Ring a Bell on Christmas Eve and Join the Global Symphony
The coronavirus pandemic may keep loved ones apart this holiday season, but Mary Beggs-Reid from Harrogate, North Yorkshire hopes to bring loved ones together through a simple feat — ringing a bell.
“On Christmas Eve at 6pm (your time) we are asking everyone to come outside and ring a bell for 2 mins to spread Christmas spirit and to help Santa fly that sleigh,” writes Mary.
What started as a little idea for Mary’s Harrogate Community in the UK began to gain momentum. Mary “thought a Facebook group would be a good idea for all communities to join in.” It was back in October that Mary had the idea for bell ringing and well . . . the idea has snowballed. As of this writing, a week before Christmas, her Worldwide Christmas Eve Jingle Group has over 430,000 members on Facebook.
The Christmas Jingle is a simple idea that started with one woman, Mary, but has continued to grow around the world. On Christmas Eve, at 6 p.m. local time, families will stand on their front steps and simply ring a bell. Organizers are hoping that the sounds on that still winter night will travel all the way to the North Pole to help guide Santa on his way. But more than that, the sound will lift the hearts of those near and far who are doing their best to keep the Christmas spirit alive in these very challenging times.
In Northern Vancouver, a whole community has rallied around the idea. They are not only ringing bells but joining also in song. They’re bringing a playlist, their bluetooth, and a sound system to their block.
“It’s a neighborhood choir that is following all the rules of social distancing,” said Laurel Gurnsey (pictured above) , adding that she’s hoping it will bring a sense of comfort and community to people who may not be able to celebrate with their families this Christmas. “If they’re singing with the block, if they’re ringing bells with the block, they’re not going to be alone, which is kind of a neat feeling.”
The Christmas carol playlist, which will be boosted with the help of songs playing on a bluetooth speaker, will start with O Holy Night. It’s a song that suits the occasion. “It has a line in it,” says Laurel ‘the weary world rejoices.’ We figured that was perfect.”
While the bells and carols will spread goodwill throughout their neighborhood, the campaign is a powerful reminder that people around the globe are fighting the same fight, said Gurnsey, adding that she personally has friends in Australia, Italy, England and the United States who will be doing the exact same thing at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
“It’s the best kind of viral — it’s not the scary kind at all,” said Gurnsey with a laugh. “We’re thinking at night, when there isn’t a lot of traffic noise, the sound of the carols is just going to spread in the night air.”
Well, I’m from Southbridge, Massachusetts, and I am going to make sure my brother and I participate at 6 pm EST time. We are blessed with a great farm porch from which to ring and sing (if I can convince him). I took this photo yesterday (12.17) during that brutal snowstorm.
The Worldwide Christmas Jingle is a great symbol of hope and unity. It reminds me of that iconic moment at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, when the Grinch having stolen everything from the town of Whoville, including all the gifts, puddings and trees, is awakened to the hope of singing. It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags . . .
This year, the pandemic has been our Grinch. It has caused tremendous loss and suffering. But, it won’t keep us down forever. That’s the message of this global feat.
After a tough year,” writes Mary Beggs-Reid , “ it would be an amazing memory for the kids and communities. End 2020 with a bit of magic, hope and togetherness!”