A Surprise Hanging on the Door Knob
A fun Holiday tradition - Jingle Your Neighbor
One evening in December you may hear someone knock at your door or ring your doorbell. If you open the door and find there is no one there you may want to investigate further. Look carefully and you may discover a package of holiday goodies and a message indicating, "You've been Jingled!" or "You've Been Elfed"
If you've been Jingled, it means you have a secret friend in your neighborhood. Enjoy your holiday treats and the fun of trying to solve the mystery of who Jingled you. This game is similar to the old tradition of leaving someone May Day flowers or the Secret Santa game, but with a twist. As the recipient of a "Jingle" or "Elf" you have also been invited to participate in the game by Jingling other neighbors who have not yet been Jingled.
If you've never been Jingled, why not start the tradition in your neighborhood? Starting a chain reaction of the "You've Been Jingled" or "You've Been Elfed" game is fun and easy. It helps to strengthen neighborhood ties and makes a great family project for adults and kids to work on together. Your "Jingle" can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Just follow the easy steps below to participate in this fun Christmas tradition.
(All photos by Vicki Green - PNW Travels unless otherwise credited)
Post the "Been Jingled" Sign for All to See
We've Been Jingled
Now what do we do?
If you've been jingled, the first thing to do is put the sign on your door or in a prominent window to let everyone know that "We've Been Jingled". Then, if you'd like to participate and continue the game, quickly put together a bag of goodies and Jingle (or Elf) two of your neighbors who have not yet been jingled!
Whether you've just been Jingled yourself, or if you want to be the one to start the game in your neighborhood, the process is the same:
1. Select 2 "victims" in your neighborhood that you will "Jingle" (either individuals or the entire family)
2. Make a list of what goodies you will include for each victim
3. Buy or make your goodies
4. Buy, make or recycle containers large enough for your jingle treats
5. Create or copy a "Jingle Poem" of your choice and a "We've Been Jingled Sign" to include in each jingle
6. Deliver your Jingle to your neighbors after dark when no one is looking! Leave your package on the doorknob or porch, ring the doorbell or knock on the door, run and hide! (This is usually the part the kids love most)
7. Watch as the "We've Been Jingled" signs multiply and appear on doors and windows through the neighborhood
It's Time to Jingle Your Neighbor!
December 1st - a great day to begin!
Normally the game is started anytime after Thanksgiving - usually December 1st or sometime in the first week of December - but any time in December is a good time to start elfing your neighbor.
Whether you've been Jingled yourself, or are starting the tradition in your neighborhood, select your "victims" and start thinking of some ideas for what you want to include as goodies. Remember that the fun of the game is mainly the element of surprise and mystery, so your treats can be simple and inexpensive.
Pick a Festive Bag for Your "Jingle"
Finding or making a bag for your goodies can be part of the fun! Involve your children by letting them paint or use crayons to decorate a plain brown paper bag or use a colored bag and glue clip art on the front. If you don't have a bag with a handle, you can use a hole punch to make holes at the top of a bag and use ribbon or string to make the handles. If you don't have the time or inclination to be creative there are some really fun bags that look like elf or Santa pants.
You've Been Elfed Gift Ideas
After selecting your bag, fill it with some things you know are particular favorites of your "victims". Here are some ideas:
Small Holiday Decorations
Hot Cocoa Packages
Wrapped Cookies and Snacks
A votive candle and votive holder in a Christmas scent
Small sample packages of hand lotion
Holiday Window Clings and Decorations
Treats for the family pets
Homemade edible goodies may not be a good idea, especially if this is a new tradition in your neighborhood. Since the idea is to keep the identity of the person or family who left the treats a secret, some people may be reluctant to eat homemade goodies from an unknown source.
Lip Balm in Festive Seasonal Packages
Lip balm and Hand Lotion
Lip balm in holiday flavors and seasonal packaging or small sample-size hand lotion are some other thoughtful gifts that will be appreciated.
A Votive Candle in a Christmas Scent
Christmas Scented Votive Candles
Include a holiday scented candle in your bag of surprises
Candles have long been associated with Christmas, so a votive candle in a holiday fragrance in an inexpensive votive holder would make a great Jingle treat for a neighbor. Here is a list of some popular Christmas candle scents:
Home For Christmas
More You've Been Elfed Gift Ideas
Hot Cocoa For Cold Nights
Jingle Treats For the Dog and Cat
Don't forget to include the family pets
It is always thoughtful to include a beloved family pet in your Jingle gifts. Heatlhy, natural treats will be appreciated.
Individual packages of warm beverages like hot cocoa or apple cider are great fillers for your gift bag that will be appreciated on cold winter nights.
Make Your Own Graphics with Clip Art
Several versions or make up your own!
There are several versions of a poem that can be used. Some say "You've been Jingled" and some say "You've been Elfed". No one seems to know who originated the game. There are several different versions of poems that can be found online or you can make-up your own poem. They all go something like this:
You've Been Jingled!
The Christmas Elf is jingling around.
Ringing the bells of the homes he has found.
Leaving some goodies for a happier season.
Continue this jingling, you have a good reason.
First, post this Elf near your front door.
Do it soon or you may get some more!
This will let the other Elves know of your visit.
Be sure to participate, you don't want to miss it!
Second, make two goodies & two copies
Deliver them to two neighbors and try to stay calm.
Jingling the doorbell, its certainly fun,
To act like an Elf and then Run, Run, Run!
You only have one day to act, so begin.
Leave it at a door where the Elf hasn't been.
Deliver when the time is just right.
Ring the doorbell and stay out of sight!
The Jingling Elf wants to bring everyone joy
Visiting the homes of every good girl and boy
This is all in good fun and we all we are trying to say,
Is have a Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday!
Start a "You've Been Elfed" Game at Work
Start Some Holiday Fun at the Office
You can also add to the holiday fun by starting a Jingle at work. The rules are the same, but instead of leaving a package on the door and ringing the doorbell, you can simply leave a holiday treat on a
co-workers desk or mail box with the jingle poem and sign. Instead of a "We've been jingled" sign, make it an "I've Been Jingled" (or Elfed) sign and depending on the situation the sign can be taped to a desk, outside of an office, attached to a cubicle or mail box.
Free "You've Been Jingled" Poems and Signs
I've included a link to a website below which features free poems and signs with nice graphics that you can print off on your computer to start your own "You've Been Elfed" game!
Website with Free You've Been Jingled Poem and Art
- You've Been Jingled - Print the Jingle Elf Poem - Christmas
This is a website where you can download and print the Jingle Elf Poem and "We've Been Jingled" sign or you can make your own with free clip art.
© 2010 Vicki Green
Your comments are welcome - Please share your "jingled" stories
Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on September 09, 2019:
What wonderful ideas. We did this the last year I was teaching and everyone had a terrific time. I highly recommend any group to set it up and have some fun.
PoetikalyAnointed on December 21, 2018:
This is so cool and a great way to get to know your neighbors.
I can only imagine how fun it is, especially for the kids. lol
Joyce edwards on October 03, 2018:
What a fun idea...Thanks
Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on September 10, 2018:
We did this the last year I was teaching. It was great fun. It's a wonderful idea to do at a work place. Great ideas for the gifts.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 28, 2017:
Never have been jingled...well at least not by this name...I have had secret Santa's drop things off and not let me know who they are. This sounds like fun...will share with my friends and family.
Angels are on the way to you this evening ps
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 08, 2014:
That is too cute...much prefer it to Secret Santa as you can remain anonymous. It is fun to me to give without someone knowing who gave the little treats.
Pinned and shared
Angels are on the way
Voted up up and away
Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on November 29, 2014:
This is such a fun idea! Sadly, I don't have any neighbors nearby. And they would notice if I drove up to their house after dark. It's a great idea though! I love making and giving goodie bags!
sue on November 04, 2014:
This sounds like fun. I'm a bus driver and I'm going to start this for the Bus drivers to do this year! Should be a lot of fun!
Fay Favored from USA on September 08, 2014:
Glad to see you here. This is one of my favorite things to do at Christmas.
marsha32 on December 26, 2013:
How fun! Even more fun that May baskets of flowers.
Angela F from Seattle, WA on December 22, 2013:
What a fun way to interact with neighbors.
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on December 17, 2013:
I think Jingling someone during the holidays is an amazing thing to do. I love this idea. Best wishes for a very Merry holiday season to you and yours.
Vicki Green (author) from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on December 10, 2013:
@favored: That is great - so happy if this page gave you some ideas.
Fay Favored from USA on December 09, 2013:
After I read this last year I did it. Looking forward to giving a jingle gift again this year.
rtaustin on December 06, 2013:
Our Family loves this! We found a site that had lots of fun Christmas characters - Rudolph, Santa, Frosty, etc, etc. We got the "Mystery Sneak" one - which is way cute. BeenJingled.Net
Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on November 27, 2013:
This is such a great and simple idea.
Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on November 26, 2013:
What a great idea! I love discovering fun ways to build community spirit.
L Olson from Northern Arizona on November 06, 2013:
What a great idea!
MaryMitchell on November 04, 2013:
Soon be Christmas again already - where has the year gone! This sounds like a great way to to meet the neighbors and spread some joy at Christmas.
Fay Favored from USA on December 23, 2012:
I'm so glad I found this again. I'm doing this tomorrow. Thanks for this idea.
anonymous on December 23, 2012:
What a wonderful way to spread some good will and Christmas cheer!
reasonablerobby on December 22, 2012:
What a brilliant idea. A great way to bring the community together at Xmas
Scraps2treasures on December 12, 2012:
What a fun idea! I bet my kids would enjoy "jingling" the neighbors. Blessed.
MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose from Washington State on December 12, 2012:
What a joyous lens, this is the one I picked for the most joy to me this season! What a wonderful tradition to start. Thanks for a beautiful lens.
LaurenIM on December 12, 2012:
OK this is hilarious! I want to start one. I know just who to do this to!
anonymous on December 11, 2012:
sounds like fun but hard to do here as only 3 people in the street.
VspaBotanicals on December 11, 2012:
Very clever. Great lens.
anonymous on December 11, 2012:
First time I've heard of this. Neat idea!
KandH on December 11, 2012:
Sounds like a terrific idea - thanks for sharing!
Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on December 10, 2012:
What a wonderful tradition! Thanks so much for sharing!
IMKZRNU2 from Pacific Northwest on December 07, 2012:
What a fun tradition to start! Thanks for sharing.
cjbmeb14 lm on December 06, 2012:
Never heard of this before, great lens.
anonymous on December 06, 2012:
Very exciting lens.
scribenet lm on December 05, 2012:
Never heard of this, but it is quite charming. Think I will jingle some of my friends...who I normally do not exchange gifts with! :)
Giovanna from UK on December 04, 2012:
I'm going to do this. We don't have this in the UK -at least I've never heard of it anyway. So now I'm hooked! Merry Christmas. Nice Lens BTW
victoriahaneveer on November 30, 2012:
What a lovely idea!
Fay Favored from USA on November 28, 2012:
I love this idea and came from your blog page to visit it again. Glad I did, because I noticed the blessing didn't take.
Kay on November 27, 2012:
Never been jingled but I think this sounds fun. Blessed!
loveanime22 on November 27, 2012:
great ideas thanks for sharing
rawwwwwws lm on November 26, 2012:
BarbaraCasey on November 24, 2012:
Love learning about fun ideas like this. Wonderful lens.
siobhanryan on November 23, 2012:
Blessed-I never heard of this tradition but it is a great idea
Vikki from US on November 23, 2012:
Such a cool idea!
anonymous on November 21, 2012:
anonymous on November 21, 2012:
Canvas-Art-Shop on November 21, 2012:
I've never heard of this before but I might have to start doing it myself!
Thamisgith on November 19, 2012:
What a great idea - and what a great lens. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.
Donnette Davis from South Africa on October 31, 2012:
Hahaa i LOVE this game! What a wonderful and festive way to bring the neighborhood together.
dotcomdiva on October 18, 2012:
OMG! This is even cuter than "Boo Your Neighbor"!
EdmondHoggeJr on October 14, 2012:
LOL no can't say I've been jigled but I will try anything once liked and tweeted!
Darla Dixon on September 25, 2012:
I just nominated your lens for Lens of the Day. Hope you win it.
Jen from Canada on September 24, 2012:
I have never been jingled before but it sounds like lots of fun:)
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 19, 2012:
This would really be a pleasant surprise. Just love the idea of being jingled or jingling my friends.
fullofshoes on September 13, 2012:
What an awesome idea. Never heard of this tradition until now but we just might give it a try. ~blessed~
MintySea on September 05, 2012:
Cara on September 03, 2012:
This is a wonderful idea. I love it.
Carol Goss on September 01, 2012:
Such a wonderful idea and so cute. Blessed :)
KimGiancaterino on August 30, 2012:
What a great idea. I'm going to jingle my neighbor this year.
Fay Favored from USA on August 22, 2012:
A fun game to play for any holiday really. Community spirit sure needs a pick-me-up.
miaponzo on January 29, 2012:
I've never heard of this before :)
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on January 29, 2012:
What a merry little Christmas game to play. At first I thought that your lens was on random acts of kindness but quickly caught on to the Jingle game. Very cute holiday idea actually for any season.
gottaloveit2 on December 27, 2011:
This is an adorable idea - never heard of it but it's *blassed* so others may see it.
Frischy from Kentucky, USA on December 14, 2011:
Fun idea! I would love to do this in my neighborhood. I think there is still time. **blessed**
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on December 13, 2011:
This is a wonderful idea and act of good cheer. I love it! Thanks for sharing this joyful fun so we can all spread the holiday spirit. *Blessed*
ladykida on December 12, 2011:
This ought to be a wonderfully fun activity for my son and I......thanks for such an inspiration!
iWriteaLot on December 11, 2011:
This sounds like so much fun! I remember doing something like this on May Day back when I was just a little kid. I already know who I'm going to Jingle, too! I'm going to get my neighbor across the street because she's always so grumpy, and I'm going to get my next door neighbor because she seems lonely - especially during the holidays. Thanks for a wonderful idea. Blessing this lens!
Lemming13 on December 10, 2011:
WriterJanis2 on November 14, 2011:
What a fun idea! I have never heard of this before. Hmm.............this gives me some ideas.
Mona from Iowa on November 13, 2011:
What a delightful idea. I remember May day baskets but this could be even more fun.
fugeecat lm on November 11, 2011:
What a fun idea!
Rose Jones on November 10, 2011:
I love this! When I was a little girl I would give out May Day baskets, but I have never heard of this.
pawpaw911 on October 31, 2011:
Sounds like a pretty neat thing to try. Thanks for sharing the tradition.
squid-pinkchic18 on February 18, 2011:
What an awesome idea! I absolutely love this. It's a great way to spread Christmas cheer and also celebrate with your neighborhood - I'll be sure to try starting this next Christmas. Wonderful lens, blessed by a Squid Angel :)
JeffreyTymczak LM on December 28, 2010:
Clever Lens...very clever. ;D
Robert T Gasperson from South Carolina on December 25, 2010:
KDimmick on December 25, 2010:
You've been jingled! Happy Christmas! Blessed by an angel :)
poutine on December 25, 2010:
Never heard of this one before either.
Sound like fun.
javr from British Columbia, Canada on December 22, 2010:
I never knew about it but it sounds great. This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.
Patricia on December 21, 2010:
I have never heard of this. Sounds fun!
anonymous on December 21, 2010:
Not only is this a wonderful idea (that I've never heard of before) but it is also a most beautifully put-together lens! Absolutely top class in SO many ways - thank you for the pleasure of viewing it! :-))
ohcaroline on December 21, 2010:
It's a nice tradition to start in a neighborhood. Helps in bringing good will to your neighbors.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on December 21, 2010:
Love it, someone was sure smart to come up with this idea to spread goodwill. We all need some fun and a secret Santa in our lives.
annieangel1 on December 21, 2010:
what a wonderful idea - lensrolled
Julianne Gentile from Cleveland, Ohio, US on December 20, 2010:
Oh I love this idea! How fun!
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on December 19, 2010:
This is a really good fun idea, but it reinforces the fun of giving as well. Not only a great idea, but I love the imagery you used on the lens as well.
Melissa from Albuquerque, NM on December 19, 2010:
This would be fun to do in the office building I work at.
livingfrontiers on December 19, 2010:
Very nice lens, and great idea! I love it...angel blessings!
Mickie Gee on December 18, 2010:
I had heard of being "Booed" but not "Jingled". Sounds like a good way to regift or give away the jars of pickles that my husband made by the dozens!
jlshernandez on December 17, 2010:
What a great idea. I have never thought of this. Thanks for sharing.
Holley Web on December 17, 2010:
Now this looks like fun! You have given us some great ideas to start a new tradition!
Rita-K on December 16, 2010:
I love this! With so much negativity in the world "jingling" would add a bit of needed love! Great Lens!
Rita-K on December 16, 2010:
I love this! With so much negativity in the world "jingling" would add a bit of needed love! Great Lens!
Liz Mackay from United Kingdom on December 14, 2010:
What a good idea. Never heard of it before. I can't jingle you, but I'm giving you a squid angel blessing and featuring this lens on Me?!! A Squid Angel.
blessedmomto7 on December 14, 2010:
This is an awesome idea. I have never heard about this before. I don't know my neighbors well, but I think I will try this to add some fun to my neighborhood. Great lens, thanks for the idea. Thumbs up!
Nathalie Roy from France (Canadian expat) on December 13, 2010:
I have never been jingled, in fact I never heard about this before reading this page. Sounds like a fun idea:)
Jennifer Sullivan from Chicago, IL on December 13, 2010:
What a clever idea!
Asinka Fields from Los Angeles, CA on December 11, 2010:
These are such fantastic ideas presented so beautifully! Thanks for this lens. Also, thanks for visiting my lens and showering your angel blessings. Ever grateful for that ...
debbieann19 on December 10, 2010:
What a wonderful idea, i have never heard of this before, maybe it hasn't reached Australia... or i don't live in the right neighborhood lol Thank you for sharing this idea. Cheers :-D
Wendy Henderson from PA on December 10, 2010:
WhiteOak50 on December 10, 2010:
This page is wonderful, I love this tradition and bet is it so much fun. Can you imagine all of the smiles it would create!! Beautiful!