After the gifts had been opened on Christmas afternoon last year and my girls waded through the torn paper and ribbons, my uncle pulled me aside and asked me a question.
“Did we get her the right thing?” he wondered about the Barbie surfing set my three-year-old had unwrapped.
Barbie hasn’t changed: with to-her-neck tanned thighs and long blonde hair. These are the same dolls that I’d avoided buying my daughters for fear of a warped sense of self and an expectation of a 20 inch waist with a 40 inch bust when they develop someday.
However, for the past couple years, Barbies have been showing up in my house as gifts for birthdays and Christmases and lately my three-year-old has one tucked under her little arm wherever she goes.
We have Barbies in the car. Barbies in the back yard playhouse. Barbies under my bed and Barbies in the shower.
“Of course you did. See?” and I point him toward Naomi who had already enlisted my father to free Surfing Barbie from her plastic bonds. My daughter was carrying Barbie with her cardboard surfboard and bikini around the living room proudly showing her off to the rest of the toys, penguins snuggled in their arctic feathers and stuffed bears in bad Christmas sweaters.
And she’ll probably play with that doll until a) Barbie’s head falls off and disappears to the same place in the dryer that all the left socks go to, b) She becomes a bath toy and suffers the disease of Mildew In The Hair, or c) She becomes a naked chew toy for our new Golden Retriever, Flower.
Needless to explain further to my uncle, Naomi loves her little dolls and the Barbie was the perfect gift.
When preschool resumed in January, I picked up the leftover construction paper poinsettias and various Christmas crafts that had collected in Naomi’s cubbie. In the mix was a cardboard Christmas present addressed to Jesus with colored paper, a gift tag and a bow. On the back it read (in the perfect handwriting of her preschool teacher) “I would give Baby Jesus a Barbie and a butterfly. Naomi, 2009”
Her favorite things. Her most treasured things. The things that she can’t live without.
She offered them to Jesus.
Her best things.
Not her leftovers, or her sister’s toys. She presented Him with the best things she could possibly offer, in a preschooler’s world.
And I wonder if I give Him my best. My most favorite. The things I tuck under my arm and walk around all day with. Do I give Christ the most treasured things I own, the things that belong to Him anyway?
All Jesus wants is a Barbie. At least from a three-year-old.
And from me? He wants the finest that I have, the first I earn, the sweetest and most precious things in my heart. He wants my first hour, my best concentration, and my most prized talents and gifts.
He wants it all.
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