Not much of a post today as I just wanted to wish everyone the most wonderful of holidays. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Apathetic Atheist Day, whatever it is you celebrate, I wish you nothing but the best.
As for me, I’ll be spending my weekend watching football, taking Perry for a Christmas ride, and sharing in the anticipation and excitement as my kids fawn over Christmas morning. I can’t promise I’ll be alert, as they tend to rise while the sun is still over mainland China, but I do know I’m going to love every minute of it.
Today, in our never-ending quest to instill the thrill of Giving in our children, we enlisted Michael and Kamryn into the Salvation Army as Bell Ringers 1st Class.
Along with their enlistment came an impromptu Bell Ringers Boot Camp. A grueling 30-second lesson in proper bell ringing so that they weren’t caught off guard when out in the field. Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, Boot Camp wasn’t needed considering my children are already naturals in the art of making incessant noise. While the bells presented a far tamer auditory weapon than they were used to, they managed to squeeze every possible decibel out of the clappers.
While dutifully fulfilling their service, we did have a child try and go AWOL, but the threat of latrine duty snapped him back into formation.
Before deploying the troops, I armed Kamryn with a stocking full of candy canes so that we could win the hearts of the masses. It’s not easy on those who face the constant noise and reminder of our presence every time they enter, shop, and leave the store. The candy canes were our peacemakers.
As well, I didn’t want us to look like every other Salvation Army bell ringer we’ve seen since July. Most of them huddle around the kettle like they themselves are homeless. Shimmying their hands with just enough of an unenthusiastic rattle so the bell is almost audible to more than just canines.
I wanted to break the Tops Markets Salvation Army collection record, especially if they had a 50/50 split policy in place, and I figured I was a shoo-in with two young adorable children.
How wrong I was!
We stood there ringing the bell and doling out candy canes but most of those who walked by avoided all eye contact. I get the fact that people can’t always be expected to drop cash in the bucket. Especially since they’re confronted by bell ringers from the time they enter their kitchen in the morning to the time they enter their bedroom at night, but I at least extend the courtesy of a smile, a hello, or a Merry Christmas greeting. You only look the Scrooge when you ignore the bell ringers’ existence.
Just when I thought we were going to be blanked, Kamryn started skipping around the kettle and dancing. Almost immediately, people were flocking to the kettle. In the first 15 minutes that we were there, we raised around $6. After she started into her antics, we raised more than $70 before she tired out 30 minutes later. In the end, once our hour was up, we collected more than $100 that I could count. Not bad for newly enlisted soldiers.
So, in case you have two minutes to burn, and need a smile on your face, here’s my angel at work.
I just hope it’s the only time she dances for money.
Merry Christmas, everyone! You made this year a rewarding one for me personally and it’s your readership, comments, and genuine interaction that keeps me going. So thank you.
Bless you all and have a wonderful holiday weekend!