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.”

Where next?

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?”

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/the Com­pass

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.

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