12.17.2007

Merry Christmas, Little Natalie (or a trip down memory lane)






Years ago, when our family was very young, we had several favorite Christmas albums. One was the Carpenters' Christmas Portrait, and another was John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together. We loved them both, and we played them non-stop at Christmas, or at least it seemed that way.

One year, when Natalie was probably 3 or 4 years old, she came to me and said, "Mom, would you play the Natalie song?" I was stumped -- and try as I might, I couldn't come up with an answer to that one. I questioned her repeatedly and she finally exploded at me, exasperated at my density: "You know, Mom! Merry Christmas, little Natalie! My song!"

The light went on. It finally occurred to me that she was talking about "A Baby Just Like You", which is one of the prettiest and sweetest songs on that album. But her song? Aha! I knew immediately. In a line very near the end of the song, John Denver used his own son's name and said "Merry Christmas, little Zachary, merry Christmas, everyone". Natie knew he was saying "Merry Christmas, little Natalie, merry Christmas everyone." And that, of course, made it her song.

She loved the thought that her name was in the song -- and we loved it that it pleased her. So much so, as a matter of fact, that we didn't feel we could let her know that it really wasn't her name. So every time that part of the song approached, Mark and I would go on alert and sing with John, (as loudly as possible) "Merry Christmas, little Natalie . . ." - so that she would never hear that it really was Zachary's name she was hearing, not hers. Over time, it just got to be a family tradition that we would all join in on that part of the song.

I'm not sure when she realized that it really wasn't her name -- I do remember that by the time she did, she was fine with it. But what a lovely memory -- and it's one that comes every time I hear the song.

That's one reason we made sure each of our kids and their families had their own copy of John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together. Sweet memories.

Merry Christmas, little Natalie. Merry Christmas, everyone!
**Afterthought: Anyone see the family resemblance? I see both Mason and Maya very clearly in their Mama as a child.

14 comments:

Rebecca said...

That totally takes ME down memory lane. It's fun to see pictures of how I remember things as a kid. What a cute story about Natalie's song! :)

Mel said...

Love those pictures. And I love Natalie's song. hehe

100 Percent Cottam said...

oh mama! mercy me. those are some lovely pics!

Jori said...

Awww how sweet! I think I'm going to have to buy that cd. I love that you guys sang loud so she wouldn't hear the Zachary line. I totally see the resemblance. To me she looks EXACTLY like Mason.

Emily said...

I had that Raggedy Ann doll, I had Andy too. I love looking back at past Christmas times! What a cute daughter you have!

Tiburon said...

So cute! We need to see pics of Matt and Chris too :)

Hacking it up said...

What fun Memories! And YES I can totally see those kiddos in Nats baby pics.!

Shelley said...

That is adorable. I think I had that same haircut (the bowl) when I was 4. :) Love it!

Hayley said...

i love your adorable little kids! so cute. i love the penguin stuffed animal, too. natalie has always been hilarious, it seems!

feltc said...

Great pictures, great memories. I love that the holidays are times always filled to the brim with memories. Hope you're making more good ones this year :)

hoLLy said...

she looks so much like her maya and mason both! such a cutie!

Kristi said...

Oh my word whow I love these pictures and stories! This is the best post :) It put such a smile on my face. I love you and your family Jan!!

Jenny Doan said...

I cannot believe this...I also sang Merry Christmas little Natalie to that John Denver song. WOW!

FanaticalFullers said...

They were all so cute! What a great mom you were. Fun times those holidays!