Harbour Grace residents get ‘jingled’
Unique practice spreading Christmas cheer throughout community
The Town of Harbour Grace was buzzing last week with chatter about an unusual practice aimed at spreading Christmas cheer throughout the community.
It looks like somebody in the of town of some 3,200 people decided to bring Christmas a little early for some residents. Several households had reported receiving a mysterious “Santa bag” on their doorsteps, but it was the contents of the bag that was really spreading the spirit of Christmas.
Have you been jingled?
When the receivers of the packages opened their surprises, various toys, games and treats were inside. The bag came with a note to the household explaining the point of the delivery.
This phenomenon is being called, “you’ve been jingled.”
The person who receives the package can keep what they wish from the bag, but are asked to replace anything that has been removed with other toys, games or treats. Then the family can leave the sack on someone else’s doorstep for them to do the same. One stipulation is in place — you must pass it on within 24 hours.
Also inside was a stack of papers that read, “this house has been jingled.” The receiver is supposed to put it up in a window or on the door. This allows residents to know who has already received a package, and who has not.
It is also a secret who leaves the package on each doorstep.
On the note it said the gift-giving began in the Harvey Street, Cabot Street and Doolins Lane area of town, but who knows how far it will go.
This event is not specific to Harbour Grace either. There have been reports of similar practices across North America. Some call it “getting jingled,” while others call it, “getting elfed.” Some websites have indicated this has been an ongoing practice since 2010.
In fact, one of our readers posted a comment on the article, which was originally posted Monday, Dec. 2 on www.cbncompass.ca, explaining her neighbourhood also partakes in a similar event.
A Halloween version called, “you’ve been booed” is said to be where the Christmas version came from.
Harvey Street first stop
Terri Crocker, who lives on Harvey Street, received a package early morning Sunday, Dec. 1. She was surprised to find it waiting on her doorstep when she was leaving her home.
“We thought it was really cute,” she explained to The Compass at her home Monday morning.
At that time, the household no longer had possession of the bag, although Crocker would not confirm where she sent the package.
“I like that the person receiving the bag doesn’t know who passed it along,” she said.
Where did it start?
No one is taking responsibility for the first gift bags — which look like small Santa sacks — but rumours are starting to spread.
It was suggested the town council may have had a hand in the distribution, until it was determined Coun. Kathy Tetford had also been jingled.
She also believed it was an excellent idea, but said the council didn’t start it.
“I sort of wish we had started it,” Tetford laughed. “It’s such a great idea.”
Some residents gave up on guessing, saying it was more fun not knowing where the mysterious presents came from.
One family took to social media to congratulate Harbour Grace for spreading holiday cheer.
Jaime Pynn George, also a resident of Harvey Street, said her two sons — Chase and Avery — thought it was “amazing” that they received the package.
Because the family was on their way out, they did not have time to place the sign that they had been jingled on their door.
“I didn’t get my sign out quick enough and got jingled twice,” George exclaimed. “But the boys loved doing two.”
The packages have already been passed along, so it is unknown who has them now, or how far they have gone.
The most recent whereabouts of one Christmas sack was Water Street in Harbour Grace’s downtown late last week. The rest are still unaccounted for.
Residents of Bear’s Cove and Riverhead were also commenting on social media, hoping it would make its way towards them.
Locals in the Town of Harbour Grace will have to wait to see if they will get jingled, but there are still a couple weeks until Christmas.
All three women who spoke with The Compass said they hope the trend continues.
“Whoever it was, they started something wonderful,” Jaime stated. “But where will they end up, I wonder?”
One of the first families in Harbour Grace to receive a “jingle” sack were the Georges. Mom Jaime (left), seven-year-old Avery (second from left), dad Rick (right) and three-year-old Chase proudly display a sign on their door that tells the neighbourhood they have been jingled.