Hark the Harry Angels Sing


Back when my all grown up with children of his own son was ‘wee little,’ as the country folk around here say, he thought we were singing about ‘Harry’ angels.      Another child assumed the angel’s name was Harold.  Perfectly understandable.   The lyrics are rather unfathomable to children.  Even for some adults. I’ve also heard of a child who mistook ‘sleep in heavenly peace’ for ‘sleep in heavenly peas,’  which makes sense with the emphasis on eating your vegetables.

Last Christmas, my then three-yr-old grandson Colin  freaked out and was hiding his toys because he was afraid Santa Claus snuck into your house on Christmas Eve and took all of your stuff.  We think this misapprehension came about as a result of watching the cartoon version of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’    Colin also didn’t like the idea of some strange dude who ‘sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake’ watching him.  Like Santa was a creepy stalker.  His weary parents in their efforts to reassure him (and get any sleep) said they would  post a note on the mailbox advising Santa to leave the goods in the driveway.   Colin accepted this but was still rather leery.

He was also really put out when told that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday and insisted ‘that’s not fair!’  When asked why, he said because Jesus gets the best birthday of all.   I’ve never heard  this take before.  But Colin is the same kid who tried to boost his one-yr-old baby sister up onto the picnic table on their deck with the ultimate aim of giving her an even higher boost onto the roof of the house so she could retrieve the action figure toy he’d flung up there.  After all, the baby couldn’t boost him up there, and his mother had warned him if he threw the toy on the roof, it was gone.  So he schemed a way but was intercepted.  Drats, foiled again.

Recently Colin was overhead singing Away in the Manger to himself with an alteration.  Instead of ‘The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay’ he subbed in ‘batman asleep in the hay.’  He loves action heroes, but this version may come as a surprise during the Children’s Christmas Program next week at church.

Also, at the top of his Christmas list is a ‘real Spiderman’ action figure who shoots out ‘real webs.’  None of that fake silly string stuff like last year.   And his little four-yr-old cousin, my granddaughter Emma, asked me some time ago for a ‘real’ baby dinosaur.   I hate to squash dreams, but pointed out the possible difficulty I foresaw in locating one.  In a dramatic gesture, she threw her hands up and said I had all the way ’til Christmas to find one–that she wasn’t expecting it right away.

Well, Christmas is almost upon us and I’m still short one newly hatched dinosaur and a Spiderman who shoots out real webs.  I suspect this request of Colin’s stems from his desire to swing from them and ‘fwy’ as he pronounces it.  An impossibility for small boys that we’ve failed to persuade him of.  He suggested his mother make him some wings so he could soar off the deck.   I think Santa needs to bring him a large net.

If you know of any real baby dinosaurs, let me know.  I haven’t given up.

28 responses to “Hark the Harry Angels Sing

  1. LOL too funny. I especially enjoyed the part about Colin and his baby sister…It was all a wonderful read. Thank you so much for the peak into your families thoughts, wishes and determination to get that action figure back…:)

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  2. Cute, Beth! I love it when traditional songs are given a childish touch!!

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  3. I burst out laughing at “Jesus has the best birthday”. Very funny! Those kids sound like real firecrackers and must keep their parents on the go! My youngest (5) asked me today if he could get diabetes from sugar when I asked if he wanted to lick the fudge spoon after I was done making it. I took it as an opportunity to tell him that we needed to eat vegetables to remain healthy. all the best for the holidays!

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  4. Caroline Clemmons

    Beth, I so envy you with your grandchildren! Neither of our daughters is married. One thing that your post reminded me of was when our youngest was only about three. Our neighborhood had been plagued with a peeping tom. By the time the police would arrive, he was long gone. One evening, our daughter ran into the kitchen to tell me that she had seen one of Santa’s elves peeking in her window and how happy she was she had been playing quietly with her toys. My husband was out of town so I called a neighbor. Her husband and another neighbor caught the peeper and then called the police. Apparently, they roughed him up and then told the police the guy “fell” while they were waiting. Sad, but thrilling for our daughter who didn’t know the bad stuff.

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  5. You are one lucky grannie for sure!

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  6. How delightful, Beth. I imagine there are not too many dull moments in your home. Loved hearing about Colin’s antics. My children never had that wonderful kind of imagination. 🙂 Good luck on finding those elusive gifts.

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    • Thanks so much, Paisley. Yes, busy busy. My oldest grandson, now seven, wanted to go on a dragon hunt last year. I signed up to go with him. Then he turned his attention to dinosaurs and crocodiles.

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  7. You gotta love kids. They say the best stuff!

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  8. What lovely fun stories Beth. I have a six year old great grandson who informed me yesterday, when ask what he wanted for Christmas, that he could use a new sword, his old one didn’t flash anymore. He has been a constant source of laughter all along though. When he was 4 he lost his first tooth. I told hime he would get a new tooth to replace it, and it would be his big boy tooth and his grown up tooth and he had to take very good care of his new teeth as they had to last a long long time. He flipped his hand up and said,”Hello? I took care of this one and look what happened!” They are such a joy and so much fun! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  9. Man, a baby dinosaur just passed through our yard last week. Maybe he’s headed your way! Love the cover of Somewhere The Bells Ring!

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  10. How precious, Beth! I’m still laughing at the thought of Santa as a creepy stalker. You know, when you think about it . . . LOL

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  11. Those kids sound like a hoot. I had to giggle on those tales. Kids are so honest and always make the funniest gestures. Just like little grown ups. LOL.
    Sue B

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  12. Sweet post, Beth, and the comments made me laugh as well – Still chuckling over the tooth. At four years old, my oldest, Jared, called out to a favorite neighbor who was heading to his car. “Hey, Fred, where ya going?” Fred answered, “I’m going crazy, want to come?” Jared headed for our front door, calling over his shoulder, “Yeah, let me get my shoes!” Gotta love those sweet memories. Thanks for the smile.

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  13. This reminded me of the story of the kids who drew a fat man, a woman and a baby in a manger, “Round John Virgin, mother, and child”” and an airplane for the flight to Egypt.

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  14. Love these moments! When my oldest dd was five she loved playing on the cross bars on the play set. Her younger-by-two-years sister wanted to climb, too. I heard dd #1 tell dd#2, “Climb up and try it. I’ll catch you.” Before I could reach the bars dd#2 sat on the ground with a sprained ankle while dd#1 stood by. Her defense for NOT catching her sister as promised? “I didn’t want her to fall on me!”

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