Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas Countdown Characters #9

Most of us know about the holly and the ivy - plant symbols of Christmas, but have you heard of "The Story of Holly and Ivy"? 
watercolour, pencil and ink sketch - Wilma Simmons 

I is for Ivy... 
Ivy is the main character in a heart warming  1950's Christmas story by Rumer Gooden. 

The Story of Holly and Ivy has the sparkles and sugar of Christmas, the wish fulfilment and whimsy and talking toys. It's also a story about lonely people finding solace in acts of charity, and the importance of taking care of the weakest members of society. A fairy tale with a social conscience. from http://www.goodreads.com/

Ivy is the only child from St. Agnes orphanage not placed with a family for Christmas. Ivy tells the matron that she could go to her grandmother's in Appleton, although there is no grandmother and Ivy wasn't even sure if a place called Appleton even existed. Ivy is put on a train and arrives in Appleton on Christmas Eve, left to explore the town alone. 
There is a toy shop in the town, and a beautiful new Christmas doll named Holly is standing in the display window , wishing for a little girl to come and take her home. The only other toy left on the shelf is Abracadabra, an owl with a rather nasty disposition. The owner of the toy shop leaves his assistant to lock up and says he can choose a toy for himself as a Christmas gift. The shop assistant closes the store, and accidentally drops the key in the snow. Meanwhile, Ivy's search for a grandmother is in vain, and she sees the doll in the shop window, Holly is exactly what Ivy would love for Christmas, and the doll would love a girl like Ivy to take her home. Ivy finds the key that Peter dropped but as night falls, she takes shelter in a nearby alley.

The next morning,  Ivy returns to the shop to find a distraught shop assistant accompanied by Officer Jones of Appleton Police   Ivy realizes that  the key that she found belongs to the toy shop , and returns it. The assistant is so grateful he gives Holly the doll to Ivy.  Officer Jones, realising Ivy is an orphan,  takes Ivy home where she discovers a beautiful Christmas tree and presents, and Mrs Jones just wishing she had a child to enjoy Christmas with. All's well that ends well - Ivy not only has the doll she wished for, but a family!  The story ends with Officer and Mrs Jones adopting Ivy as their own daughter. Ivy's story is  all about wishing, love and belonging... just the story to invoke the spirit of the festive season. 

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