Silver Bells...

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.

I only managed to get one of the pupeteers in the photo, since the hordes of people crossing the street at the corner were threatening to run me down such that I couldn't wait for both people to get in the shot.


  1. That just warmed my heart! Your parents are very generous people, and I'm glad you are following in their footsteps. It's easy to take for granted the little things and luxuries we have. Thanks for taking the time to let go of the Christmas hype and remember those who are less fortunate. And kudos to the Salvation Army volunteers who tirelessly, and in this instance creatively, work for an organization they believe in!

  2. A puppet that looked exactly like that yelled "you're gross!" and me in the street a couple months ago.

  3. Maybe that's what she does when she's not donating her time to the Salvation Army. Or maybe she volunteers to absolve herself of the guilt from her other hobby of harassing passerbys.