Jingle Bells in an Apple Tree beats a Partridge in a Pear Tree Every Time

Jingle Bells in an Apple Tree beats a Partridge in a Pear Tree Every Time

A Story by T. L. O'Neal

This is a story about trying to save the magic of Christmas for my daughter. True story.



Jingle Bells in an Apple Tree beats

a Partridge in a Pear Tree Every Time

Written by: T. L. O’Neal


    Christmas is a magical time of the year, especially for little children. What happens when the magic is taken away from them before it’s time? It’s never easy and in a way it’s the first sign that your child is growing up and the reality of the real world starts to show. I remember when I was a kid and found out there wasn’t a Santa Claus. It hurt a bit realizing that there really wasn’t any magic in the world anymore. I found out that plus that the Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy were both fake too, that was a hell of a blow for a kid. But I guess it didn’t matter, they always did creep me out anyways, along with clowns but I always did like what they brought. All of them except the clowns; they just terrified the begebbers out of me. I‘m still working all of that out in therapy.


   Anyway, several years ago this happened to my youngest daughter. It happened like it usually does, her older brother told her that Santa wasn’t real. He heard it at school or knew it already; whatever the case; misery always loves company and he told her.


   She had been living a sheltered life ever since kindergarten when she was hurt in school and ever since she had been home schooled. So you can imagine how we were overly protective of her.


   After her brother did this, she was devastated and came to us and asked if Santa was truly real? We assured her that he was, partially because we didn’t want to see her feelings hurt, or maybe it was just the fact that we weren’t ready for her to grow up. Whatever the case, we had to do something about it and save Christmas for her.


   So we devised a plan to try to set things right again. We came up with the idea to find some jingle bells and to leave them in the apple tree beside her window on Christmas Eve night. You know, as if they had fallen off of one of the reindeers while they were taking off. This seemed like a good plan to us both but it being late, getting them would have to wait till tomorrow…Christmas Eve. 


   Now I don’t know how many of you have shopped on Christmas Eve before; it’s nothing short of pure hell and mayhem. And to try to find jingle bells was even harder, especially the ones on a strap like the reindeers wore. This was going to be extra hard to do, and the fact that I had a phobia of crowds didn’t help none either, but I ventured out into the madness anyway on my quest for jingle bells. And madness it was too, people fighting over cell phones and Gameboys; anything and everything that was for sale. I‘ve never seen such pushing and shoving in my whole life, you would expect this behavior from kids but the parents were acting the worse. I was at the point of throwing some elbows back myself, even if it was somebody’s grandma. She can get it as good as she gives, that’s what I say.


   All I wanted was a single strap of jingle bells and it seemed that no one on God’s green earth had one. Hell, a lot of people didn’t even carry them or ever even heard of such a thing for that matter. Store after store I went looking those jingle bells and fighting crowd after unruly crowd. You would think that it being Christmas and all, that people would be nicer than they are. You know like in those holiday specials; I guess they were all watching ESPN at the time they were on.


    If the stores weren’t bad enough, I had all of that traffic to deal with too. People are as nasty on the road as they are in the stores, with all the blowing of the horns and riding your bumpers, it’s enough to make you scream. I was starting to get a little ill tempered at all of these people and then remembered how my father always acted when he drove; he could of given these people lessons. He kept his hand glued to the horn and the other with his fist out of the window; which was a hard feat to do and drive at the same time. Not to mention how he could string four-letter words together to make your ears burn. With that in my head I calmed on down because the last thing I wanted to do was to be like him. After all, I had a mission to complete.


   So here I go from one store to the next, asking for jingle bells and being looked at like I was foolish. I went to so many stores that I can’t even remember how many, everywhere was sold out of everything and I was starting to get desperate. I found some of those little, single bells but that was about it. I just had about given up hope when I got to the last store. At that time all of them were closing up so their workers could go home to be with their families for Christmas Eve. That’s where I wanted to be and should have been, but I was on a mission and I was going to give it all I had.


    Just when I was on my last nerve and wishing that Santa would bring me a Valium, like right now… I found one. The jingle bells on a strap that is. The poor thing was in the bottom of a display rack with a lot of other things that fell off the stands and it looked like it needed a home; plus it was only $3.99, a bargain in my book any day. At that moment I would of paid a hundred dollars for it. Of course I probably spent twenty bucks on gas and my nerves were shot, but still a good deal because it was going to make my daughter happy. Anyways, to me those bells shined as bright and pretty as a Christmas star and I was happy to have found them. So I snatched it up and started to understand why those people acted like asses the way they did. If someone tried to take those bells away from me after all the hell I’ve been through, I believe I would have to kill them. Or at least hurt them really bad.


   After all I’d been through, now was the time I dreaded the worse… standing in line. So I picked out the shorter one; it was about as long as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There were a few people in line that their heads were so big that they looked like those balloons too, but that’s beside the point.


   While I was in line, I was thinking to myself about my wife at home making a tag to go on the bells and a card. I thought, boy she really got the pie job in this deal. I’m fighting these crowds and putting up with asses and she’s doing that. But anyhow, the tag said, “Property of Santa” and it was written in fancy letters and covered in pretty glitter. It was a nice looking tag, and it looked like it came from the real Santa Claus too. The card was extra pretty and had a special message in it just for her. She did a really nice job on both of them.


    I finally did make it back to the house with my prize and boy was I glad to be back home. I showed this great find to my wife and we planned out how we were going to work the little production after the kids went to bed.


   After they all went to sleep; which is never easy on a Christmas Eve; we went to work on our little plan. As I went outside into the cold, my wife went into our daughter’s room to wake her up. Which wasn’t easy being that she was on a lot of medication at the time and she slept like a rock. While I was sitting out there in the cold waiting, I just about froze my jingle bells off. Finally she did give me the cue and I started ringing those bells outside of the window and throwing rocks on the tin roof to sound like hoof beats from the reindeer. In retrospect, it probably would of been better if I had used smaller rocks, because they sure hurt when they came off of the roof and hit me in the head.


   Anyhow, as I was ringing the bells, getting hit in the head with rocks and freezing, I could hear that she was up. With one more good ring, I threw the bells up into the apple tree and ran around the house to the front door as they were coming out of the back of the house. My wife and daughter went out and were looking around to see what all the noise was.


Then my wife said to her, “What’s that up in the apple tree?”


With that my daughter replied, “It’s jingle bells!”


   While my wife pulled them out of the tree, my daughter’s face lit up as she admired them and the realistic tag and they then found the card on the ground. My wife told her that they must of fell off of one of Santa’s reindeers. After that, nobody could have told her that Santa wasn’t real.


   She came back into the house all happy and was telling everyone and showing off her prize.


“Look Daddy, Santa’s reindeer lost some bells!” She said with a big smile on her face.


   I just smiled real big and hugged her. Seeing that smile on her face and the happiness in her heart was worth all that I went through that day to get those bells.


   With our mission complete and my daughter as happy as she could possible be, the kids went back to bed; the youngest with her jingle bells and my wife and I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the night. We were right proud of our Christmas good deed for the day.


   A bonus in all of this was that it even put some doubt in our son’s mind on the reality of old St. Nick. Those jingle bells were a mighty prized object on that Christmas and you could see the envy in his eyes over them. Sometimes it pays to believe, don’t you think? All in all everything worked out just fine and it seemed that we saved the magic of Christmas for at least one more year. It was the best $3.99 I ever spent and to tell you the truth, it added a little magic to my Christmas too.


© 2010 T. L. O'Neal

My Review

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Featured Review

You always have alot of humor in your writing .. i laughed alot reading this but more so i felt happy to know you and your wife were so determined to make your little girl happy and as you said, keep her a child just a little longer to boot.. but what you did was sort of like a Christmas miracle for your daughter.. this story is so beautiful and full of your usual wonderful humor and love.. really did enjoy reading this ... A good story and wonderful reading.. so sorry about the trouble you had, you are so right about the shoppers acting like kids, worse even! loved it, T.


Posted 15 Years Ago

10 of 10 people found this review constructive.


This is a fun story to read at Christmas. If I have children one day I hope they have a dad as cool as you! A.L.

Posted 15 Years Ago

4 of 4 people found this review constructive.

I laughed out loud. Your writing is so touching and *real* - always shining with love and a little hint of forehead slapping. I love it.

When I was a kid, my nan and grandpa always used to make us stand at the door to hear the sleigh bells. They'd open the door and we'd all be standing there in our pjs freezing cold and I never could hear a darned thing. Of course, so as not to appear stupid, I always said 'Oh yes! I can hear them!' along with everyone else, lol. I do the same to my kids but they just shake their heads and say 'nope' before going back to bed. LOL! Oh I love Christmas... and this story is classic.

Posted 15 Years Ago

4 of 4 people found this review constructive.

This was a wonderful Christmas story that had all the love and wonder that you would expect from a holiday christmas show. It was really sweet what you and your wife did to make this christmas special for your daughter. Catnip

Posted 15 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

I absolutely loved this story! It is good that you and your wife went out of your way to make this Christmas special...all too soon they grow up and those times are lost forever. I laughed a lot reading this as well...you are a truly talented writer.

Posted 15 Years Ago

4 of 4 people found this review constructive.

What a good Dad! This is such a sweet story and sure to get us in the mood for Christmas. I've battled the Christmas Eve crowds a few times so can relate to the pushing and shoving that you write about. Thank you for the Christmas treat. - Mimi.

Posted 15 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Awwww. This is such a sweet story. Nice to see that you've found your voice again, with the self-deprecating country humor. You and your wife really went a long way to keep your daughter innocent a little longer, something that has become more and more difficult to do. That innocence is such a wonderful thing, the time in our life when we can believe in the most magical, wonderful things.


Posted 15 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

a wonderful christmas tale that we can all enjoy :D

Posted 15 Years Ago

1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is a very heartfelt and well written story. As always, you always interweave humor into your work, which are one of the factors that makes it so entertaining to read. However, at the same time, you also have a lesson shown in this story. And, enjoyed this story not only because it was entertaining to read, it's because it's quite touching and sweet that you went all through overzealous last minute shoppers and the road rage just to get jingle bells to save Christmas.

Great job. Merry Christmas!

Posted 15 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Strap on Jingle Bells - thats brilliant. I wonder how these are worn? I thoroughly enjoyed this. Well constructed and well thought out - feel sorry that you had to go buy these things though and find yourself involved in the Christmas shopping sprees that seem prevalant in todays society. Ironically I've yet to find anyone who enjoys buying gifts this time of year so I wonder why we don't all take a step back and enjoy Christmas as a celebration of life rather than the mass media preoccupation with spending money we don't have. Sorry, an unnecessary rant there.

I feel your gesture to keep a myth alive and give your little one some joy and wonderment in her life will only serve your family well in the future - you have a tale to tell - for one thing this has to be better than sitting on your arse drinking vast quantities of beer whilst watching TV repeats over the festive season (with the occasional family arguement stuck it to liven things up) Oops, another rant......

Magical story and so glad this added magic to your Christmas too. Maybe you should have made this for adults only just in case you spoil some of the younger ones by your revelations - seems some of the older ones are already shocked!

Posted 15 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Man, this was really wonderful to read. Yes, it had your usual humor... but this time around I truly saw your kind and loving heart. What can I say, but, you touched me with this perfectly glowing piece about family and holiday magic. Merry Christmas!

Posted 15 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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55 Reviews
Added on February 19, 2008
Last Updated on October 24, 2010


T. L. O'Neal
T. L. O'Neal

In the sticks, NC

I started writing as a way to work out my feelings and found that I enjoyed it very much. I enjoy humor and feel that you can find it in most things, even though it may be hard to find at the moment. .. more..


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