The delightful light ringing sound of Christmas bells spark joy in our hearts, connecting us with others in the moment, regardless of our similarities or differences, as well as with our past, and our future. Bells often lead us to a better place, and signal our arrival.
Can you visualize the look on your child’s face when they begin to make music with bells? There it is… the sound itself brings joy.
Bells for hundreds of years have served many purposes. Bells call people to worship and prayer. Bells are sounded as warnings and alarms. Ringing bouy bells pierce through the darkness to beckon ships to safe harbors. Bells peal joyfully to celebrate birth and new life, the joining of two hearts in marriage, and in recognition of our passage after death.
Bells ring throughout Christmas to announce the arrival of the season… to proclaim and celebrate the birth of Christ. It is the sound of a gift, a gift of love.
I loved this historical perspective from the website, www.HolidayInsights.com
“Ringing of bells can be traced back to pagan winter celebrations. During those times, noisemakers were used to scare away evil spirits in the night. Among those early noisemakers were bells. People had fun ringing the bells and making noise. It was too much fun to just use bells to scare demons away. So over time, bell ringing was incorporated into other events and activities. Bells are rung at churches to call people to gather, as warnings, and to bring people together to make announcements.
From these ancient roots, the ringing of bells began to be used in the Christian Christmas season. The soft, cheerful tones blended well and enhanced the sounds of the season. Today, they play an important, traditional role during the holiday.”
Carolers soon began bringing bells to accompany their voices, both hand bells and jingle bells were used. It became such a tradition, a song was written about it. In this video, Nat King Cole sings a smooth-as-butter version of “ Caroling Caroling (Christmas Bells are Ringing)”.
In the classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, a ringing bell is associated with an angel earning his wings – sharing the idea that it is a celebration of personal growth. It is a tradition in our family to watch this movie every year, with the story of resilience, that no matter how tough a situation is, when you have the right attitude and your heart in the right place, you can make your little part of the world a better place and get through tough times together.
You might incorporate that idea by having a special bell in your home that is rung whenever anyone in the family achieves personal growth. This kind of recognition builds in a child’s heart their own stories of emotional strength… of their ability to overcome challenges and find a path forward and a way to make it right.
Here in our midst, as well as around the world, there are many who struggle every day. The bells they hear at Christmas, calling them to a place of respite, brings them hope, in Christ, and in some much needed help from those who can give. Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote a song “Bells Are Ringing” to help draw our attention to those in need. It is a beautiful song, and a touching video.
When you hear the bells of the Salvation Army, keep in mind that each of those people ringing the bells are giving of their time to be there. Even if you cannot donate each time, Give them a smile and acknowledge their gift of love to be ringing that bell in this moment. Give even a little when you can and know that records show that the folks at the Salvation Army make sure these funds get to where they are needed most to people in our own communities, and that the money raised is as important NOW as it has ever been.
How would your child like to be the one to ring the bell? Sign up! Your child will be so PROUD to make some noise for a good cause.
This article, Lakeland Gives Back: The Salvation Army of Lakeland and West Polk County, from the Lakeland Mom, shares the contact information to volunteer for bell ringing, as well as many other ways families can share in the spirit of giving to those in need during our holiday season.
Let the sound of the Christmas bells ring in your heart as the sound of celebration, the sound of hope, … the sound of pure love.
Please share your comments about your favorite songs about Christmas bells, and/or stories of how bells have been the sound of celebration, the sound of hope, and/or the sound of pure love for you?
You may be interested in some of our other articles about bells:
Over the River and Through the Woods features fun with bell horses