As an atheist, I love decorating for the holidays with homemade dolls.
My great aunts and uncles lived together in a 10-bedroom, A-frame house on Lake Charlevoix, Michigan. Three sisters and their husbands, they were childless. They all worked in the insurance industry.
The three-story house had hidden passageways and rooms for the Underground Railroad. We kids loved playing hide-and-seek.
"The dolls are our children," they said. The men carved the doll faces and bodies, and made furniture. The women made clothes and accessories. Their dolls are in the Michigan State Children's Museum.
They always made two of each doll. One Whistler's Mother doll went to the president of France. It is in the Louvre Museum.
When I was five, my grandmother enrolled the four oldest girl cousins in the International Doll Club. Each Christmas, we received a doll from a different country, in native dress with a story, stamp and coin.
These dolls are 75 to 100 years old. I treasure them.