7th Day Christmas Past Question and Story

Posted by on Dec 18, 2016 in Christmas Past 2016 | 13 comments

Untitled-2On the 7th Day of Christmas Past, the QUESTION is to be

What did “Jingle Bells” mean to Pres. Ezra Taft Benson?

To be entered into today’s daily giveaway & FREE tour drawing- Read the story; “Comment” & “Share” your answer on Facebook or our blog.

“I love Christmas time and I find great joy in remembering Christmases past.  Perhaps it is the emotion of the season that makes this time of year seem particularly poignant and meaningful.  Especially memorable of many events, almost nine decades of Christmases, dating back to my childhood on the Whitney, Idaho farm where I was reared.  They are still clear in my mind and among some of the most enjoyable memories I have.

As a boy I loved going to the canyon to cut our Christmas tree and I always tried to get one that reached to the ceiling. Though we received only a few gifts, our stockings were filled with fruit nuts and candy and Santa always left something. Like all children we suffered terrible anticipation at Christmas time. I remember wondering if father and mother must be hiding our gifts somewhere on the farm. I couldn’t stifle my inquisitive mind and in no time I’d led my young brothers on a search that turned up several gifts buried in the wheat in the granary.

I’m told that I was a bit of a tease during my youth. I do remember coming in on my sister, Margaret, while she was balancing on a stepladder to decorate the tree.   Sensing an opportunity to tease her, I feigned danger by giving the ladder a little shake. Margaret, who was not amused ordered me out of the room and then tossed in my direction a dustpan that caught me on the lip. I still have a scar to remember that little prank by.

One of my favorite winter and especially holiday activities was taking out the big two horse bobsleigh with bells on the horses. In those days Jingle Bells was not only a song it was a thrilling experience. There’s nothing quite like riding through country lanes with the sleigh box filled with straw and a group of friends singing Christmas carols. In more recent decades my wife Flora and I have made many happy Christmas trips to visit family in Calgary Alberta, Canada. The highlight of each visit is a ride in a horse drawn cutter or bobsleigh. It’s exhilarating to get hold of the lines of a good team drawing a bobsleigh or two seat cutter and ride out into the Canadian open.

In Whitney on Christmas Day our family visited our grandparents and we almost always traveled to their homes by bobsleigh. These were such happy occasions our grandparents were very musical and always provided entertainment of various kinds. There were recitations, skits, original poems, music, and dancing. Grandma Dunkley a convert to the church from Scotland would dance the Highland Fling for us and we loved that!”

Don’t you wish to go on an exhilarating Jingle Bells sleigh ride?!  What is your most cherished Christmas time activity?

Taken From:
Larry C Porter, Remembering Christmas Past, BYU Studies 40, no 3, p. 103-104

    13 Comments

  1. Jingle Bells was not only a song it was a thrilling experience. There’s nothing quite like riding through country lanes with the sleigh box filled with straw and a group of friends singing Christmas carols.

  2. Jingle Bells isn’t always a song to sing but memories, a family sleigh ride, excitement and more.

  3. He had actually experienced dashing through the snow and heard the jingling of the bells. Lucky guy!

  4. when I grew up, the kids would be in bed on Christmas Eve… we would hear jingle bells outside and know Santa had arrived. We were allowed to get up then and open our presents. …usually late on Christmas Eve.

  5. Jingle Bells have a special place in his heart from special memories as a child riding the horse drawn sleigh with friends singing Christmas selections.

  6. Jingle Bells to President Benson meant a ride in a sleigh pulled by horses, with bells jingling from their harnesses. It also meant singing carols with friends and family. I have been on such a ride in a sleigh pulled by horses with sleigh bells jingling. It was a thrill. One of my most cherished childhood memories was just being with my family, sitting around the radio, later TV, enjoying Christmas programs; then on Christmas eve going around to see the Christmas lights and then reading the Christmas story before going to bed.

  7. Jingle bells was not only the sounds of a song but it meant all the love and service to Pres. benson, he enjoy as a young boy being with friends and family enjoying all the reasons for the season.
    As a young child I remember my dad taking us out on the hay wagon pulled by horses. to feed the cows on the ranch. Every year we would go up to the ranch to pick out our own Christmas tree. One year we had a tree so big it filled up the big picture window. We didn’t even have enough decorations to fill it. But oh how we love it that Christmas so long ago.

  8. Jingle bells besides being a song was the exciting sound that the bells made on the horse drawn sleigh rides that they would take at Christmastime.

  9. Jingle bells meant magic, and fun, mystery, excitement, anticipation, love and family. It meant the warmth of Christmas memories.

  10. Jingle Bells were not only a carol to be sung, but an experience. During Christmastime, he often rode on a bobsleigh with the sleigh box filled with straw and a group of friends, singing Christmas Carols.

  11. When Ezra Taft Benson was growing up Jingle Bells was not only a song it was also holiday activity. It was taking out the big two horse bobsleigh with bells on the horses. He felt that there was nothing quite like riding through country lanes with the sleigh box filled with straw and a group of friends singing Christmas carols. It was exhilarating to get hold of the lines of a good team drawing a bobsleigh or two seat cutter and ride out into the Canadian open. So for him it was a thrilling, exhilarating and happy occasion filled with music and making memories.

  12. Jingle Bells was a memory full of love, excitement, fun and family. Jingle Bells brought back all of the wonderful Christmas memories that he had shared with friends and most importantly with his family and grandparents. I would imagine that hearing Jingle Bells would warm his heart and bring a broad smile to his face.

  13. President Benson loved to sound of real Jingle Bells on a real sleigh. He loved riding on the sleigh out in the country hearing the bells jingle. One of his favorite sounds of Christmas. He loved riding the sleigh to his grandparents home at Christmas time and singing and dancing with them.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *