Monday, December 22, 2014

Up on the housetop reindeer pause

This is probably my earliest specific-to-Christmas memory...

We were in Provo for Christmas, visiting my mom's parents. I was upstairs (a rare occurrence, let me tell you!) with Grammy. We were in the front room. She was in her chair (the dark blue swivel rocker, for those of you who'd remember such things) and I was standing in front of her and we were singing Christmas songs.

She asked if I knew Up on the Housetop. I didn't. So, she offered to teach it to me.

She sang it through once so I could hear it before she started to teach me the words.

Two things I remember: she snapped her fingers with the "click, click, click", and I giggled at the thought of reindeer having paws.

When she finished the song, I told her the song was silly, because reindeer have hooves, not paws. She smiled her beautiful, happy, smile and told me that "pause" was a different word than "paws", and that it meant to stand still or wait for a minute.

I think of her every time I hear this song. I see her smile, and I hear her fingers snapping with the clicks, and I am grateful for a memory of singing with my grammy who was smart enough to slow down and take a minute to explain the difference in two words that sounded exactly alike to her precocious (that's the nicest word I can think of to describe myself) granddaughter.

Pictured below, Me. December 25, 1978.

(Don't worry that I had just turned four, two months before this picture was taken, and I'm as tall as the organ I'm standing in front of. ... I did stop growing. Eventually.)

The Christmas I learned that pause and paws are two different words.

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