Bell Ring Sing Reflections I
December 29, 2012

 

[Part 1]

Some awful things happened on December 14th, 2012, not just in Newtown, CT, where dozens of people (children and adults), were shot and killed. In my personal life, this was a difficult day for other reasons, ranking short of receiving news of a serious illness, disease or death. Needless to say, I carried the heaviness of the appalling news reports with my own private distress.

Without subjecting anyone to unnecessary details, my perspective on many things changed that day and I made some decisions:
I thought, “Oh, really? Well, if that is how it is, then…
– I will take better care of myself” (I made a hair appointment the next day)
– “Christmas will not be stolen from me.” (the day after that I picked up a Christmas Tree and planned to go caroling)

Christmas Caroling is something that has fascinated me since childhood. I remember some singers walking down my street on Christmas Eve when I was very young and I have seen countless carolers on television and in movies. They sounded so beautiful!

I have always wanted to go caroling. Although I have had many opportunities to sing throughout any given year, including at Christmas-time, this desire has yet to be fulfilled. During my mid-December low point, I remembered this longing and planned to pursue it.

Before I went any further, I felt the need for some good to come from this; it could not just be about me doing something that some people might put on their “bucket-list”. Could the community benefit in some way? A charity can be connected to advance the concept of “good will”, which is essential to the fabric of Christmas tradition.

Next, I set out to create my Christmas identity/brand: “Miss Christmas Caryl” and started blogging, posting to Facebook, texting and tweeting. In the two weeks that followed, my blog saw 99 views; my Twitter account welcomed 20 followers* and two people followed the blog just because they read my first post moments after I published it.

Twelve responded to my caroling invitation and I was very encouraged, even though some could not attend. After hearing the concept, one dear friend replied, without hesitation, that she thought I had a “good idea”. Others took the initiative to share my posts on their Facebook pages and I am very grateful. I received a handful of texts requesting more information from those who had questions.

These initial results suggest that my Bell Ring Sing has potential. So, I am already planning for next Christmas season (2013). If you are reading this, please take a moment to follow or subscribe to this blog. When you do, you will receive an e-mail every time I post an update. Please also consider following me on Twitter @bellringsing. I will post updates and additional Christmas related content there that might not appear on the blog. Whether you choose Twitter or the blog, all you need is an e-mail address to stay connected with the Bell Ring Sing.

Those who know me also know that I have an e-mail address for each of them, but I cannot add anyone as my follower. That has to be each person’s own decision and action. Following will make it easier for us to keep in touch about this project. I will not have to manage contacts or e-mail addresses for those who might be interested. And December 24th will not arrive with people wondering “Whatever happened to that Christmas Caroling thing?”

At this time, all I am requesting is that you subscribe to this blog and/or follow me on Twitter, please (As the next Christmas season draws near, Meet-ups and Facebook events may be added so you can invite others). I also welcome your comments on my blog posts as well as Twitter replies and re-tweets.

Thank you very much for your interest, prayers and encouragement. These mean more to me than I can ever write or say.

Sincerely,

Miss C.C.

*I am following myself from my original Twitter account.

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We need Christmas now!
December 16, 2012

Hi! Although I live on the internet under another name, my yuletide alias is “Caryl Christmas” and my letter to Santa has one request: that I may go Christmas Caroling.

I believe  many share this wish, a desire intensified after the horrific and heart-breaking events in recent days. It would be so wonderful to stand side-by-side with people from a diversity of culture and sing the songs of the season and spread some much needed joy.

Thinking about how and where I would do this, the idea of a flashmob came to mind. And since Christmas does not just happen in my neighborhood, I thought a flashmob could be planned at many locations across the country and maybe around the world. If only I could find a common place where everyone can gather and sing… but, where?

How about anywhere a bell is ringing next to a red kettle?

So while getting together to sing, we can share our voices for the good. After all, if a giant group of singers gathered and you were entertained when passing by, would you be inclined to put something in that kettle? Let us overcome the evil we have seen too much in the news with some good.

If you are interested, comment on this blog or tweet me @bellringsing. For those outside of the Washington, DC metro area, search #bellringsing for an event in your state or coordinate a flashmob in your city/state by tweeting your city name, state name and specific location, day & time with the hashtag #bellringsing. Be sure to invite everyone you know (family, friends, coworkers, classmates, elected officials, the news media, etc.) and have them invite everyone they know and so on….

Ask anyone who are not going to sing, to take video and still photos at the flashmob. Post them on Twitter to @bellringsing. Or you can post them on Facebook and tag them “Bell Ring Sing”.

Our Christmas Carol flashmob will happen on the last weekend before Christmas: * Sunday, December 23rd at times and locations to be announced. Future posts will give important specific details.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Miss C.C.

* High wind warnings & low temperatures forecast for Saturday December 22, 2012 in the eastern U.S. force the postponement of caroling for that day.