It’s not for Christmas bells to gong or clang;
it’s not for them to peal a raucous ding.
Much better they’d be, given space to hang;
above December’s list of songs to sing.
Much better they’d be, not to steal the rhyme;
not to pound the tune with a cymbal’s clash.
Much better they’d be, with a subtle chime;
it’s not for them to sound too bold or brash.
It’s not for Christmas bells to pull on rope;
nor assume the role of prima donna.
Much better they’d be, spreading festive hope;
Lifting spirits is their role of honour.
. The sound of Christmas is a jingling bell.
. It’s the gift of Christmas that does us well.
Tim Grace, 14 December 2011
To the reader: The merry sound of Christmas is a small cluster of jingling bells. For the festive season we can put aside the strident trumpets and the pounding drums; preferring jingling bells as soft accompaniment to a chorus of carols. The nativity scene is at peace with bells-a-jingling. Bells are responsive instruments that react to the slightest movement with a tinkling trill. Their volume nicely equates to their quantity; the more the merrier!
To the poet: This sonnet is harmless, hopefully not charmless, in delivering a festive message. Christmas carols rise to a crescendo and then fall out of favour; as with seasonal fruit, we gorge and then reject. Carols, and likewise this sonnet, are often overcome with a lightweight message that requires technical assistance for rescue. Strained merriment is hardly convincing.