Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bell Ringing - It's all in the Family

My brother started bell ringing for the Salvation Army about ten years ago. Dave is a friendly guy and has no problem talking to strangers, so it was an easy fit for him. Once he realized how much he liked it, he decided to have some fun and asked his wife to make him a Santa suit. He usually starts growing a beard in July so by the time the Christmas season rolls around he looks like the real thing—even the belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly is real.

But he didn’t stop there. He bought an elf costume for each of his two adult daughters, Becky and Katie, and at least one accompanies him on every shift.

Not only does Dave have a lot of fun, but by the time his shift is over, his kettle is full, too.

Katie, Dave and me at Cub Foods in Forest Lake, Minnesota
A couple years ago, he started asking me to help out and I promised that I would do it once I retired.  I am retired now and this is my second year of bell ringing. Our usual spot is in front of a busy grocery store. Our favorite shift is the day before Thanksgiving. Dave rings the bells (one in each hand) and I hand out candy canes to everyone who donates. I am amazed at how generous people are—many people stuff $5, $10 and $20 into the kettle. Some people hand us cups of hot coffee and others simply thank us for volunteering.

I can see why Dave likes it so much. On the upside, you meet a lot of interesting people while working for a good cause. On the downside, you’re on your feet for several hours, it takes perseverance when the temp drops, but all-in-all, it really is a rewarding experience.
USA Today bestselling author, Denise Devine has had a passion for books since she discovered Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder in second grade. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at age thirteen and has been writing ever since.
You can visit Denise at her website at or her Amazon author page at

1 comment:

  1. I ring the bell every Christmas too. It's a chilly but heartwarming experience. So many people say thank you!