Christmas morning, 1974: I was so excited to find Barbie’s Beach Bus under our tree. That was also the year Malibu P.J., with her pink Jackie O sunglasses and perfect blond ponytails, joined my collection of anatomically-challenged but oh-so-loved dolls.
I thought it was amazing that Santa had not only given me what I wanted most, but that he’d also had time to set up a sweet, swingin’ campsite for Barbie and her friends–who, despite the winter weather in Raleigh, were lounging in tiny green camp chairs on our shag carpet beach and sipping invisible sweet tea at a picnic table. And Santa was a stickler for details: a Barbie beach towel tossed across a chair; tiny yellow dishes arranged neatly on shelves or placed by P.J.’s side (in case she needed a snack break from all that tanning); Barbie’s surf board casually propped up against the bus. It was pure magic to a seven-year-old.
My mom was the best.