My daughter is the one who found the little red box full of jingle bells and safety pins.
We were at the rummage sale last summer in the old town hall near where my parents live.
It was my mom who told us who the bells had belonged to, and the reason for the safety pins.
Peggy used to live in the old brick Cape cottage across from the town hall. She moved into assisted care housing last year, and her neices and nephews went through the house to choose things to keep and things to sell. Many wonderful things arrived at the rummage sale, and I am now the happy owner of things from Peggy’s house.
Small porcelain elves and musical boys. A ceramic bird, once found in a tea package. Silk thread and tiny scissors that look like a crane. A 1960s tea towel with mod turquoise circles. A soap dish that looks like a clawfoot tub….
Among these things, are the bells.
On December 1—every year—Peggy would pin a jingle bell to the hem of her skirt. On December 2 she’d add a second bell. And on and on, up until Christmas day when her hem was a sparkling, jingling masterpiece.
I pinned the first bell to the hem of my coat this morning.