The Smallest Jingle Bell

This is a story I was told in Seminary by Brother Carroll.

Once, two Christmas seasons ago when you were still a child, there was a Jingle Bell shop. Now this shop had big jingle bells, that went “jingle jingle jingle“. And it had medium-sized jingle bells, that went “jingle jingle jingle“. There were also normal jingle bells, that went “jingle jingle jingle”. And there was one, the very smallest of all the bells, and it tinkled “jingle jingle jingle“! In it’s tiny merry little way.

So, every day, people would come in preparing for Christmas. They would pick up the big jingle bells, that went “jingle jingle jingle“.  Then they would try the medium-sized jingle bells, that went “jingle jingle jingle“. After that, they would listen to the normal jingle bells, that went “jingle jingle jingle”. And when the picked up the very smallest of all the bells, and it tinkled “jingle jingle jingle“! In it’s tiny merry little way, the would say: “It’s too small. I cannot hear it ring.” And they would put it back.

Now, Christmas by this time was nearing closer. People would try the jingle bells, and they would take either the big jingle bells, the medium jingle bells, or the normal jingle bells. When the shook the very smallest of the jingle bells, and it tinkled in its very tiny little way, they would put it back, saying “It’s just too small.” This made the littlest jingle bell very sad. He thought he was to tiny to be wanted, and so his tiny jingle pealed out in one little sob.

At this time, Santa was flying over the little town where the jingle bell shop was. Just as the shop keeper was placing the key in the lock to close up for Christmas, St. Nick alighted from his sleigh to the ground. “I have lost a bell from my sleigh,” he informed the shop keeper. “I need a new bell to place on my reindeer harness.” “Well,” thought the shop keeper, “I do have a bell.However, it is the tiniest of all the bells, and no one wants him.”

“Perhaps that is just what I need,” said Father Christmas. “After all, I do not wish to wake the children with loud bells on their roofs. Maybe this little jingle bell will be perfect.” so he strode into the shop and picked up the smallest jingle bell.

He shook it next to his ear, and it jingled “jingle jingle jingle“! in its own, tiny, merry little way. And Santa listened, and a small smile came across his face. He rang it one more time. “Jingle jingle jingle“! Then, he spoke.

“You’re right, it’s too small.”

And he left.

This was the end of his tale. As you can imagine, I was shocked. “No!” I said. “That can’t be! St. Nick would never be so unfeeling! That poor little jingle bell. Just because he is small doesn’t mean he has to be left out of Christmas.” I was so dejected, Brother Carroll changed the ending. And here it is.

Some people in this world, mostly children, are filled with a little something special. Something sweet, something loving. Something that helps them be kind, sympathetic. On this Christmas night, one little girl in particular was filled with this feeling, a happy 14 year old. When that tiny little bell pealed out his little sob, she alone out of the whole world heard its jingle. She put on her boots, her coat, and her gloves and hat, and set out to find the source of that merry little jingle. She hadn’t trekked far before she came to were the jingle bell shop keeper was closing up for the holiday. “Excuse me,” she queried, “do you have a jingle bell? A tiny one, that no one seems to want?” “Why yes, I do. But I won’t give it to you.” so he locked the door and left.

Now that girl was not the type to give up. Her face was set, her breath froze in the cold air as she determinedly broke down that door, snatched the littlest jingle bell, and wore it around her neck on a silver chain. Everywhere she went, it tinkled merrily, knowing it was wanted. And all around her, people could finally hear the tiniest jingle bell, and Christmas was much merrier because of it. Now she passes it down to her children, and them to their children. The legacy of the smallest jingle bell lives on today, because I tell the story to you. I hope you tell it to your children.

Listen! If you concentrate, you can hear it now. Pealing out in it’s tiny, merry, little way: “jingle, jingle, jingle“!!

The little girl was me!


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