One of the sure signs of the arrival of the holiday season is the sound of the bell-ringers outside of shops, come rain, snow, sun, or brutal cold, trying to secure a donation to the Salvation Army. In Chicago, where the winter weather is uniformly severe, I usually feel so bad for these kind souls that I root around in my purse for pocket change for them. It takes dedication to do what they do, and in these economic times, their mission is all the more necessary.
Yesterday, when I was out doing a little shopping with Mom, we spotted a pair of Salvation Army volunteers with a different strategy: puppets. They had forsaken their bells for Avenue Q-style puppets, with whom they were pretending to carol along to a CD playing Christmas music. They had stationed themselves on a busy corner on Michigan Avenue, and although they certainly caught my attention, most of the crowds were rushing by, undeterred from their holiday chores. Mom and I made a donation to recognize them for their ingenuity, and I snapped a picture to share with you guys. I really admire their creativity and their dedication to their cause, and this photo brings a smile to my face every time.