Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Twelve Words of Christmas - Jingle Bells Rock by Camilla Isley


by Camilla Isley

Hands wrapped in warm gloves, heavy coat on, scarf, furry hat. Walking down the street. Boots making crunchy sounds on the dusty snow. Inhale, sugar and cinnamon. Lift gaze, a blast of lights hung across the lane. Pause. Listen, the air seems to be tinkling. No doubts, it’s finally that time of the year.

Christmas has always been my favorite holyday; its warm beauty is not just visual but a five-sense experience. Christmas is seen, as entire cities seem to become gift-wrapped all at once. Smelled, the cold air, the snow, the juniper of wreaths, and the spice of burning logs in the fireplace. Touched, when a pie is kneaded, decorations hung, a gift wrapped or torn open. However, my favorite is the sound of Christmas. Throughout the month of December and even before, Christmas songs seems to be rolling out of every street, shop, car, and house. And what makes for a Christmas song if not the crispy tingle of bells in the music. Bells are one of the biggest Christmas traditions, but how did they come to be?

In ancient times, bells were used to chase away evil spirits and daemons of the night. Their clinking was believed to have the magical power of cleansing the air of supernatural energies weakening the strength of all creatures not of this world and thus scaring them away, regardless if they were specters of darkness or harmless fairies. In modern times, the sound of bells transformed to one of merriment. In churches, bells are often used to announce happy events: newlyweds, a newborn, the new year, and on Christmas Eve they are the first to declare Christmas has arrived as they play their melodies at the stroke of midnight. However, the tradition of ringing bells in churches in the dead of Christmas night started because it was believed that their chimes on this particular night were able to bring back a lost ship to its fold. Walking the usually deserted streets of a small town in Europe at midnight on Christmas Eve is a unique experience. As the sound of churches bells fills the night, the snowy cities suddenly become alive as torrents of people walking out of the midnight mass flood the streets to share the firsts of many Christmas greetings.

I find the sound of bells both beautiful and heartwarming. Every Christmas, the first decoration I put on my house is a metallic festoon made of small bells that I hang outside on my door. At night, while a read a book standing next to the fireplace wrapped up in a warm blanket I can hear them tingle outside as the night breeze brushes through them, and they make me feel safe, protected. So maybe I have to believe that bells hold the magical power of warding off the spirits… and if not, they still make for a great tradition. It wouldn’t be the same without the jingle of bells in the air and they surely rock my Christmas.

To end in music, these are my favorite Christmas songs:

Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You

Bing Crosby - Silver Bells

Frank Sinatra - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Dean Martin - Let it Snow!

Christmas Carol - We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby

Bing Crosby - White Christmas

Frank Sinatra - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


Here is your chance to win three ecopies of I Wish For You by Camilla Isley

Camilla on Twitter:  @camillaisley


  1. O come all ye faithful for a carol/hymn, and don't they know it's Christmas for a pop song! Wonderful giveaway :) xx