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She leaves mark with her bubbly Christmas spirit
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Annalee collectible dolls originating in New Hampshire are hung on the second floor balcony at Prestige Retirement Home by volunteer Teresa Stevens and sunshine lady and gift shop manager Ruth Zucchi to add a touch of Christmas spirit for the enjoyment of the residents. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A lady with a bubbly Christmas spirit Teresa Stevens has truly made a difference at Prestige retirement home on East Louise Avenue as well as at her daughter’s fourth grade class at the Great Valley Academy Charter School on Button Avenue.

Something of an elf in her own right, she has created a cardboard penguin with a “Chill Out” theme printed on its tummy adding a thermometer to measure the frigid air of the early mornings. The children are using her penguin as a guide to make their own during class time.

She has introduced her Annalee Dolls to the retirement community – dolls that she first came across the shop of the maker in 1992 in New Hampshire. She sought out the shop after being introduced to the dolls by her mother years earlier in San Francisco.

Those living at the Prestige can view the colorfully decorated dolls “with mom in her kerchief and dad in his cap” with two small children looking through the wrought iron railing in a touch of traditional warmth from years past.

Helping Stevens hang her decorations was Ruth Zucchi who runs the gift shop and handles the sunshine lady’s duties at the facility.

“It was a fabulous shop,” Stevens said of a New Hampshire trip and visit that gave her an up and close relationship with the creator of the Annalee Dolls. From that experience she has launched a lighted gingerbread village in front of her home on Cinnamon Teal Way that actually started with a train.

She and her husband Jim have added a new element each year including a church, a dog house and gingerbread people running about the yard. When Stevens isn’t busy with their children at home, she is a nearly constant joy and presence for her retired parents who reside at Prestige.

Annalee believes in family stories, seasonal traditions and memories from a better time. For more information and a look at the complete selection of dolls go to www.annalee