Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas doll drama

Every year my school puts up a big paper Christmas tree in the copy room with tags for needy children. There is usually a mad rush to get to the tree and by 9am the tree is practically bare.

This year I greedily took two tags, one for a little girl wanting a doll, and another for a boy asking for legos. How much fun will it be to shop for a doll? I thought excitedly.

The excitement ended as I stood in the store wondering what kind of doll to buy. What color doll do I buy? I have no idea who this gift is going to. I'd hate to give a little Hispanic girl a black baby doll, or the other way around. Would it matter? It would depend on the kid I suppose. At my school the kids are so close to color blind anyway that the child might not notice.

But if you give a child a baby doll they want it to be a baby they could take care of. One that looks like them. Then again, really, the baby's daddy could be anybody, right? If a multi-ethnic family is going to be 100% accepted anywhere, it would be at my school.

Still, this is this child's kindergarten Christmas. Santa Clause knows what she looks like. I want to keep the magic alive.

I could go with the ever popular Bratz dolls that come dressed ready to stand on a street corner. The little one might not care about the color since the doll would be a specific character. Then again, I can't bring myself to give money to the Bratz makers.

I found a very cute dark skinned doll in Marshalls today. It looked like it could be considered in a number of ethnicities. I started to get hopeful. Then I noticed her cute tank top that came just below where her breasts would be if she was old enough to have them. There is not a chance I am giving a 5 year old a doll wearing a shirt that the child wouldn't be allowed to wear to school.

Who knew buying a doll would come with this much drama?

My parents tell me they have been through this. Apparently for my three or four year old Christmas I wanted a specific doll I had seen at my preschool. The story goes that after weeks of looking, the only doll they could find that matched the one I wanted was an African American baby. They bought it, but later in a toy store in the back woods of West Virginia found a white baby dressed in the wrong clothes. So, they bought the white baby and switched the clothes to give me the exact baby I was requesting. They donated the African American doll to my preschool, where I ended up finding it, falling in love with it, and wished I had my own African American doll of my very own.

So maybe I am going through all this drama for nothing...

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