Could it be that one of the most famous Christmas songs worldwide is actually about…Thanksgiving? Listen carefully to the words of “Jingle Bells” and you won’t hear a single reference to Christmas. So how did the song get to be a holiday standard? According to tradition, composer James Lord Pierpont wrote the song to be performed originally at a Thanksgiving program at his church. It is said that the congregation loved the catchy tune and performed it again at Christmastime, and from that time on, it became a Christmas favorite.
Today, “Jingle Bells” is played and sung as an invitation to the fun and frivolity of the holiday season. It is a perfect song as we near Christmas Day because it reminds us of the joy we share with family and friends as we decorate the tree, bake cookies, wrap gifts, and prepare for the celebration ahead. Plus, as we’ve just discovered, the song goes great with turkey, too.