Harbour Grace residents receive mysterious Christmas packages

Melissa Jenkins
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The town of Harbour Grace is buzzing with chatter about spreading Christmas cheer in an unconventional way.

It looks like somebody in the town of some 3,200 people decided to bring Christmas a little early for residents. Several households have already reported receiving a mysterious “Santa bag” on their doorsteps, but it was what was inside 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 local 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.” They are to be put up in a window or on the door by the receiver. 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.


Harvey Street first stop

Terri Crocker, who lives on Harvey Street, received a package early Sunday morning. 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 Terri 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,” Kathy laughed. “It’s such a great idea.”

So those who have received packages were back at square one.

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 last night to congratulate Harbour Grace for spreading holiday cheer.

Jaime Pynn George, also a resident of Harvey Street, said her two sons 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,” Jaime 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.

Residents of Bear’s Cove and Riverhead were also commenting on social media they hoped it would make its way towards them.

Even Mayor Terry Barnes said he wished he had received one on his doorstep.

“It is a really good idea,” he said. “I wish it was out my way.”

Locals in the Town of Harbour Grace will probably have to wait to see if they will get jingled.

All three women who spoke with The Compass said they hope the trend continues.

“Whoever it was, they started something wonderful,” Jaime elated. “But where will they end up, I wonder?”

For those who would like to read more on the activity, visit http://beenjingled.com/


Organizations: The Compass

Geographic location: Harvey Street, Cabot Street

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Recent comments

  • Bonnie
    December 04, 2013 - 17:00

    We do this in our Neighbourhood as well. It is not a local tradition, nor is it new. You can find the printouts all over the internet and ideas on Pinterest. It is a great way to have some fun and spread some cheer throughout the neighbourhood. We call it Elfing your neighbour here.

  • Heather
    December 04, 2013 - 13:48

    What a wonderful idea. I hope whichever families get caught "holding the bag" on Christmas Eve are families in need. Probably whoever thought up this awesome plan has already thought of that too!

  • Heather
    December 04, 2013 - 13:46

    What a wonderful idea. I hope whichever families get caught "holding the bag" on Christmas Eve are families in need. Probably whoever thought up this awesome plan has already thought of that too!

  • beulah hillier
    December 03, 2013 - 13:45

    this brought tears to my eyes. when so many people are hurting this time of the year some have lost love ones & need cherring uo I am fr. nfld & living in alberta God Bless you all & merry Christmas & Happy new Year Beulah Hillier

  • Bernadine
    December 03, 2013 - 01:24

    This is such a heart touching story. I believe thoroughly that what you give in life, you will get back in some way, shape, or form. I sure could use a miracle this year. I'm in ON and my family is back in NL. My dad has been in the hospital for 2 months due to a massive stroke, followed by a minor one 4 days later and I haven't been able to go home to see him as I just don't have the money. This weekend he was in a touch and go situation where he had so much fluid on his lungs, he was literally drowning in it, needed blood transfusion, and has bad pneumonia. It's so hard being away from home. I was born and raised in Dunville and my parents and siblings reside there still. Anyway, my point was, it's very nice that some thoughtful person or organization started this and what a way to ensure the unfortunate get a little of this xmas cheer.

  • Norma
    December 02, 2013 - 22:59

    I think this is so amazing!!! If only someone would do my place with a Jingle..lol

  • gerry ryan
    December 02, 2013 - 22:37

    When it gets to the River... Look out! Like the bye's said "Christmas in da river was good".

  • Sharon Young
    December 02, 2013 - 19:40

    Really great to see good Samaria n's still exist!

  • raelene wall
    December 02, 2013 - 18:15

    WOW, that's a great idea..... very nice to hear a good news story.....hats off to the person that started it, it don't take much to make a persons day!

  • ramona sturge
    December 02, 2013 - 17:17

    what a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas...I love this idea and what a nice community tradition!!!

  • kenny
    December 02, 2013 - 13:08

    it was Sammi Clause.....bahaha