When do you officially feel like the Christmas season has started? Is it when you get the tree set up and decorated? As soon as the first batch of Christmas cookies are in the oven? As you are reading the first devotion of Advent with your family?
For me, Christmas officially begins when I take my grandmother's Christmas bells out of their special cabinet and place them around the house. I love to give each little bell a gentle jingle and listen to the sweet tinkle each one makes. It so reminds me of my childhood Christmases at Grammie's house.
Grammie would always ring a special silver bell on Christmas morning to wake us up. We were convinced that it was Santa's sleigh bells.
When I was in graduate school and doing my fellowship, I lived with my grandma for a semester. We had so much fun together being room mates. I told her how special she always made Christmas and how I loved her bells. One night, right before I had to go back up to school, Grammie gave me a beautiful red box. Inside the box was a silver jingle bell just like the one that she had so sweetly rang each Christmas past. It was and still is one of my most treasured possessions.
Not long after Grammie gave me the bell, she went home to be with Jesus. Her legacy lives on though in so many ways. Each of her children and grandchildren have a little tinkle of Grammie in their hearts.
And in keeping up the family tradition and honoring Grammie, each Christmas morning our monkeys are roused out of bed by the jingle and tinkle of that very special silver bell. They think that it is Santa. I know that it is Gramdma...