Ring in the Holidays with Christmas Bells
Have you ever considered where the tradition of ringing bells for the holidays originated? From the bells on Santa’s reindeer to tolling church bells and songs such as “Jingle Bells” and “Silver Bells”, they are a large part of the Christmas season.
The early use of bells dates to the pagans. The fall and winter nights were long and people believed that evil spirits wandered the earth wreaking havoc and causing harm. The sounds made by the bells were believed to ward off these evil spirits and protect those nearby from harm.
In addition, the bells were rung by churches to announce numerous things from deaths to celebrations. Many churches have bell towers or belfries that contain a bell. The ringing of bells today is associated with joy rather than as a deterrent to evil spirits. Children listen raptly as tales of the jingling of Santa’s reindeer traveling across the sky on Christmas Eve are told.
Salvation Army bell ringers with their signature red kettles gather in the areas where people are shopping to help the needy during the holiday of giving. Small bells adorn Christmas trees, wreaths and garland. Wrapping paper and Christmas cards contain bells. Bells that play Christmas music can be found and miniature bells are often used for embellishing bows and ribbon on gifts.
The use of bells as musical instruments was due to their being inexpensive and easy to make. They were taken along when people went Christmas caroling and were also used in church. Bells are an integral part of history. Tolling church bells on Christmas Day are a reminder to many of the birth of Christ.
Bells provide a beautiful musical sound and throughout the years they have been used for this purpose as well as for celebrating special occasions. Bells remind us of happy times and their jingling during the Christmas season is one more way we celebrate this very special day.