Target has decided not to allow the Salvation Army to place its red kettles and bell ringers at its stores this Christmas season. This could cost the Salvation Army up to $9 million.
Another part of American culture (and English for that matter) may be dying. Salvation Army has used bell ringers and their signature red kettles since 1891. Who doesn’t hear the bell ringing in December and not think its Christmas in the United States?
The Sacramento Bee speculates that Target’s move means the bell ringers are a thing of the past. If so, American culture will surely suffer. The sound of the bell ringers in front of stores reminded us that in the hurry of buying gifts for our loved ones, there are other people in the world who need our help.
The bell ringers also taught us appreciation. How many times during the year do you hear a heart felt “thank you”? But you hear it when you throw some change in the kettle. The ringers thank us because they know that little bit of change adds up to millions of dollars every Christmas.
I remember asking my parents for change to put in the kettle when I was a child. It was part of the joy of experiencing Christmas, giving to others. I hope to be a father in the next couple of years, will my child be able to experience the same joy? If the Salvation Army bell ringers are being told to leave, charity is going with them.
After a Christmas tree disaster last year, Honeybun and I have decided it is time to get an artificial tree. Our next stop was Target. We’ve crossed them off our list this year and won’t be doing any Christmas shopping there. We’ll check out WalMart and go to the malls. Before we do, we’ll make sure we have change for the bell ringers.
Update: Hugh Hewitt linked to me again. Welcome Hugh Hewitt readers. Feel free to leave a comment.