A New Family Tradition

I inherited a rather odd tradition from my family. I remember my parents and I doing it for years to my little brother. Now it's become somewhat of a tradition that all boys under, oh say 10 years old get teased about having Santa deliver them a Barbie doll, and if Santa won't do it, maybe Mom and Dad will... Well, now that our house has two little boys, there has been lots of talk about the little princess. Hubby, of course, jumped on the band wagon, and we've had fun teasing the boys about Barbie, and how she might make it into our house.

One night last week, Woody became very concerned that Santa would get confused and really leave him a Barbie, or worse, Hubby or I would actually get him one. Woody and I sat on his bed and had a heart-to-heart conversation. I let him know that we would not give him a Barbie doll, but we would probably still tease him about it. He thought about it, and said that would be okay. Since then he's joined in, and turned it around to make it so Hubby will be the recipient of the unwelcomed toy. Oh yes, lots of fun, indeed.

A few days later I went to the store and bought a Barbie. I bought it for the USMC Toys For Tots toy drive. But...it was sure was fun to see how the boys reacted to having a contraband girlie toy in our boys-only, testosterone-filled house. When I brought the package out of the bag, Woody and Tigger were totally shocked. They began running around the house shrieking (like little girls, in fact!) It was like a rambunctious game of "Hot Potato." We had fun teasing each other for a while, then I let them know who would be the recipient of the undesired toy. I explained there were some parents that really wanted to give their children presents, but they did not have money to buy gifts.

Tigger suggested giving it to the neighbor girl down the street, and then to his "baby cousin, Mustang Sally." Woody suggested giving it to my mother because she doesn't have a toy like the Barbie doll and she'd probably really like it. Their thoughtfulness and generosity is overwhelming, and just too darn cute. I reminded them both that it was for a little girl who does not have any toys. After discussing why neighbor girl, Mustang Sally, and Beba did not fit the criteria, I told them there was a group called Toys For Tots that knew exactly who needed a toy. If we would give it to them, they would give it to just the right little girl. They agreed Toys for Tots would be the best recipient of Barbie.

I took a picture of the little princess under our tree, because I wanted proof that she survived, and was no worse for the wear we inflicted upon her. Before we dropped her off for her new life, we prayed over Barbie, that she would be a blessing to the little girl who recieves her, and we prayed that the little girl would have a Merry Christmas.

It was fun having a girl in our midst for a while. I have already decided I will buy a Barbie or another girlie toy again next year, in fact, I believe it will become a new family tradition. Partly, because it's fun "tormenting" our boys with the thought of receiving such a girlie toy. Partly, because I believe it is important for Woody and Tigger to understand generosity and helping those in need. And partly, because Toys for Tots does a great job of giving children happiness and hope, which I think is a magificent Christmas gift.

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