Happy (Belated) Birthday, Josefina!

Ok, so this is getting posted almost a month late. I’m sorry! Josefina understands. Eventually I’ll adjust the date so it’s actually on March 19th.

Josefina is a special doll. She was the second American Girl I received as a little girl. My mom said I was very clear that she was the doll I wanted for Christmas, and following tradition, I left Samantha and my Magic Attic doll Heather out to let Santa know I wanted Josefina. On Christmas morning, there she was! I was nine (yes, that sounds right, because I got my Bitty for Christmas when I was 8, Heather when I was 7, and Samantha for my 7th birthday).


I wish I remembered what it was that drew me to Josefina. I grew up in Texas, so something about her collection spoke to me (she still has probably my favorite collection), not to mention she’s an absolutely beautiful doll. She was new then too, so that probably helped, seeing her shiny new collection in the catalog. Even just looking at the picture above, I can remember the smell of her and the feel of hugging her, of retying her stupid little moccasins and debating whether to unbraid her hair and so on. I realize that’s how people talk about new babies, haha!

I don’t sew much for her but I did knit her this warm chunky wool cape for those cold desert nights!

I loved Josefina’s books. She’s one of the best American Girl characters, I think. Even though I am definitely more a Samantha, I think Josefina is more distinct among the dolls –in a line of bold, brave, outspoken girls, she’s much softer, gentler, shyer. I envied her a house full of sisters (I have one bother).

Maybe the only thing I’ve ever sewn for her? Poor Josefina!

Though I got her when I was finally old enough to do a decent job taking care of a doll, her hair still suffered. When my mom mailed my dolls up to me as an adult, Josefina’s hair was a veritable rat’s nest. But she has her first edition face and I refuse to get it replaced, so I put a temporary black wig on her and waited for three years before I finally saw a like-new Josefina wig crop up on eBay. Hurray!

The new wig in place!

I have the most complete collection for Josefina out of everyone. Now that I live in Boston, far away from Texas, it reminds me of home. I love the earthy tones, the warmth of it all. I reminds me of San Antonio, which makes me think of summer camps and family vacations and childhood when things weren’t always easy but they were fun and happy. Not that I’m not happy now, but… it’s being a tough spring.

Husband bought her desk for me as a total surprise! He knew it was on my list of most-wanted items. He also wants to get me her piano someday!

I don’t sew much for Josefina because she’s got such a robust collection. It means she sneaks by not getting photographed much. Her face paint is faded and her body is soft. But when I’m sick on the couch, she’s the doll I bring over to watch movies with me. I’ve said before somewhere, maybe Instagram, that though Samantha was my childhood companion, Josefina was my comfort. Her gentleness was comforting.


February doll (9)
Her old set up, before the baby took over this room! Now I have more furniture for her, and she’s always visible on top of the dollhouse since my husband likes her too.

So happy birthday, Josefina. I take it as a good sign that you and my son share a birthday. Thanks for twenty years of fun.

2 thoughts on “Happy (Belated) Birthday, Josefina!

  1. A wonderful ode to Josefina. You have captured what makes owning an AG so special. I hope the rapid release of dolls won’t diminish the specialness of getting a doll.
    The close up picture of Josefina in the wool cape is so beautiful. Her very minimal face paint makes her stunning IMO.

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