Grinch List #3: Bells

Sleigh Bells...or Audible Menace?The last few Decembers I have made a Grinch List– things that I would steal from the holiday season if I could. This year I’m going to try to turn that list into something positive. Along with the reasons I am annoyed by each item, I will try to find a solution–an angle to adjust the way I feel about it in order to celebrate the season appropriately. I can’t promise I will change my mind about anything, but I can attempt to change my attitude.

Ivan Pavlov’s experiments proved that dogs could be conditioned to physically react to the sound of a bell. I fear the entirety of western culture has been conditioned in a similar manner.

Listen to Christmas music. Every song has the semi-rhythmic jingle of tiny, metallic bells.




Musical Artist: That song for my new holiday album is neato!
Record Producer: It sure is a slammin’ melody but I’m not sure people will know it is a Christmas song…you only used the word Christmas 71 times and mentioned how cold it is in every other line.
Musical Artist: What can I do? My jammin’ tunes won’t get airplay after August if people don’t know they are about the holiday that radio stations celebrate for the last six months of every calendar year!
Record Producer: Cuttin’ hot plates is my bag, daddy-o. Check this!
(The producer turns a red and white striped knob on the mixer and the song begins playing with a steady beat of tingling sleigh bells prominently in the mix).
Musical Artist: Jiminy Christmas! My swell arrangement is even more groovy now!

  • Are we not smart enough to discover a holiday message if the chimes aren’t present?
  • Does the tingling really add anything of value?
  • Why are bells linked to Christmas anyway?
  • Why do I assume everyone in the music industry talks like they are in a Frankie and Annette movie?
  • Can we replace “jingle” with “cow”?

With their inherent ability to annoy and their unbelievable noisiness, bells are generally audible clutter…and yet they are somewhat symbolic of joyfulness. They send out a vibe of childish delight. (Great! Now I’m talking like Frankie and Annette.) Sure, I may want to pull my ears right off the side of my head but…

When I hear bells I will try to remember the joy that this season brings and that the bells are merely a proclamation of that delight.

Still, Salvation Army collectors should probably steer clear of me in the meantime.


About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on December 3, 2013, in Grinch List and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. one of your best ever. I was rolling. But the only prescription for my Christmas tune fever is more cow bell! I definitely need more cow bell!!!

  1. Pingback: Grinch List #14: Noise | 141 plus

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