Before you gift wrap the Barbie, consider this

{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}Move over Barbie, there’s a new girl in town!  Her name is Lammily and she is becoming a hot item for Christmas.  Nickolay Lamm is a graphic designer-turned-toymaker who decided to build a doll that looked like the average 19-year-old girl.  The result:  the Lammily doll that can be purchased with a sticker pack, which includes pimples, moles, cellulite and scars.  What began as an art project of sorts has become a toy sensation.  Even the actress and singer, Demi Lovato tweeted that the doll was “awesome.”  Because of the social media, Lamm was able to raise $100,000 in a single day, $500,000 in a single week.  The art project became a popular doll a short time later.

If Barbie were real she would stand about six feet tall and her measurements would be 39, 18, 33.  Barbie never has dark roots or for that matter, gray.  When I was a girl, Barbie came with a flight-attendant’s outfit or she could be a nurse.  Now Barbie can be a doctor, lawyer, corporate executive or, as one should expect, queen of the prom.   There is nothing that Barbie cannot do, given the right outfit.

Lamm said he modeled his doll to be about 160 pounds, with a 37-inch waist, brunette hair and a thicker build.  The accessory sticker pack enables the doll to have all kinds of realistic imperfections.  Lammily is hoping to have a variety of clothing and the doll even comes with a numbered passport so she can be named by her owner.  CNN wanted to interview Mattel about this new doll but, so far, their call has not been returned.

I worked in a toy store for most of my college years.  I loved stocking the Barbie dolls and their clothes.  I loved the trucks, trains, games and other toys as well.  Toy stores are busy places this time of year.  I like the idea of the Lammily doll.  Barbie is unrealistic, but then again, she is a toy.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines are not popular because they represent reality either.  Toys are toys and I don’t think they will influence our children as much as entertain them.  

The Christmas season, for me meant a lot of long, 12-hour workdays, but I enjoyed watching the excitement on the children’s faces as they walked the aisles of the store.  For most girls, a new doll for Christmas is a new member of her family.  Dolls teach our kids a lot about what it means to care for someone else.  Jim wasn’t as thrilled with the doll I brought home one year.  Playskool released the My Buddy doll for little boys.  I thought every kid ought to have a “friend” to play with and care for.  Jim wasn’t completely fond of that parenting idea.  A quarter century later, I still think My Buddy was a great gift for Christmas.  

Kids can learn to care for others and Christmas is a great time to emphasize that goal.  Moments of kindness and caring create lessons that last a lifetime.  1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient, love is kind.”  Galatians 5:22 says, “The Spirit produces. . .kindness.”  If kids can play with dolls and learn to be kind to others in the process, they have gained a valuable life lesson.

A lot can be learned from children, simply by listening to them play.  I enjoyed watching a video of children talking about the differences between the Lammily doll and the Barbie.   Their descriptions revealed their opinions and their values.  The kids liked the genuine nature of the Lammily doll and many said that she reminded them of someone in their family.  Sometimes it is wise to listen to the innocent ideas of our children.

The Barbie doll is a great reminder that the picture the world paints is not always realistic of the truth.  The Lammily doll was developed to correct that problem.  “Genuine” is a great quality in anyone, especially a Christian.  

Christmas is a great time to spend with your children learning the most important lessons of this life.  There are a lot of “false stories” about the holiday that we should spend time correcting with our children.  There are plenty of genuine Christians that can be called Super Heroes too.  Point out the genuine Christians to your children and discuss their greatness.  In the end, they may request the Lammily doll instead of the Barbie.  They may request a bicycle instead of a few more video games, and they may choose to live their adult lives for the Lord instead of the world.

Christmas is a great time of year to show compassion, share from what you own and be ready to tell people why you believe.  The Lammily doll may be a great starting point for several of those conversations!

Each year, the Denison Forum sends out an end of the year request and ministry update. I’d love for you to take the time to read Jim’s message to our subscribers.  All of us at the Denison Forum are grateful for the privilege of sharing our ministry with each of you.

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