• Father Lance W. Harlow

The Christmas Doll

There is a tear-jerking scene in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables when Jean Valjean arrives at the Thénardier's inn on Christmas Eve to rescue Cosette. Seeing her in that abusive environment, he buys her a doll that she had being eyeing at a local shop. She is at first afraid to touch it for fear she will be punished, then incredulous that it is for her, then she touches it tentatively, then finally accepts it, names it "Catherine" and embraces it. The next day, having freed her from her wretched life, he carries her away from the inn where she falls asleep in his arms still clutching the doll.

Children build strong bonds to these comfort objects. Sometimes it's a doll, a toy, a ratty old stuffed teddy bear or a blanket. For children who are emotionally scarred, these comfort objects take on a vitality of their own. Although to adults they are only inanimate objects, to the young child they have almost a life force of their own that can guard him or her from danger....and provide "comfort."

When you donate a gift to the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, your donation can be used for this kind of comfort object, which to us as adults may seem to be superfluous, but for a little boy or girl with a traumatized background, that doll or toy may mean the world to him or her.

While Victor Hugo may not have known the phrase "comfort object attachment," he was certainly a keen enough observer of the human condition to recognize a traumatized child in distress and write about it in his masterpiece which continues to touch hearts today.

Won't you please make a donation today in honor of "Catherine", the Christmas doll? God bless you!


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