Create a Christmas with Purpose: Christmas Bell DIY Idea

by | From the Nest, Holidays

In this series of finding purpose in the Christmas season, we are drawing from the words of a poem written in 1863. Let peace be part of your Christmas purpose this year. Fill your home with intentional purpose this Christmas and create a simple Christmas bell DIY idea to create festive beauty in your home!

Bells are very on trend this Christmas season.  I can’t say exactly what I think it is that is making them so popular, except they are the very definition of joy and festivity!  It is the perfect time to start thinking of how you can create a Christmas bell DIY for your own home this season.

From a decor view, I love the symbolism they bring into our home.  They also add some interesting texture, shape, and the traditional golds of Christmas.  Keep reading to the end and I’ll share how we created this Christmas bell DIY idea for our dining room.  It’s one of my favorite focal points in my Christmas decor!

Also, it is a trend that I hope stays around for a very long time!  My husband hopes so too because he is really excited to help me hang these bells up again for many years to come. 😂 (A little sarcasm there…😂)

 

What does a bell have to do with Christmas?

Bells announce the arrival of something or someone important or can be used to proclaim an event or occasion.  Interestingly enough, the use of bells can be traced back to pagan roots.  At that time, bells were used to ward off evil spirits. However, the bells were so fun to use that they eventually made their way into municipal and church use.  For example, bells would be rung in good times, such as a wedding or coronation.  At the same time, bells would toll for hard times, such as impending weather or a funeral.

Why do Christians hang up bells at Christmas?

Now, bells symbolize the announcement of the birth of Christ during the Christmas season.  For our family, that is all the reason we need to make them a focal point in our home!

At the same time, I think Christmas bells also symbolize welcoming a season of good-cheer, peace, memories, and loads of fun to be had, too!  I definitely had a lot of fun with the Christmas bell DIY idea that I’m sharing with you at the end of this blog post today!

 

Why was “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” written?

I also love that the bells remind me of one of my favorite Christmas poems, eventually turned into a Christmas hymn.

In 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “Christmas Bells”, right in the middle of the Civil War.  The text “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men” certainly rang true in those dark years.

158 years later, there is a lot of darkness.  Division, frustration, cultural tensions, sickness…it’s all part of our 2022 Christmas, whether we want to admit it or not.

Thankfully, neither the poem or the story ends there.  Let’s take a look…and if you’re very familiar with Longfellow’s work, I still think it is worth a few minutes for a re-read of these words:

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day: Christmas Bell DIY Idea

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

What is the meaning of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”?

Who am I to try to add to that poem’s end?  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s words are full of hope for peace and goodwill. Is there anything that can possibly be better than that during the Christmas season?

However, reflection leaves us wondering just how we can do our part to create peace and goodwill.  Life quickly teaches us that peace, love, and goodwill do not just happen on accident.  In fact, without intentionality and purposeful living (and loving), peace and goodwill are impossible.  It brings us to ask the question, once again, of what our role might be in creating peace and goodwill here on earth.  How can I even make a difference?  Is that even possible?

I’m reminded of words I have said and written many times:

I can bring goodwill and hope and peace to my circle of influence.  Right now, my immediate circle of influence is right within the walls of my home.

In the famous words of Mother Teresa, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”  

Even though I would describe my blog and social media as a home decor account, it means more to me than that.  However, there is a bigger purpose.  

Christmas decorating actually isn’t just for all the fuss and show and perfectly festive touches.  To me, it is much deeper.  In the creative ways God has blessed me with and the resources at my disposal, I am doing my part to bring an environment of peace and hope and goodwill to my little family.

At the same time, I think of it as setting the stage.  Even though all of those things come from the heart, our environment and what we surround ourselves with does matter and it does make a difference.

The mission is clear: spreading goodwill to my family.

Simple and Easy Christmas Bell DIY Idea

How do you display Christmas bells?

Since this poem has become somewhat of an anthem and definite Christmas inspiration for me, I decided a few years ago to make Christmas bells a focal point in my decorating too.

Here are a few ways that I decorate around our home with Christmas bells:

What can you make with Christmas bells?

I decided to create my own focal point with large bells in our dining room.  As promised, I will give you a quick tutorial on this DIY bell garland that Robb helped me make.  Admittedly, there was a moment (or two) where goodwill was doubtful. 😂 But he figured out how to get it to stay and all has stayed peaceful.

However, Robb says that if those bells come crashing down in the night, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” would turn into “Do You Hear What I Hear?” 😂😂 Thankfully, they have stayed put and are making this whole space feel so festive!

Step One: Christmas Bell DIY Idea

First, I picked these bells up at Hobby Lobby back in October.  However, I’m not sure if they are still in stock.  For 50% off, however, it’s worth checking online and calling around the stores in your area!

Also, you can find some vintage-inspired ones online HERE and HERE. 

Tip: measure your space and choose the bells in the right size and scale for the feature you are creating.

Step Two: Christmas Bell DIY Idea

Secondly, we cut a small branch and stripped it of leaves.  You could also use a curtain rod or pole of some kind.  I loved that the branch was totally free (budget-friendly decor!).  At the same time, I love the juxtaposition of the crooked, rustic branch and the more formal look of the bells.  

Step Three: Christmas Bell DIY Idea

Third, I strung the bells in a way that would feel somewhat random but still be balanced visually.  Next, Robb wrapped twine around the middle and then it loops around the branches at each end a few times.

Step Four: Christmas Bell DIY Idea

Lastly, he put one nail in each end of the cabinet, in a high spot where the small hole will never show.  I supported the branch and bells while he wrapped the twine around the nail as tightly as possible.  (This is important to hold it taut.). Next, he tied the twine to secure it.

I honestly wasn’t at all sure that we could get the bells to stay up without lots of nails and supports (which we didn’t want to do to this antique apothecary, of course).  Thankfully, it worked out very well because it’s one of my favorite things in our home for Christmas!

The bells, the symbolism, and the reminder of hope and goodwill for each and every one of us means so much to me!

How do you decorate with big bells? (In addition to a Christmas bell DIY idea, of course!)

In addition to the ways that I mentioned that I use Christmas bells in our own here, here are a few more ways that I think would be easy and beautiful:

Are you ready to create your own Christmas bell DIY idea?

We’ve talked about why Christmas bells are even part of the Christmas tradition.  History has inspired us with the purposefulness of using bells in and around our homes to celebrate the season.  Now, it’s up to you!  Whether you create a beautiful Christmas bell DIY idea, purchase some gorgeous bells ready to hang, or add simple bells in a bowl or on a tablescape, I hope you do so with intentionality and purpose.

After all, if you are reading this blog post, you are probably as aware as I am that in this season of my life and my role in our family and home, I am largely responsible for creating an atmosphere and environment where peace and goodwill can thrive.  It would seem that if peace and goodwill can find their way into our hearts and minds at any time in the year, it would be Christmas.

Let the bells ring in your home and in your heart this Christmas.  At the same time, be intentional with your space.  Create an environment where peace and goodwill will ring true for you and your family!

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  

Blessings,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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