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Instead of knee-hugger elves: Annalee Dolls for my Christmas ornament wreaths — from Home Goods, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx

annalee-dolls-2I am always on the lookout for vintage or reproduction Christmas weebits to jazz up my annual production of Christmas ornament wreaths. Poking around Home Goods last week, I spotted these little Annalee Dolls — around $7 each — and thought they would be great substitutes for knee-hugger elves. Vintage knee-hugger elves in good shape can be really hard to find, expensive too… and the reproductions I’ve seen at Michael’s are, as I recall, too big and don’t look all that vintage. Many of the Annalee’s seemed sized just right… there are a variety of designs… they are posable… and there are cute little animals, too. In addition, Annalee Dolls’ vintage props are authentic: This company has been in business since 1934!

My take-home stash. So far.
My take-home stash. So far. You can click on photos on this blog, and the photos should enlarge on your screen up to 1,000 pixels wide so that you can see more detail.

The history of Annalee Dolls, from their website:

Annalee Thorndike and husband, Chip, lived on a chicken farm in Meredith, New Hampshire. After the chicken farm failed in the early 1950s, Annalee was forced to get serious about her childhood hobby of doll making with a dash of Yankee influence.

Young Annalee Thorndike, photo used courtesy Annalee Dolls
Young Annalee Thorndike, photo used courtesy Annalee Dolls

The old chicken coop became a design room. Chip became a salesman. Annalee became a doll maker.

thorndike-family-500x500
Thorndike family, photo used courtesy Annalee Dolls

She fashioned her creations directly from the activities of her two sons—skiing, swimming, and other activities children do best. There is no doubt that this is why Annalee designed more than one mischievous, whimsical face for each of her doll creations.

READ MORE


annalee-doll-3At both Home Goods and Marshalls, I found a varied selection of designs and sizes of Annalee Dolls.

If you’re doing wreaths, go for the small guys, I’d say. And get out to these stores ASAP. No telling if these Annalees will be restocked, or if once they are gone, they are gone. Try T.J. Maxx, too. All three companies have the same corporate ownership and when it comes to Christmas decor, tend to carry some of the same items, according to my experience.

CategoriesWreaths
  1. Mary Elizabeth says:

    I got some rare older ones at thrift shops. And when I downsized, that’s where the extras all went.

  2. Amy says:

    This is amazing! I grew up just minutes from Meredith, and spent most of my summers on Lake Winnepesaukee so this is the best kind of blast from the past 🙂 I wonder if I’ll find them here in Seattle!

  3. Chicago Char says:

    Another resource for Annalee could be Tuesday Morning. They had Annalee ornaments too my last shopping visit. It is also a buy it when you see it store but Tuesday’s is a favorite.

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