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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sleighbells and Candy Canes

So many symbols surround us this time of year, so many different little things that mean 'Christmas' to us as individuals. Those of us who love the sights, scents and sounds of Christmas have favorite songs that lift our spirits. Mine is 'Away In A Manger', although I dearly love many more. I have to say also that the sound of sleighbells on my horse when she's driven, well, there's just no other sound in the world quite as stirring!

Did you know that sleighbells were invented right here in the U.S.A. to make winter travel safer? The reason behind the need for sleighbells was simple: a horse drawn sleigh moves silently across snow-packed roads and back in the 'olden' days (19th century), the traffic was in fact brisk, busy and dangerous. Accidents were common. So, good old American ingenuity addressed the need and the popularity of sleighbells traveled worldwide. Most sleighbells were brass and the nicer, more expensive bells were tuned, rather like wind chimes. They made a melodious chiming song as they kept time with the movement of the horse ... plus the oncoming drivers could hear you coming!

Another longtime Christmas goodie is the striped candy cane which is symbolic of the Shepherd's crook and a more somber reminder of the "stripes" that Jesus received as a result of being whipped. Christmas should be an aromatic blend of sweet and somber, heartwarming and humbling.

There are so many things that delight our senses at Christmastime, all of which point the way to a quiet little stable long ago. I hope you enjoy every one of them, large and small alike and that you also see the deeper meaning of this festive time of year. Me? I'm getting together with girlfriends tonight to make pomanders - oranges studded with cloves. I'll then nestle half a dozen of them in a birch basket of evergreens, pinecones, dried leaves and twigs. However you put on your merry, Enjoy! Peace and goodwill to you ... may you find it and make some too.

"His mother, Mary of Nazareth,
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
Watching the even flow of his breath,
For the joy of life and the terror of death,
Were mingled together in her breast."

From "The Three Kings"
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


The Feathered Nest said...

Hi Shery!!! It's so good to see a post from you...I know it will always be wonderful!! Thank you so much for your generosity offering such beautiful images ~ I hope you are doing great sweetie, hugs and love, Dawn

Sharon said...

Good day Shery!

How beautiful sleigh bells must sound! Thank you for sharing :) I am always reminded when looking upon a candy cane of the symbology, Christ shedding His blood for us. Thanks be to God for His Indescribable Gift! My favorite Christmas Carol is "O Holy Night", actually any that praise Him :)

Have a beautiful day tomorrow and thank you for sharing your beautiful postcard collection. I think I will be needing to make some pomanders soon :)