Canadian Girl meet American Girl

reading her new birthday book

My first born celebrated her 10th birthday last week. The actual day was Friday, the same day we were leaving home and setting up camp for the weekend. In anticipation of this we planned a little pool party with friends for earlier in the week.

Celine also was given her birthday present on that day to have time to play with it since we don't bring toys camping.

Here she is: American Girl doll Chrissa. American Girl meet Canadian Girl, Canadian Girl meet American Girl. (We may live in Maine but Celine, Damien and myself are Canadians.)

I thought the American Girl craze had passed over us since up until a little while ago our girls weren't that interested in the dolls. Inwardly I was relieved. $100 for a doll is kind of steep, even if they are good quality, and I thought "was a doll really worth that?"

As her birthday approached and we asked Celine what she wanted for a gift (I won't do guessing games with kids this age) she told us what she really wanted was an American Girl doll.

At that point I suggested looking around on Etsy for something handmade. If you're going to spend that much it would be good to support an handcrafter/artisan. But nothing appropriate could be found and her heart really was set on an American Girl doll.

That's a big gift and we are not an extravagant birthday gift family. To make it work Grandma sent money, Nana & Papa sent money, Mommy & Daddy contributed and even Celine contributed a few dollars of her own.

She even choose a gift-free birthday party and instead we asked friends to help with the cost of their swimming (all the birthday funds went to her gift and the supper afterwards) because there are no cheap indoor pools around here. We had a fun take-out pizza and fresh fruit supper at home and then went swimming, even mommy & daddy (if that ain't love I don't know what is - I hate pool swimming).

playing with Chrissa in the garden

Now maybe this all seems cheap to you and perhaps I'm presenting it wrong. I sure hope not. Our daughter couldn't of been happier with her birthday and the kids all loved going swimming.

Celine adores her new doll and realizes that a birthday is not about the quantity of presents but the quality of love, fun and relationship with others. I think that's one of the best "gifts" we give our children.

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  • Cori

    Cori on May 28, 2009, 12:17 p.m.

    Ah, the curse of the American Girl Dolls! We settled on My Twinn Friend dolls instead this past Christmas. Maya couldn't be persuaded against it either, and we knew leaving out the other two girls would lead to major doll theft issues! We bought Abby's used, and the other two dolls have used clothes. Now 5 months after Christmas they are still an active part of the family - in fact Abby's doll is trying out our yard-sale-find baby swing as I write! Enjoy your new family member!

    Cori's last blog post... How many shirts???


  • kyndale

    kyndale on May 28, 2009, 1:53 p.m.

    My oldest turned 10 in October and thankfully she isn't into dolls but that could change since I put that out into the universe :) But what a great time your daughter is having making clothes for her!

    Happy Birthday Celine! 10 is a really great year!


    • kyndale

      kyndale on May 28, 2009, 1:59 p.m.

      I just wanted to add, I don't dislike dolls. It's just the expense and sometimes these hobbies are fleeting. Handmade would be ideal. You made a great compromise though.

      My daughter is into cat figures because she is had read the whole Warriors series:)


  • SavvyChristine

    SavvyChristine on May 28, 2009, 4:57 p.m.

    Coming from the other end of the spectrum, I received an American Girl doll as my Christmas present when I was 10 years old. My sister got one too, and we played with those dolls for three years straight (and I played with mine even longer -- my sister just grew out of hers earlier).

    They WERE expensive, but the doll still tops the list as the most memorable present I've ever received. How many kids do you know of who play with the same toy for years upon years, and then keep it and hope to give it to their kids?

    Also, it doesn't seem cheap the way you presented it. It makes it seem more like a special present than anything else.

    SavvyChristine's last blog post... The Scoop on Natural Air Purifiers


  • nicola

    nicola on May 31, 2009, 3:08 p.m.

    happy belated, celine! renee, she is beautiful and for whatever it is worth, enjoy her love of dolls at 10. most 10 year olds around here seem 14. and the photo of her sewing? precious!! nicola

    nicola's last blog post... packages


    • renee

      renee on May 31, 2009, 5:17 p.m.

      I do! I LOVE that she Loves dolls. To be sure she is growing but she is very much a girl, not a tween or pre-teenager. We'll keep it that way as long as we can!


  • Eileen

    Eileen on June 5, 2009, 8:29 p.m.

    My daughter is going to be 5 next week. I thought in buying her a doll, since sometimes I’ve seen her carrying, “dressing” caring and tucking her dinosaur robot in. I did my search and was so disappointed with my findings. I don’t like any doll, I only found Barbies, Bratz or Disney princess dolls! The first doll I Really liked it was the American girl doll. Few minutes after I saw the doll’s site I read your blog. Apparently, all girls that get it are above 8 years old. Now, I’m not sure if I should get it for my young one...


    • renee

      renee on June 5, 2009, 11:01 p.m.

      Eileen, I don't think your daughter's age should stop you at all! Many parents might hesitate to spend that much for a younger child who might not appreciate it as much but if you think it's appropriate for her you should go ahead and get it.

      My daughters have always had babies and dolls, the cheaper Toys R Us variety, so we hadn't considered an American Girl doll. Now that my 10 year old has one my 6 year old is planning which doll she'll get for her birthday in November. Our 10 year old has also made dolls - we are really into dolls around here.

      If you don't want to spend as much you might be able to find a doll used on ebay. Good luck and happy doll hunting.

      And I agree, those Bratz dolls are just that.


  • Kika

    Kika on June 21, 2009, 5 a.m.

    My daughter turned nine this winter and all she wanted was a "Canadian Girl" doll. I agree that the price is hard to stomach but she loves it and I love that she loves dressing "her girl", brushing her hair, etc. It is sweet and while many of my daughter's friends don't play with dolls anymore, she still feels safe and free to enjoy them.


  • Eileen

    Eileen on June 22, 2009, 6:21 p.m.

    Renee, Thanks for your comment.

    We decided to go for a different doll. The main reason was that ignoring the doll hunting was going to be such an issue we started looking for a doll too late to get the American girl doll on time for her birthday. We found a comparable Canadian girl doll in Sears only; it is cute enough although I like the other one more. It is the same high and more or less same structure. It is a world cheaper though, $30. I got surprised with my daughter’s reaction: "what a big doll" were her first words all amazed. She likes it a lot; I've been "sewing" since then and God knows he did not provide me with that skill. (I can’t wait for my mom's visit to take over Sofia's clothing). I told my daughter she will have to learn how to sew and she agreed with a big smile while making Sofia’s’ hair. We are very happy with our election for our daughter. I was very worry about her younger brother’s (3) treatment to the doll but, he seems to be a good uncle! far. I am still in love with the American girl doll thus, I think she could be a nice replacement in 3 or 4 years when this little mommy can fully take care of her “daughter”….we started doll’s season at home and we hope it last for many years.


  • Joel M-E (of Calvary)

    Joel M-E (of Calvary) on May 3, 2010, 6:37 p.m.


    The other day my girls (7&5) put a hold on saving for a house that they are planning on buying together (they have saved about $60 between the two of them) to getting Canadian Dolls. Being curious about them, I googled them.... and there, rated #4 in google was this post... I took a look, the domain sounded familiar... then I saw your face and laughed (not at your face) at the fact that I stumbled on your blog while searching the internet for dolls.

    your blog helps to support my daughters cause... but I am not ready. Fortunately I didn't have to help to pay for their imaginary dogs that they have, and I am hoping my son (3) will get the Vet tools, and do the shots for free for the 6 puppies they had onthe weekend.


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on Nov. 28, 2010, 2:50 p.m.

    I LOVE American girl dolls (i have none :(.) I'm 12 years old and all my friends who are 12+ don't play with dolls anymore but me and my friends who are younger still and these dolls are really cool and they look like a lot of fun but i am Canadian and i don't know where too get them in Canada!! :( Hope your daughter has fun playing with her doll :)!!



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