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A Little Off Key

September 11, 2012

‘Grandma, we can’t start making cookies ‘til we find our hats…‘my 5 year old granddaughter said.

So, we trooped down the stairs to the basement and dug in the Christmas bins until we found them. Luckily, last year I put the hats on top so we didn‘t have to rummage around too much.

Elaine skipped across the dining room on her way to the kitchen as she donned her green elf hat. The hat, shaped like Santa‘s, was green with a red scalloped edge and a sleigh bell in place of the usual white pompom. Every time she moved her head, which she delighted in doing, the bell jingled.

She chose the Santa hat for me. After giving it some serious thought, she decided she should be the elf because she was the kid and I was the boss, so I should wear the Santa hat because Santa Claus wears his in his workshop at the North Pole. And this was a cookie workshop. That, and the Santa hat didn’t have a bell.

‘Now we can start making cookies!‘ The girl exclaimed.

‘Not before we put on our aprons,‘ I said. And with that, she scampered across to the pantry. She chose the solid blue apron for herself and a candy cane print for me.

I’d made the dough ahead of time. With the demands of the season in addition to those of everyday life, I needed to save time wherever I could. A few days prior to our baking day, we decided to make Peanut Butter Blossoms, Mexican Wedding Cakes, her Grandpa’s favorite, Chocolate Crinkles, and every kid’s all time favorite…Cut-Out Cookies. She couldn’t wait to start decorating them. Those were always saved for last.

We started with the Peanut Butter Blossoms. Making balls, rolling them in sugar and putting them on the baking sheet and into the oven.

‘Wait a minute, Grandma! Do you have Christmas music? We should be listening to ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘Frosty the Snowman’ while we work, you know. It’ll give us Christmas spirit.’

So, work on the cookies came to a halt while I flipped through my CD collection. Finally, I found the right ones…I should have started looking on the bottom of the pile…it would have made more sense and saved time. I made a mental note to add music and hats to my to-do list before next year’s Christmas cookie baking day.

Elaine unwrapped the Hershey’s Kisses while I tidied up a bit. And soon she began to sing along to ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’ So, feeling the Christmas spirit, I joined in.

Apparently, I was a little off-key, because, before I’d sung more than a handful of notes the little girl leaned over, gently put a finger to my lips and said ‘Sshh…Grandma, please don’t sing.’

Okay, I knew my singing voice wasn’t’ good, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Even my five year old granddaughter could tell I couldn’t carry a tune. Maybe she was a musical prodigy, I thought, and had an extra-sensitive ear for music…nah, probably not. Not is this family.

I’d have to remember to sing more quietly in church. Maybe I’d just mouth the words. No need to torture those poor people who had the misfortune of sitting in the pew directly in in front of me. Hmmm…that might explain why there were different people there each week. Or why they move to one side or the other after the first hymn. Not that I could blame them. But as Lutherans…we all sit in the same place every Sunday. It’s tradition. We each have our own pew. And, it takes a lot to make us move.

It’s just not Christmas without our baking day. We make time for it every year…no matter how busy we are. And last year, when Elaine was nine, we were at it again, this time with her little sister. We were wearing the same aprons, the same hats, and playing the same CD‘s.

And Elaine was singing again…’then all the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out with glee, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer…take it away, Grandma!

‘But Honey, you know I can’t sing…’

‘Oh, but Grandma, you try so hard. Go ahead, it’s okay. Really.’

  1. I sure hope Miss LolaBug and I have a Christmas tradition but it won’t be cookie makin’ cause I don’t have the patience for that. Her mama will have to be the Cookie Queen. I am so sad that there aren’t Xmas catalogs anymore. It was always so much fun to look thru them and make our lists. Not the same when you shop online!

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