Listen! Can you hear them? That sound, that glorious sound filling the air with beautiful melodies reminds us that the holidays are on the way. That sound reminds us that we can rejoice with family and friends, that we can be thankful for all our blessings, and that feeling we get can carry us toward a season filled with love, a renewed remembrance of God’s gift to mankind, and sustain us through the New Year with hope.
In my childhood household, we knew it was Christmastime when the sleigh bells jangled on the doors of our home. Mom would put bells on the front and back doors. Every time you would turn the knobs, the bells would announce the comings and goings of family members and visitors. They were a welcomed cheer that, as kids, we come to expect. It was a special touch that Mom always gave.
Sleigh bells bring such memories as falling snow, horses pulling sleighs, Kris Kringle and many songs. Some of you remember gliding over the cold, frozen snow in a sleigh, pulled by a horse, bells jingling with each trot. I always feel excitement at each Christmas concert when the orchestra started playing Sleigh Ride. The cracking of the whip, the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves, and the bells being shook to keep the time transported me back to another place. It still takes me back to a scene that is quiet, dark, cold and very special.
Just as the Herald Angel made the first announcement of Christ’s birth to the lowly shepherds, sleigh bells noisily announce the holidays. We anticipate the traditions, the wide-eyed wonder of the children, and of course the busyness of the holiday.
Today, take a moment to hear the sleigh bells. Hear them in the songs, in the crafts, and in the messages. I hope you will let the cherished memories that you have stored away jingle into the front of your mind, wrapping you in warmth. I also hope today will bring a happiness and great anticipation for what is yet to come as we wind down 2011.