Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Past: The Tale of the Bells

There are those family legends that everyone tells, even those who may not remember the actual event. I was too young at the time to really remember what happened. Still, the bells and how they came to be is part of the fabric of my Christmas. I tell the story to my children as if I do remember.

Late one Christmas Eve in Texas, my sisters and I were sound asleep waiting for Santa to come. We'd been told that Santa only comes when children are sleeping so Tiana and I wasted no time getting to bed. Katie was an infant at the time, Tiana was a serious preschooler, and I was a difficult toddler.

Tiana and I woke to the sound of jingling bells. We lay there, eyes screwed shut lest Santa think we were awake. Then we heard my father shout, "Santa! Santa! You forgot your bells!" We rushed into the living room, where my father was standing in the open door. He had his eyes on the sky and in his hand was a long red velvet ribbon with jingle bells sewn to it at regular intervals. Tiana pressed past Dad and caught a glimpse of the sleigh in the night sky. Mom called us back in and said that we'd save the bells for Santa to pick up next year. We hung them on the wall, looked longingly at the presents, and went back to bed.

The next year, we hung the bells on the wall again for Santa to find. He never did take his bells back. We figured that he had just made another ribbon during the summer. The ribbon is still hung near the door of my parents' house every year. We girls insist on it. Tiana is still sure she saw something or someone flying through the sky on that Christmas Eve.


Katie Alender said...

I'm sure Santa's elves made him a new one right away... hopefully he won't be so careless in the future!

Christy said...

I often wonder if he does occasionally drop things from his sleigh in other homes. I mean, there's a LOT jammed into that sleigh, you know? It's not surprising that bells fall off now and then.

Jen said...

I think he left it there on purpose. I mean Santa has all year to completely refurbish his sled. Why shouldn't he leave pieces here and there? Besides I'm sure those reindeer get tired as the night wears on. Getting rid of any excess weight is probably appreciated.

Mary Witzl said...

We always left cookies and 7-Up out for Santa Claus, and although he always had a nibble of the cookies, we couldn't help but notice that sometimes he didn't drink his 7-up. Good thing, too, given how many things he must have had to drink, and him stuck up in his sleigh half the time.

The bells story is nice, and what fun your father must have had telling it.