Kettle Coordinator Survives Horrendous Kettle Nightmare

Humbug Or Hallelujah


By Paul Jennings –

I woke several minutes before my alarm this morning, breathing heavily and a little disoriented. The air in my bedroom was crisp and cold, and I didn’t really want to get up. I stretched, shook myself awake, and made my way to the shower.

Before I got there, things started coming back to me. As I looked in the mirror I could see myself drenched in sweat. Big beads dripped down my face. The dream of the night before raced through my mind-the enormous red kettle with the silver dollar teeth screamed, “FEED ME, FEED ME!” while a thousand legions of red coats faced each other in a parking lot, armed to the teeth with bells, daring each other to sound the first “tinkle.”

All the while, these proceedings were being watched over by three giant judges, seated on vast golden thrones. They looked familiar, but I wasn’t quite sure.

I moved in for a closer look and saw the embroidered name tags on their robes. Judge Target, Judge Vons and Judge Thrifty were immense and powerful. With a mere turn of the wrist they sent lightning bolts charging down from the sky into the legions of red coats, leaving nothing but silenced bells. The horror! The horror!

The horror unfolded further, but I’m sure you know the rest. It is a familiar story.

As I stood facing the mirror I asked myself, “Why?”

“Why have I done this to myself? Why did I agree to be the kettle coordinator? I have only been doing this for two weeks and I’m already tormented!”

Well, precisely 13 days into the kettle season, I already know the reason why I’m doing the job-because it matters.

For the 1,200 families in my city who will receive food, and the 2,500 children who will receive toys this Christmas, kettles will make a difference.

For the thousands who pass by the familiar red pot and place in it their money and their trust, knowing the Army is still at the battle’s front, kettles will make a difference.

For my bellringer with cerebral palsy, who squealed with excitement when I told her she had the job-her first and hopefully not her last-kettles will make a difference.

Without a doubt, Christ-mas in The Salvation Army is the busiest time of the year. Apart from the general hustle and bustle of the season there are kettles to coordinate, families to adopt, food to be packed, and much, much more. It can be quite a headache (or a nightmare) when it all gets going. But it does make a difference.

I did wake before my alarm clock this morning, but I think it’s a small price to pay.

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