Silver bells, and not a day too soon


It’s December, and the city stoplights are already blinking a bright red and green. I don’t know how they know how to do that, but suddenly, every December, they do. One of these years, I’m going to stay up all night and study those street lights just to see if I can find out at what point they switch to the bright red and green of Christmas. It’s like magic. It’s as if the stoplights know, just like the snow knows when to crunch, and the kids know when to bunch because Santa’s big day is just around the corner. We’ve turned the calendar page on November. There are no more pages to turn. This is it. It’s Christmas time in the city.

In many places street lights have already been strung and sidewalks, as if overnight, have dressed themselves in holiday style. All we’re missing now are the silver bells on every street corner. But they will come, and for one more season, they will ring, and boy do we need them.

We need Christmas this year big time — even the secular version. We’ll take any version we get. We need the smiles of people passing, and the sound of children laughing. We need the feeling of Christmas in the air, and it hasn’t come a day too soon.

All the things that Christmas brings are in high demand this year because they have been in such short supply for so long — things like peace, hope, joy, good will, giving, charity, and hospitality. Time for songs to be sung outdoors in the cold night air, and time for lights and eyes to sparkle and shine. And those bells — those silver bells — time for them to ring.

Even shoppers rushing home with their treasures brings an anticipation of something we’ve been missing. Don’t fight it. Welcome even the commercialization of Christmas, because it’s better than what we’ve been having. And if you are fortunate to know that all of this is because of Jesus, then keep that in your heart, and let it out.

Ring-a-ling, hear them ring, those silver bells that rise above all this bustle. Soon it will be Christmas day, and not a day too soon.

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7 Responses to Silver bells, and not a day too soon

  1. Kat H. says:

    Lovely description of the Christmas season, John! It has me reflecting on how lovely Laguna Beach was–I am picturing it now in my mind’s eye…In a lot of ways, Wintertime was my most favorite time of year in South Orange County. Less crowds on the beach. A beautiful time for reflection! Merry Christmas to you and Marti, Chandler and the rest of your family ❤ ANd, of course, all who read "The Catch" 😉

  2. Tim says:

    I have to admit I need the Christmas distraction this year too. This year has me more cynical than usual.
    Thanks for the encouragement and thoughts.
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Thank you John. I needed this. Badly.

  4. drewdsnider says:

    Thanks for writing this, John. I have to confess that I get bummed by the “Jesus-less” aspect of “official” Christmas — at least, in Vancouver. There, every other holiday or quasi-religious observance is mentioned by name: Vaisakhi, Hallowe’en, Kwanzaa, both solstices — but Christmas is The Holiday That Cannot Be Named. But you’ve reminded me that the responsibility is ours — not any government’s — to remember, live and share the reason why we’re having the celebration.

    A couple of years ago, I was in Melbourne, Australia, and found they still have a balance of Jesus and commercialism. Amid the Christmas shopping ads and store decorations and Santa Claus’ cabin downtown, there was an enormous “installation” in the civic square, spelling out most of Matthew 2. It was truly something to bask in, a lovely memory to keep with us!

  5. TimC says:

    Unfortunately, for many people December is the most depressing time of year for many different reasons.

  6. Mark Seguin says:

    Merry Christmas to all! 🙂

  7. Lois Taylor says:

    I recently had a birthday. My daughter extolled me on my birthday. One thing she said about me mattered more than all the rest. She said I was kind. Kindness matters…..all the time. Why can’t we be kind all year long?

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