The Recession and the $105 Doll

It’s ironic, but we have learned a lot about the recession from the American Girl doll company, home of the $105 doll.

My daughter has been very happy with her knock-off “American Girl” from Target, but I’ve discovered that American Girl books and movies really cannot be duplicated. In our family, the stories of Kit Kittridge have been a valuable teaching tool during this time of economic strain.

I bought the Kit Kittridge book set last Christmas when I wanted to begin reading chapter books with my 6-year-old daughter, Mallory. Kit is an imaginative and resourceful girl growing up during America’s Great Depression. By the end of the first chapter I could see parallels between Kit and Mallory’s worlds and realized that Kit’s story was a true gift to our family.

Like Kit, many of our friends and neighbors have lost their jobs or homes or both. When her dad’s business fails, Kit’s comfortable and predictable childhood is turned upside down.

Sound familiar?

The Kit Kittridge stories illustrate how families can — and did — make it through seriously tough times. It empowers even young children to contribute to their families. Kit learns to raise chickens and sell eggs for extra money. She cooks and cleans and learns to stretch a meal to feed the boarders her family takes in to make ends meet. She gives up fancy birthday parties, special outings and new clothes and she still has love and fun and happiness. Her story offers lessons for all of us.

The American Girl Doll Company brings history to life through its historical character dolls and their storybook series. At the end of each book in the Kit Kittridge series is an overview of what was happening in America that year. I’ve learned a lot along with Mal.

Now I’m ready to teach my daughter another lesson…how to save enough money to afford to buy a “real” American Girl doll. Once she has saved $105 dollars, I’ll take her to the Los Angeles showroom and let her pick one out.

If you have an interest in the American Girl movies, visit this link to find a special $5 DVD offer just in time for holiday shopping. Also, keep an eye out for great deals on the books sets and mini-doll sets at Costco.

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