Scots women go viral with festive doorstep bell ringing plea to 'keep Christmas alive'
A festive bell ringing event originally organised to take place only in Forth Valley has gone viral and attracted over 20,000 people from all over the world – in less than 24 hours.
Lauren Sinclair, 36, from Falkirk, created a Facebook page yesterday at 2.30pm with the aim of spreading cheer and ‘keeping Christmas alive’ by encouraging her community to stand on their doorsteps ringing bells at 6pm on Christmas Eve.
Ms Sinclair said: “It’s exploded. Originally it was just planned for Forth Valley because that’s where I’m from, but in less than one day we’ve had people join from all over the world.
“We started off and there were only seven people in the group and then within half an hour we had hit 1,000 and within another half hour we were at 2,500 and it's just gone crazy.
"We have people from Kuala Lumper, from Australia, from America. It’s everywhere."
Ms Sinclair continued: “It's like going out and clapping on your doorstep for the NHS, we're now jingling our bells for the sake of Christmas spirit.
"Covid took a lot from a lot of people this year, and we're trying to basically show the virus that it's not winning. We are going to win this fight.”
Ms Sinclair was inspired to create the page after seeing a similar event advertised in England.
After seeking the help of friend, Terri Niven, the event ‘Forth Valley Xmas Eve Jingle’ was born.
In the hours since, the name has been updated twice to accommodate the growing audience. First to ‘Forth Valley and Beyond’ and second, this morning, to ‘Worldwide Santas Xmas Eve Jingle’.
Ms Sinclair and Ms Niven did not expect the event to get this much attention.
Ms Sinclair continued: “I thought maybe 1,000 maximum would join. I thought some people wouldn’t want to join a Facebook group and others might just fancy a quiet Christmas Eve. But, everyone seems to be enjoying the idea that we’re doing something just a little bit different.”
Last night, Ms Sinclair was contacted by a local councillor who saw her page and said they wanted to help fund the event.
She said: “A lot of people have lost their jobs this year, some people are still on furlough, so we understand that it is an expense that people can't necessarily afford, especially for people that have three or four children.”
They plan to have a ‘big pile of bells’ to donate to care homes and people who want to join in with the festive cheer on December 24.
Ms Sinclair added that she understood coronavirus restrictions would probably still be in place but that they have designed the event to spread cheer safely.
She added: “We've had a lot of people asking us where we meet and I just want to make sure everyone knows it is on your own doorstep, at a reasonable time for young children to still go out and jingle their bells for two minutes.
"It's just about keeping the Christmas spirit alive, that's all we're really wanting to do.”
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