When I taught preschool, I started collecting bells at the local antique markets, for my classroom. Every year I would bring them out around the holidays, presenting them during a group time and then allowing the children to explore their shapes and the sounds each one made. I think I also started collecting bells because of Jeff’s Mom. Every time Jeff and I would go back east to visit with his family for the holidays, we would spend Christmas Eve at a church service with his family. His mother would give us all bells to bring to the service and we would get to ring them while singing Christmas hymns. It was (and still is) a lovely tradition in his family and so a fondness for bells was born. I have around five antique bells, all with their own unique sound and look. This week I brought them out for the first time for Ellie to explore. It was fun watching her try each one out, carrying them around and ringing them for the dogs (trying to get Linus to howl most likely). I have been keeping them out in a basket on her table for her to enjoy as well as a box of jingle bells too. We’ve been singing and ringing them to Christmas music and she has been picking them up through out the week and experimenting with the cheerful sounds they make. Bells are such a magical thing.
Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells– From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. -Edgar Allen Poe (1850)