Yesterday we were eating dinner and the kids were talking about what they were hoping for in the way of Christmas gifts. I've asked them to narrow down their usually extensive lists to ONE thing and one thing only. Mean Mama? I'll get them each more than one thing, I just don't like how big long lists filled with Wii wishes and Ipod dreams make for unhappy Christmas mornings on every one's part.
Anyway, Shariah says "and by the way Mom, this year can you please NOT get us barbies that look like us???" WHAT??? Seriously, no barbies? Did these girls come from me? And I get so excited to buy a strawberry blond, blue eyed Midge for Shariah, brown haired barbies for Emma and Azzie and a dark blond one for Ruby. I don't think that's too much. I wasn't going to buy Brayden a Ken doll or anything. Seriously girls, can't your mom go back to her childhood a little at Christmas time???
That got me thinking to my Christmas' growing up. I don't think I have to say anything further about my own love for barbies and at the very very top of my Christmas list was the Barbie Dream house. The one with three levels and an elevator to get you there(pictured below - my how it's changed) ! I'm pretty sure it was similar to the kid in "A Christmas Story" wanting that Red Rider BB gun.
So Christmas morning came and presents filled the base of our little tree. Us kids were up at the crack of dawn anticipating...well pretty much just the gifts.
My dad passed out presents to each of us and I instantly noticed the familiar shape of my rectangular wrapped box. I tore the paper to find a bikini clad blond barbie doll. Oh, she's going to love her new house I thought to myself. The next present caused even more excitement. A kitchen and dining set, all pink of course and elegant enough to be in a three story home with an elevator.
I think some other gifts followed. Things like stuffed animals and socks.
Then almost all the gifts were done. Two presents remained and one was rather large, so when they handed the large gift to my younger brother and stuck the smaller one in my lap I didn't know what to think. I can't remember what my brother opened, but in my box I found a pink outdoor Barbie Soda Fountain Shop! First I was confused. That was it? Were my parents hiding the dream house in their bedroom and just teasing me with this soda shop?? I mean, it was nice and it was pink, but it was something that would be down the street from what I really wanted.
I didn't get that barbie dream house that day or ever. It probably had cost more money than we could afford at the time and I suppose the house would have been dumb if I had no furniture or barbies to put in it, but I have to admit, I cried! I cried right there in the living room surrounded by presents on Christmas morning.
My mom volunteered at the Food Bank around that time and one day she brought home dozens of gray Dairy gold milk crates. I stacked those milk crates sideways on one wall of my bedroom and so were invented...the Barbie Ghetto Apts. Yeah, the beautiful pink dining room set looked a little out of place, but there were plenty of small studio apartments for Barbie, Ken, Skipper and the rest of the gang. There was no need for an elevator because there was a handle sized hole in each floor that barbie could just climb through.
I wish I had a picture of that complex in all it's glory, but you're just going to have to use your imagination.
I was happy with the apartment complex and feel that my childhood would definitely be missing something without it, but nevertheless the dream failed to completely die knowing that someday I would have girls of my own and I dreamed of the look of elation on my own daughter's face when she came down Christmas morning to find her very own Barbie Dream House waiting for her.
But my daughters don't even want barbies who look like them!