The Bells Have Spoken


At precisely 6:45 p.m. on November 12, 2011, the Christmas season officially arrived in my home. I heard the Hershey kisses bells ring in the season with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and I broke out into a huge grin. I love this commercial!! It’s so cute!  I look forward to it every year and I fully intend on seeing it at least fifty times before Christmas actually comes.

The timing couldn’t have been better.  Earlier that day, I did my first round of Christmas shopping. I’m keeping things pretty simple this year as I do most years.  I love the holidays, but hate the hoopla so I tend to buy a few small gifts for those I love.  Like most things in my life, the gifts I give have to mean something or it feels like a lost cause.  I’d rather spend $10 on a gift that speaks personally to someone than spend $100 on something that will be obsolete in five minutes.

My husband and I always host the family Christmas party at our house on Christmas Eve.  After the bells sang, we started planning the games and food.  It’s tradition to play Christmas Bingo combined with a gift swap, open Christmas poppers, and hide the Christmas pickle, but this year we decided to add holiday Mad Libs.  For food, I’m going to make fudge and Hershey kisses peanut butter blossoms (of course!) and my husband is going to make a couple batches of Shepherd’s pie for everyone.  He’s been perfecting his recipe all year! It’s far from a traditional feast, but we like to break the rules.

Starting next week, the Christmas playlist on my iPod is going to get overhauled with new music. Yes, I’m one of those people that loves Christmas music, but I am careful not to annoy other people with it.  Ah, the miracle of personal music players! I can’t wait for Burl Ives, Josh Groban, and Narada to wrap me in holiday bliss.

I don’t need a mall, sales, or shiny wrapping paper to get me in the mood.  Just some ringing chocolate bells and the warmth of the season fills me with cheer.

When do you embrace the holidays?  (Or are you a Grinch?  That’s okay, too!)

c.b. 2011


22 thoughts on “The Bells Have Spoken

  1. Leila

    I tend to be a bit simplistic in my holiday celebrating. I’m okay with being minimal. BUT, I do like the music and the fellowship that the season brings. We go over to my brother’s on Christmas Eve and watch their little pageant and open family gifts. There is lots of food, lots and lots of food. This year, I’m perfecting my chocolate truffles. 🙂


  2. Oh dear, I haven’t even begun to think of Christmas. I’m usually scrambling toward the end even though I sometimes make an early start by picking up a few Christmas gifts. I’m not so good when it comes to decorating the Christmas tree. I usually leave that up to my kids when they get home for Christmas. I’m not a Grinch, it just takes me awhile to feel in the Christmas mood.


    • A couple of years ago, we put wooden floors in the house a week before Christmas. We put everything off until it was done, which meant we had to decorate, shop, and get the house ready for our family gathering in two days! Ahhh!! Despite the shortened season, it was one of the most fun and memorable. No matter the length we choose to keep it, Christmas is always very special. 🙂


  3. My sister bought me a pickle yesterday and she thought that I woulnd’t know what it is, but I did because of you. Our tradition, sort of, is to bring out all the Christmas DVDs and watch them one by one like the 12 days of Christmas. I don’t like shopping at all because I never know what to buy and end up purchasing dumb stuff. I like to buy things and give things throughout the year as I find them. Too bad I don’t have the patience to hold on to them for holidays and birthdays.

    I feel that it’s a bit too early yet. Everyone always skips over Thanksgiving. I was walking on my lunch hour BEFORE HALLOWEEN, and one of the 4 mini parks downtown was already being decorated. And the day after Halloween, our Oldies radio station switched to 24 hour Christmas music. Too early. That being said… the City tree lighting is this Thursday so I too can say it has begun.


    • I decided a long time ago that Thanksgiving is pretty much part of Christmas. It’s the like a practice drill . . . we eat, hang out with family, and decorate the house. All that’s left to do is trade the acorns for pine cones and the pumpkin for a tree!


  4. Great post, that’s the spirit. 😉 I tend to be like you, I enjoy Christmas, but it’s the family, friends and food that make it so. Few gifts, but those are special for special people, otherwise my gift is my time and the pleasure I get in the company of friends and family. I don’t a tree up on the boat, but I hang Christmas stockings for myself and the two cats. I usually anchor in San Diego Bay when the have the Boat Parade of Lights, it’s beautiful.
    Oh, and I LOVE Shepard’s Pie, I must learn to make that sometime.


    • We think so! But I don’t know what my turkey-loving family will think! 🙂 My husband makes a great Shepherd’s Pie so we think it’ll warm them over!

      We may throw the party every year, but we are careful about making sure it stays simple and about family. That’s what is all about! 🙂


  5. I’m the Grinch. I hate the shopping, the music (I only like the barking dogs, Burl Ives and Elvis) and all the chaos. I’m trying to make most of my gifts this year. Our kids and grandkids may be coming for the holiday so that may all change when I start getting ready for them. lol


    • Those grandkids might just turn your Christmas into your favorite time of year! 🙂 Grinch or no Grinch, there’s nothing like watching the little ones open gifts and dig into stockings.

      p.s. What about the meowing cats? 😉


  6. I’m a Grinch. Holidays exhaust me, thanks to my job. I will put my table top Christmas tree up, plug it in and wha-la! Done. I didn’t used to be that way, I guess it’s just not the same when children grow up and leave the house.


  7. I am fanatical about Christmas, but I have a strict rule to wait until after Thanksgiving before listening to any music, doing any decorating, etc. I suppose you can’t help when you see commercials though. 🙂


  8. I will take your comments, C.B., as an inspiration this year to get into the ‘mood’. It is difficult when the children aren’t here, but I will try to do the decorations, baking, etc., for the child in me.
    Thanks for the post.


  9. I am so with you! I love that commercial and the ‘holidays’ start for me in September and October with the Jewish New Year and Halloween. I feel the warmth of all of the fall holidays wrapped into one. I love Thanksgiving, (especially now that it’s at my daghter’s and her husband’s every year) and I love the coming together of Hannukah, my husband’s birthday and Christmas all melding together in December. It’s the family togetherness that toasts my tootsies and gives me a different kind of joy than the rest of the year. And I love the food, turkey again for Christmas, crab legs and steak and shrimp for Christmas eve, matzo ball soup and chicken for Hannukah as the latkes are too greasy for old digestive systems. So when I say Happy Holidays, I really mean Happy Holidays! (think I’ll go get my Clay Aiken Christmas cd out).


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