Things Seen & Heard While Ringing Bells

21 Dec

Ringing bells for the Salvation Army has been a part of my family’s winter/Christmas traditions for many years now. We’ve learned a lot over the years, like whether standing at the entrance or exit is better (the exit, always the exit), and that no matter how many pairs of socks you wear, you will not be able to feel your toes at the end of four hours. What we can never truly prepare for, however, are the people.

Maybe it’s something about the neighborhood we ring bells in, or maybe it’s just the clientele of that particular store. Whatever it is, the people watching is truly what makes the time go by, and the people do not disappoint. Here are just a few of the things seen and heard during this year’s shift.


  • Two legit Santa Clauses (real beards, folks!)
  • A woman in a tank top (the high was 30 degrees yesterday)
  • One fire truck, one ambulance, two police cars
  • One man digging cans out of the garbage
  • A woman putting out her cigarette, then putting it back in her pack to (presumably) smoke again later
  • One woman giving my brother her gloves because he didn’t have any


  • “It’s nice to see young people out here ringing!”
  • “I hear those bells in my dreams.”
  • “Jesus IS the reason for the season.”
  • “You need a pint of rum out here.”
  • “Mom, those candy canes are for the kids.”
    “I don’t care, I want one.”

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