The anticipation was high and no matter how hard I closed my eyes, I could not get to sleep. I just knew when I woke up the next morning she would be in one of those packages under the tree. So I laid there, willing my five year old self to go to sleep.
The next morning, I ran out to the smell of breakfast baking, Dolly Partons Christmas album spinning on the record player and the Christmas tree lights twinkling and reflecting off the tinsel strewn on the tree by my brother and me.
Wrapping paper was ripped through and tossed aside. Present after present was torn open until finally, there she was…
I had waited for her all year! (In five year old time that equals two lifetimes…) I adored that Mrs. Beasley doll. I watched my beloved Buffy playing with her doll on Family Affair and then act out the scenes with my very own Mrs. Beasley. We spent countless hours playing and pretending.
What I hadn’t realized until many years later is the sacrifice and length my grandparents went to get this doll for me. We lived in the country and got to go to town (Lancaster) for groceries/shopping and on a rare occasion to eat out. We NEVER went to the city (Columbus) because in the words of my Grandfather, All they do is kill each other up there. While this may not be entirely true, it was his perception and avoided going anywhere near there. Until now…
My grandparents had looked in every store in town. There was not a Mrs. Beasley doll to be found. Anywhere. They only had one option…to shop at Children’s Palace. You may be guessing by now where this mega toy store was located….in the heart of shoot-out central…the big city…Columbus.
Off they went, leaving all the comforts of the country, risking life and limb, traveling to a place they had never gone before, on freeways they had rarely driven on in search of a Mrs. Beasley doll so their five year old granddaughter would wake up on Christmas morning and be able to open the one gift she wanted more than anything.
For as much as I treasured my beloved Mrs. Beasley then, I now cherish the sacrifice of my grandparents even more. What they wouldn’t do for this little girl.
There is another who also saw a little girl in need of a gift at Christmas. I have a Father who saw just what I needed and so He gave His One and Only Son… (John 3:16). He, too, left the comforts of His familiar to travel to a place that was foreign, a place where it sure seems all they do is kill each other. He, too, sacrificed life and limb by the literal giving of His life.
This gift isn’t found under a tree but on a tree. Willingly. Sacrificially.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Jesus. It’s the best present we could ever give or receive. Even better than a Mrs. Beasley doll.
Fiercely for you!