Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Jingles your Bells?

If I were green and hairy, I'd be the Grinch.

I am not a big fan of Christmas. I don't listen to the music, I decorate late, I don't bake, and I do my shopping online in my PJ's on a Tuesday afternoon and damn the sales. My nightmares consist of running through the mall in nothing but wrapping paper and a creatively placed bow among other things, but there is one thing about Christmas that I can't get enough of.


I know. Weird, right? I never keep cash on me, but starting the day after Thanksgiving, I always have money on hand. The Salvation Army is one of my top five favorites mainly because the folks they put out in front of Wal Mart, Target and the Mall are cream of the crop awesome. They usually are missing teeth, limbs, and patches of hair, but they really put their hearts into ringing that bell. When I drop my money in the bucket I get a hearty thanks and grin like I just made their day. The guy who covers Hobby Lobby is a hugger and I've been kissed by the big black lady at Wal Mart. I don't mind it at all. In fact, I really enjoy it.

My top donation destination is WalMart on Saturdays. A fully uniformed and metal laden Marine takes up a stiff post at the entrance and those men make my heart melt into a puddle of mushy mush. Last weekend I went in for some soap and came to a skidding halt when a blue coat, white gloved and shiny shoe Marine stood at attention with his military donation bucket. I didn't know they made Marines like that... all broad shouldered, tall and sharp looking. In a complete daze, I fished out a twenty and dropped it in the bucket. I got a wink for it, but when I came back out of the store, I couldn't help myself and I put in another twenty. For that I got so much more.

Mr. Marine broke protocol and called out after me. He wanted to thank me and asked if I was military or married to a serviceman. I said no, but I had family in military and I have a soft spot for Marines. Anyone who willingly goes out into the front lines of war is pretty damn brave in my book. Mr. Marine was impressed. He shook my hand, thanked me again and went back to his post. I went on my way, grinning like a fool.

That, my dear readers, is what I love about Christmas. In an instant, strangers become friends and unlikely classes of people come together. I'll probably grumble over the fact that I still haven't gotten anything for my hubby, that I have to burn yet another ham for Christmas Dinner and I have a pile of presents to wrap that I don't want to wrap multiplying like gremlins in my closet. BUT, you can bet your behind I'll have cash in my pocket and make weekly visits to the ATM every day right up to Christmas Eve.

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