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Christmas Bell Ideas and Inspiration

Christmas Bells

Most of us don't think much about Christmas bells when we place them around the house and on the Christmas tree during the holiday season, as they are considered part of the décor, and are used in a multitude of ways to create a nice family atmosphere and environment to celebrate the birth of Christ.

But what we recognize as Christmas bells today, are in fact very different from what they were historically, especially before Christianity took a hold in the northern part of Europe, where the dreary winters and heavy cloud cover, along with the shorter days, resulted in pagans using bells and other noisemakers to ward off evil spirits during the night hours. Bells were a major part of that practice.

The noise from the ringing of the bells was thought to fight off demon spirits roaming the region, with the noise being unpleasant to the hearing of these evil spirits, which people believed drove them off.

This was especially used when the hunting season arrived, as it was believed these demons would snatch up their resources once the kills came in. The sound of the bells were part of the way they believed their food would be protected.

So when Christianity became a part of their lives, the use of bells as a symbolic gesture pointing to Jesus as Savior being the actual one to drive out these devils, continued to be used a the practice migrated from superstition, to a form of teaching by the church of that day.

That eventually evolved into the use of bells in the belfries of buildings where the Church met, where a bell was placed and rung in a manner that a larger number of people could hear it and be reminded of the meaning behind it.

In a sense, bells were also the text messaging of those times, with it being used to communicate certain messages to the people, including warnings, announcements, call to gather together, weddings and to bring in the new year, among other things.

Over time bells were miniaturized and became a more mobile device people could bring when going caroling during the Christmas season.

Today bells are an intricate and important part of decorating homes, businesses and certain parts of cities for Christmas.

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Christmas Bell Decorations

Using bells as a theme for part of our Christmas decorations has generated a wide variety of ideas, designs and creative ways to express that; both in homemade and commercially made bells.

People skilled in crafts such as crocheting, love to create Christmas bells for their own homes and Christmas trees, as well as making them for others.

Christmas bells can be stunningly ornate, or be included on a string of lights with accompanying music where the bells dance to the lights as the Christmas songs change from one to another.

They can be large or small, be used indoors or outdoors, and can be shaped as what we consider a bell shape, or in the case of what many people call "Jingle Bells," are round with little round objects inside that can be shaken to create noise. We'll look at both designs in this article.

Another use of Christmas bells is for people to take some that are specifically created for that purpose and use them to play the tune of Christmas songs. This goes beyond the mostly decorative purpose we're exploring in this article, yet that is part of the Christmas tradition as it relates to the use of bells.

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Silver Christmas Bell with Holly

This gorgeous image of a silver Christmas bell decorated with holly leaves and berries was just too good to not share with others.

Bells that stand on their own are usually, but not always, either of a silver or gold color. That's the case with this one, and the fantastic color and design shows why bells are such a highly sought after decoration to use at Christmas. this would look good anywhere in the home, or outside the home for that matter.

Beautiful Christmas Bell

Christmas Bell

Christmas Bell

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"I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day"

During the civil war period in the United States, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem entitled "Christmas Bells," which today includes some stanzas from the poem in the song "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day." It was written on December 25, 1864.

Although not all of the lines or words of the poem addressed the civil war directly, those that did were left out of the song. John Baptiste Calkin rearranged five of the stanzas in 1872 and also wrote the tune we know the song by today.

Here is the original poem from Longfellow in its entirety. If you know the Christmas song based upon it, you'll recognize the parts that aren't included in it today.


"Christmas Bells" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Till ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men."

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day with Suzy Bogguss & Chet Atkins

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Seeing this amazing Christmas bell wallpaper with the red bells and decorative finish reminds us of how fantastic Christmas bells can look, and how detailed they can be.

What I particularly like about this image of the Christmas bells is the red color base and the primary use of gold elements to complement the red hue. It works very well together, and the inclusion of holly, berries and the present complete the terrific looking Christmas bells.

Red Christmas Bells

Christmas Bell Wallpaper

Christmas Bell Wallpaper

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Red Tissue Christmas Bells

One of my favorite Christmas ornaments of any kind are tissue ornaments, and when you put bells and tissue together, you end up with a gorgeous looking set of red Christmas tissue bells that will look extraordinary in your home or office.

Tissue ornaments mean folding them out like an accordion, and that's part of the fun, as you get that very cool 3-dimensional and unique look from the material used to make the Christmas ornaments - bells in this case.

Christmas Bells with "Merry Christmas" Salutation

Tissue Christmas Bells

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Gold Jingle Bells

Not all bells come in the shape of what we usually think of in terms of what a traditional Christmas bell shape would be, as there are also what most people call jingle bells, which are round in shape, and include different shaped opening or holes in the bell to allow the loose object inside of the bell to ring out nicely for everyone to hear.

You can see a good, closeup example of that with the gold jingle bells below. Usually there are a number of jingle bells placed on a band of different lengths - depending on the purpose - which will then make noise when they're shaken, or in the case of those that are made for a person to wear, simply moving about in them.

Jingle Bells

Gold Jingle Bells

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All Gold Christmas Bells

Next we have an all-gold set of Christmas, with a great texture on the bell and ribbon included in the design.

I'm usually not a big fan of anything that is made up of one color, especially when it has an added accessory like the ribbon below. But the fantastic texture and look of this bell overcomes that, and would be a terrific addition to any decorative theme.

Christmas Bell Ornaments

Gold Christmas Bells

Gold Christmas Bells

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Battenberg Lace Christmas Bells

Next we have a group of white Battenberg lace Christmas bells. They look magnificent, and the solid white color is nicely complemented by the red ribbon tied on at the top of the bells.

It is a gorgeous design and they really stand out nicely. They would be a lot of fun to make and a great addition to a Christmas tree or part of the Christmas décor around the home.

Homemade White Christmas Bells

Embroidery Christmas Bells

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Christmas Bell Ornaments

From this group of Christmas bell ornaments you can see why they continue to be such a desirable and important part of decorating a Christmas tree or around the home during the Christmas holiday.

There are a large number of designs, sizes and materials to choose from for Christmas bells, and I don't I've ever found one that doesn't look great for the home.

Along with using Christmas bells for decorating, there are also a growing number of jewelry pieces made to wear and stand out for the special season.

However you decide to use them, Christmas bells are a must for part of your Christmas holiday decorating plans.

Comments

GEo aNn on December 07, 2012:

I wanna try this!:)

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 27, 2012:

This is an absolute fabulous hub! I love it and I love bells. There is nothing like being out and hearing a bell, I do think there is some magic about them. You are so right too, good will win out!

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