My Favorite Gift of All Time: The Barbie Dream House

If I were trying to score points with my husband Jason, I would tell you that my favorite gift of all time was my wedding ring. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE my wedding ring and will never “upgrade” as some women do as the years go by…the ring represents too much to change it.

Or maybe I would tell you that my favorite gift of all time was the chair that someone gave me when I was little like Tater that my mom had refinished and gave to me at my baby shower for Tater.

And while those are in my top 3 favorite gifts of all time, my favorite, and I’m talking FAVORITE gift of all time was the Barbie Dream House I received when I was probably 7 or 8 years old for Christmas from Santa. The dream house that came fully furnished.

I wanted that house so bad that I could hardly sleep or talk about anything else. I was begging Santa to bring that house – making deals about how could I’d be soooo good the entire next year and all the rest of the current year. Nothing else mattered except the house.

On Christmas morning, I woke up early…so early that it was still dark out. I crept downstairs. I peeked around the tree…and there it was. The Barbie Dream House. I thought I would faint! I am sure I have been that excited again since then, but that was the first time that I was so excited I thought I was going to jump out of my skin. Santa also brought two Barbies with the house; one was Wedding Barbie or something, with a beautiful, poofy white dress and the other one, I can’t remember the name, was all in gold.

I couldn’t wait to play with it!

To open the little refrigerator and see all the tiny little Barbie food.

To open the vanity and see all the makeup bottles and potions.

To lounge my Barbie on her couch. To sit in the cool Barbie chairs.

To cook food on the stove or in the oven.

To take a bath in her huge dream tub. I wanted to become Barbie.

Even as young as I was, I already knew that I wasn’t one of the popular girls. I wasn’t pretty, I didn’t wear the popular kid clothes, and I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was a shy, ugly duckling. I had one close friend, whom I still talk to occasionally now. I was kind of geeky; I’d rather read a book than play tag outside.

But Barbie? Barbie was beautiful and everybody loved her. She was outgoing and had all kinds of cool things. She had the awesome house with the awesome furniture and an awesome life. I wanted to be Barbie.

And yes, I eventually grew out of wanting to be Barbie…but if I could have that house and all that furniture for my little girls? I can’t imagine anything that would make me happier.


  1. Losing Brownies says:
    I loved Barbie when I was a girl for some of the same reasons. I fawned over the dream house when Santa brought it and I played with Barbie until I was about 13 and someone pointed out that I was way to old for it and they were for babies. That is when it was all handed down to my little sister, who loved them just as long as I did.
  2. Well I never got the Barbie Dreamhouse so I am very jealous. It's quite a blow that your husband and Rat Bastard share a first name, but so did a 1/4 of the males born in the 70's.
  3. Lindsay {Designer Wife} says:
    Awww, I absolutely adore this post - completely took me back to the "good 'ole days"... and... made me a little homesick, lol. Those were the days :)
  4. This was a great post!! :) I loved the small Barbie food too! So many hours spent playing barbie...
  5. love it!

    I wanted the barbie dream house, but we didn't have much money. so my Aunt Karen took an old shelf and wall-papered it and made furniture and voila! a 4 story dream house for my barbies. I'd like to do that for my kids (my future kids) one day.
  6. Andrea (@mamachaplin) says:
    This brought back so many memories for me. Thank you!
  7. The Blue Zoo says:
    I always wanted that Dream House and never got it. Now I have 4 boys so Im all into boy stuff. Sorta. I'll never understand why they like Pokemon and crap like that.
  8. Booyah's Momma says:
    That Barbie house is awesome! Do you still have it? It would be such a cool thing for your girls to play with when they got older!
  9. Minivan Mommy says:
    I used to read at recess, too. =)
  10. I'm jealous. I wanted that house so bad when I was little and never got it! :( But I did have lots of Barbie's and my sister and I played with them for hours! We had lots of fun and always found ways to create our own special Barbie house.
  11. OMG! The Barbie dreamhouse. I haven't thought about that for decades. I had several Barbies. And almost all of her clothes had been handmade by my Gramma. The dreamhouse I had was the 60's version. It was all made of cardboard and folded up like a little suitcase. Ken had felt hair then, too. And does anyone remember Barbie's best friend Midge? Or Ken's buddy Todd?
    Whatever happened to them?
  12. Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys says:
    LOL. I love your post. It brought back so many memories for me. I had a Barbie Dream House when I was little. I still have it in the attic. When my little girl gets bigger I was going to let her have it. Looking back it was my favorite all time Christmas present.
  13. I never really got "into" Barbie. I'd rather play with dolls. I know, weird.
  14. I would kill for those awesome Barbie chairs to be life sized.
  15. Joann Mannix says:
    I love Gigi and I love her idea bank. It was an honor to help her with it.

    I was also a Barbie girl, probably much longer than most girls. Barbie was a place to seek solace, because I, too, was a scrawny, shy girl with not a whole lot of friends.

    And I always wanted a dream house, but unfortunately never got one. My little sister is 12 years younger than me and with my very first paycheck at my very first job, I bought her a Barbie dream house. She has told me before that it was the best gift of all times.
  16. Awesome! So you still have all that? I have a few toys as well...but w/ 3 boys I don't guess they'll be used much ;-)
  17. Wow - If I were a little girl, this would've been the perfect gift too! I only had one Barbie though but I think she would've been happy not sharing with any others. She was quite the diva, if I remember correctly :)
  18. The Blogging Goddess says:
    I loved my Barbie dream house, and loved when I got to give it to my daughter. We spent hours playing with it.
  19. Angelia Sims says:
    Man, that brings back memories!! Loved my dreamhouse and had the RV too. :-)

    I didn't have all that cool furniture, though, just the beds.

    Loved these pics. :-)
  20. Awww, that's pretty cute. Can't wait till babe is old enough not to break one.
  21. I, too, wanted to be Barbie. In fact, it sounds like we had very similar childhoods. Wait, actually, is it sad that now that I'm thinking about it, I still want to be Barbie.
  22. I'm impressed you still have all the pieces! And will you let the girls play with that?
  23. How cool...did you keep it for the girls? Isn't it cool how one gift can be so special and stand out so many years later? Big score for Santa that year!
  24. Bethany @ Organic Enchilada says:
    Wow - the dreamhouse! I had several Barbie sets when I was young - the surf shop being my favorite - but I don't think I even knew at the time that there was such a thing as a Dream House! I bet my parents worked very hard to keep that information from me!
  25. I hated Barbie. In fact, I took my sister's precious collection and chopped all their hair off. And made them do wrong things with each other.

    Almost thirty years later, she's still pissed at me.
  26. There's a picture of me when I was about 5 or 6 where I took off Barbie's clothes and I'm laughing hysterically.

    I don't know why I just told you (and all your readers) that. Oye.
  27. Just Another Mom of 2 says:
    Lol, I love that the barbie dreamhouse was your favorite! I have a younger sister, and she would play with barbies for hours. I would get them dressed up, do their hair, lay out the house or whatever, and then be done. And then I'd go read a book.
  28. I would've thought I'd died and gone to heaven had I found that house under my Christmas tree!
  29. Funky Mama Bird says:
    I was never into Barbie, being far more into My Little Ponies. Now. I DID get the Dream Castle and it sent me into a similar state of delight that I'm sure I could wax on about for hours now as well.
  30. An Imperfect Momma says:
    Oh how I loved Barbie! She was the coolest and I wanted to be just like her. Yeah...that sounds much sadder than I thought;)
  31. I can't believe that you remember it so vividly all these years later. WOW!
  32. Barbie's dream house was on every little girl's wish list....and for you to get it fully furnished must have been so amazing! This is such a sweet post. Great job Natalie!
  33. Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip says:
    Oooooooooh!!! The Barbie Dream House. My sister had one of those. You know when I was little they wouldn't let me have even ONE Barbie. They gave me "Real Girl Doll" who had more appropriate body proportions and less sexy outfits. I think she was related to Raggedy Ann. She was boring. And I don't remember loving her very much. But my sister was way into Barbies and for some reason by that time my parents got over their hippy notions that Barbies were from the devil. But by then, I was too old to play with them....
  34. Sharlene T. says:
    I had one daughter that loved Barbie and one that did not… For some reason, they never wanted the larger accessories and just wanted that Barbie suitcase that held all of the outfits… Occasionally, I would buy the commercial clothes but loved hand sewing so much, that it was more fun for me to create matching outfits using the patterns from McCall's and Simplicity.

    Now, I have a lot of fun making period costumes for Barbie dolls. It's not so easy holding a needle, anymore, but I keep trying. When you get a chance, see if you can get Ken to drive you over for a visit…
  35. Did you keep the whole thing or are those old photos? I had a different version of the Dream House. Mine was a 2 story rectangular thing with a "working" elevator (a string pulley). I loved that house!!!
  36. OOOOoooooh, awesome gift! I never had Barbie dreamhouse. I had some 2 story farmhouse we transformed for our barbies but they were to tall to fit in it. *sigh*
  37. Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud says:
    I never had a Barbie dreamhouse. Just when I thought I was over it, I stumbled on this post! Thanks a lot, Natalie! lol
    Isn't it great how those things that we coveted and cherished as a child, still hold so many fond memories and feelings of joy?

    Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud
  38. Who didn't want to be Barbie?! As they say, that bitch has everything! I wanted that Dream House too. I had to settle for the Townhouse. The elevator was cool. I still have a Barbie case (somewhere) with all my favorite dolls and their accessories. I spent a lot of time dressing and undressing and coming up with elaborate story lines for my Barbies. Good times!


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