I walked into a local grocery store the other day, and as I passed the heater blowers I heard “Merry Christmas.” I looked toward the greeting and there was a man sitting on a stool, full white beard, and the red Salvation Army Pot sitting beside him. He smiled.
I thought it was odd. No bell ringing. It was just an engaging, face to face, wonderful holiday season greeting, but no bell. “Where’s the bell?” I asked him.
“They don’t like us to ring it when we are sitting inside.”
“Well Merry Christmas to you too.” I smiled back. He nodded and engaged the next shopper as they passed him. As many times as I thought to myself that the bell ringing was just an annoyance during the holiday, I couldn’t help realize how I took it for granted. After Thanksgiving, the bells would start clanging, and one felt rang at instead of musically rang to. It was screaming, “I am here and we need donations!”
This was an odd encounter.
It was quiet.
The expected was lost.
I didn’t hear the bell ringing, and I missed it.