As I was shopping this year however, I did notice a lack of Salvation Army "bells". Now I'm not a great fan of hand bell choirs. I've only conducted a hand bell choir once (well, twice if you ask my Mom. She is only to ready to tell the story of my first conducting gig, where I stood in front of the Christmas tree at around eleven years old, conducting the musical chimes that were hung on the tree, even occasionally chastising them for being out of tune). However, this article I found on CBC today which explains the reasons behind the lack of ringing in the shopping malls, to me is just another example of the ridiculous bureaucratic decisions we are plagued with in today's society.
Excuse me ... but if I have to put up with the horrible "muzak" that is piped through shopping malls at this time of year, you'd think that the bells which draw our attention to donate to the Sally Ann would be a welcome relief.
This line in the article caught me the most though:
"In Ottawa, some parents are upset that their local school tried to change the words to the Christmas song "Silver Bells" to make them, well, less Christmasy."Are you kidding me? I mean I know all about the secularization trends in the school system, and for the most part, I can understand, but Silver Bells? I think I'll save the rant of "changing words to songs to make them inclusive" for another day.
Anyhow, follow my lead - I'm going to go to my church to pick up a few hand bells, and then I'm going to stand in the middle of a shopping mall and ring like mad!
(If you don't see a post in a few days, please start a bail fund for me)