Kelly playing hand bells

24 of 25
Kelly J.
When I was 16 years old, I decided to give my grandfather a special gift for Christmas. His favorite song is "Greensleeves." So, I taught myself to play the song on a five-octave set of hand bells all by myself. Playing so many bells by myself got the attention of different musicians. Since then, I have won international music competitions and have performed Christmas concerts all over the world. I have had the pleasure of playing with members of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in Japan as well as creating a Christmas CD. Grandpa and I have kept this gift alive. Every year, we use the proceeds from CD sales and concerts to go to different charities.

Without grandpa's inspiration—a former marine, one of the first on Guadalcanal—I would never have been able to undertake this project and perfect this art for almost 20 years. His continual gift of believing in me and helping me to achieve my goals is what has enable me to continue to give this gift of music every year. He is proud of me, and I am even more proud of him and his investment in my life—that is the true Christmas gift, investing in another's life.

What holiday traditions does your family enjoy?