It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Lights twinkle on trees, houses, store displays and just about every available surface. Glittery ornaments sparkle among tree branches and even in holiday hair dos. Delectable goodies that are forbidden most days of the year become standard fare almost every day of the month. And the Christmas sweaters come out. What can we say about the Christmas sweaters? Tasteful fashions are exchanged for cardigans, pullovers, even t-shirts whose main purpose seem to be a contest to see who can cover the wearer with the most snowmen, Santas, Christmas bulbs, jingle bells, reindeer, and holly. Extra points for tacky! Most of us have wonderful and fond holiday memories of Christmases past even as we forge new traditions with additions to the family, a new home in a new town, or new friends.
There is a 120 year old Christmas tradition that is as much a part of this season as eggnog, mistletoe, and candy canes. That is the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. The sound of the bell ringing outside department stores and modern supercenters signals the arrival of the holidays every bit as much as newspapers thick with advertisements for Black Friday sales.
This tradition is, however, one in which you can feel good about indulging. The Salvation Army is a phenomenal ministry that does so much good in local communities and around the world that even if you think you are familiar with what they do, trust me when I say you probably don’t know the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Read more about the Salvation Army here.
So when you see that big red kettle and hear that bell ringing, don’t put your head down or fish around in your pocket for your keys or look busy with your packages. Throw some money in it! Every little bit truly helps. And you can know that you are partnering with an organization that feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, comforts the lonely, gives hope to the desperate and so much more. Read Matthew 25:35-45 to see how important all of these are to God.