Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Bells


I love the sound of bells at Christmas - the carols played on beautiful brass bells by a handbell choir, the chiming of carols from the bell tower of an old church, the tiny jingle of little tin bells tied to shoelaces, and the rhythmic clatter of bells that hang on the harness of horses walking in side-by-side pulling a wagon.

These various sounds of bells during the Christmas season are the sounds that have marked and created some of my favorite Christmas memories. My church has a wonderful handbell choir. Although they play during services periodically throughout the year, there is something special about listening to the carols played in a candlelit church on Christmas Eve night. The same is true for the old historic church bells when they play the carols during the Christmas season. I'm not sure very many children wear shoes with laces anymore, but when I was in grade school, we were allowed to wear jingle bells on our shoelaces the last day of classes before the Christmas vacation began - that must has driven the teachers crazy! And my favorite of all of these are the bells that were on the long leather strap that hung on my grandfather's horses (Duke and Dan) when he got them decked out for the annual Christmas parade.

After my grandfather's days of having horses were long gone, my father ended up
with the bells. Every Christmas Eve, just after dark, my father began making telephone calls
to children (nieces, nephews, and neighbors), pretending to be Santa. He held the sleigh bells and jingled them occasionally as he talked, making it sound as through he (Santa) was getting the reindeer and the sleigh ready to leave the North Pole. The vision he created during those two minute telephone calls was amazing, and I'm sure mesmerizing for the children. I was a teenager, and I almost believed that Santa and his reindeer were sitting in my living room. The tradition began with one call, but the list of requested calls grew through the years.

I now have the sleigh bells and keep them draped over my piano during the Christmas season. I find that I sometimes just walk by and jingle them. The clatter of those old bells still make me smile.

Add a little 'jingle' to your holiday fun.






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13 comments:

  1. I loved this story...made me feel like I was there!

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  2. Aww! This was such a great post mom! I have those same warm feelings about grandpa's bells....they mean so much to me! Thanks for a great Christmas post! Can't wait to be home soon!

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  3. Very beautiful post... and images.

    DMV

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  4. Such a lovely post - the story of your father's Santa phone calls is priceless, such special memories for you.
    Have fabulous weekend!

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  5. What a wonderful memory. Thank you for sharing it. I had forgotten bells in the shoe laces. Happy Christmas to your family.

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  6. I loved reading that story- definitely made me smile. :) And I love sleigh bells- we actually have some hanging on our door year-round for the dogs to ring to go outside but I love the holiday ones!

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  7. Those shoes!!!! I die!....and yes, a beautiful memory as well!!

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  8. Great story Rita and I love your collection of bells! Thanks for staying in touch on my posts. Great to hear from you :) Hope your holiday planning is going well!
    Jeanne

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  9. you know = you are so right, i have never thought of that before, but bells!!!! loved this story.

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  10. Dear Rita - What a lovely story - a reminder of the true spirit of Christmas...and happy memories for you and your family...now, I wonder if I can get my hands on some of those bells with the red cord before Christmas...happy weekend....Susie x

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  11. Lovely post. I love bells too. xoxo

    SC

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  12. What a sweet story! This is a great post. I love bells on leather straps too and associate them with the Holidays. This post reminds me of the Polar Express, one of my favorite, favorite books growing up. I could hear the bells

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  13. I still have my grandmother's harness bells in my garage::).

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I hope this made you smile. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!