"I heard the bells on Christmas Day..."But where did the use of bells during the holiday season come from?
"Just hear those sleigh bells..."
"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells..."
And so on....
Bells were originally used to ward off evil spirits during the fall and winter months. It was believed that loud noises would scare the spirits away.
Gradually these same bells started to be used to announce celebrations and to keep evil spirits from ruining good times. And slowly the use for keeping away spirits began to fade. Bells began to be seen as a lovely instrument brought out for joyous occasions, such as weddings and births. They also have a beautiful sound, so carolers who couldn't afford instruments began to use bells when they went singing.
Like many sleighs of the time, Santa's sleigh had bells on it as well. Bells were used on sleighs to warn people that someone was coming through during foul weather. This way they could stay out of the road and be ran over by the horse and coach or sleigh (if the weather was snowy).
So have a little holiday tradition and gather up a few various bells and use them in your decor as a little nod to the long history of the bell.