American Girl traditions happen: the create stage.

I always vowed that if I had girls, I would play dolls with them. Not just buy them dolls and hope they liked them. No, I was going to show them all the magic that happens when you delve into their stories together. I was going to show them that there’s no such thing as “too old for dolls” because doll love comes in stages.

I will never forget the Christmas my mom helped my sister and I make holiday decorations for Kirsten out of old wrapping paper and tinsel. Afterwards, we decorated a small shelf in my room for the holidays so Kirsten had a place to celebrate. Now, every year, I help my girls do the same.

Together we decorate their American Girl doll house with all sorts of mini baubles and holiday cheer so their room looks Christmas-y and fun all month long. I love how much they adore decorating their house and making it merry, and we’ve been known to leave it up for months because they just can’t bear to take down the holiday décor.  

This year, my oldest wanted to help me make a winter scene for my youngest so they could play with their new doll together. That got a solid yes from me. So, we dug out the tree, grabbed some brand new mini Hallmark ornaments, and we decided to get a start on decking the halls.

Sharing the American Girl Tradition

Seeing my oldest get so excited about surprising her sister with the American Girl winter scene and new ornaments made me so happy. I love that she adores the dolls {and her sister} so much that she would happily give up an afternoon to unveil the new doll in such a big and memorable way.

We might be navigating trickier tween years these days, but when we’re playing dolls and setting up scenes, she will only ever be my baby. The pure joy and excitement she brings to all doll crafts could make even the Scrooge-iest of us a believer, and I love that she still likes to craft right alongside her mama.

As we tiptoe into the new teen territory, I hope she will always remember all those hours we spent together creating beautiful and fun things from whatever odds and ends we could find. My ultimate hope is that she passes this love of American Girl down to her kids as well, and someday there will be a whole multi-generational love of the brand and all it stands for.

That’s all I want for Christmas, Santa.

Ready to start your American Girl Traditions?

You can start shopping at American Girl and wrap up some magic this holiday season. They are having days of deals right now, in addition to having deep discounts on beloved classics. Be sure and buy early so you can beat the holiday shipping rush. And, you’re in luck because American Girl is offering free shipping on orders of $135 or more.

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