Yes, the holidays are indeed upon us. Granted, many stores started celebrating Christmas the day after Halloween, but most people I know seem to prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to start their Christmas decorating, baking and listening to the music of this joyous season.
And, along with all of the typical associations we have with the Christmas season, there is another one that we probably don’t think of when we are decorating in our homes, but it is hard to miss when we are out shopping and that is the Red Kettle Drive of the Salvation Army. Those bell-ringers donning their red aprons, trying to stir up enthusiasm for helping the less fortunate in this season of giving.
Recently, the person who headed up the Red Kettle Drive efforts in my community, moved away leaving the task of coordinating bell ringers to some new community members. I have been fortunate enough to get to share in that work. This week, and again in two weeks, my primary task is to deliver, and collect, those red kettles, along with the signature bells and red aprons. As I was delivering these items to last night’s bell-ringer, I was struck by the fact that had I not offered to help coordinate delivery of these items, I would never have given a second thought to how those kettles get to the entrance of all those stores, and who picks up the buckets at the end of the day. It’s just one of those fixtures of the holiday season that, prior to this year, I had simply taken for granted.
But, dropping off those kettles last night reminded me of how important everyone’s role is when it comes to helping make the world a better place. Someone has to deposit the money that is collected (the warmest job when it comes to the kettle drive!), someone has to drop off the kettles so the money can be collected (another relatively warm job), and yet another has to face the elements and actually ring those bells (a very chilly job depending on where you live).
As you go about your Christmas festivities, including shopping, as you pass by those Red Kettles, do what you will with your change, but I invite you particularly to simply remember how each of us has a unique way in which we can contribute to making this world a better place. Maybe you have discovered your unique way. Or, maybe the folks wearing those red aprons, ringing those bells, will be your cue this year to discover what your unique role is!
Blessings to you and yours this Christmas season.