Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Annoying Christmas Tradition

Whoever invented the Christmas jingle bell is my hero. There's nothing like being annoying to not just the people immediately around you, but also to everyone else in the room. Like most things about me, jingle bells as accessories are pretty tacky. The phrase "Less is more" makes no sense to me. For me, overkill is almost the right amount. There are times during the holiday season that I'm literally covered in jingle bells from head to toe.
I'm not sure how it all started, but my mom tells me that when I started walking she would put jingle bells on my shoes so she would know where I was. Isn't this the same reason we put bells on cat collars? Anyway- I think the shoes in question were those white high top numbers that people use for bronzing. Who knows... at the time, I probably was enchanted with my ability to make noise and loved them. I don't know but the habit has stayed with me.
Every year after Thanksgiving, I use festive ribbon to tie jingle bells to the laces of each of my shoes. As my daughter started walking, I did the same for her, but only at Christmas. As I walk around my house, my classroom, and out in public, I listen for my jingling bells and think that it makes me seem more festive. Apparently not everyone agrees with my view.
There were a few times in middle school and high school that I'd have the uptight teacher that would ask me to remove my bells because it was distracting. I tried real hard to keep my feet still in those classes. I was trying to spread Christmas cheer, not cause people to go postal. As I got older, I felt like my little sneaker bells just didn't announce my approach like I'd hoped. Since then, I've collected hair bows with bells, a couple of jackets with bells on them, of course the bell necklace and matching bracelets and rings (yes, I have a ring with jingle bells on them), holiday socks with bells, and my ever present and jolly sneaker bells. As a teacher, you can get away with an outfit like that. If I worked at a bank, it'd be a different story. My students quickly catch on and begin to wear their bells too. I'm one of those weird people because the bells don't bother me. Even those big and noisy sleigh bells.
There's no other time of year that I can overload your senses before I even walk up to you. My tacky Christmas sweater assaults your eyes (this will be a future post) and my insistent jingling announces my presence. I'm not sure what my garb is saying about me, but I have no doubt you'll hear the message and remember it.

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