The Michaels Man

What do you get when you cross a sombrero, a harmonica and The Salvation Army?
I found out a couple of days ago as I was entering our local Michael's craft store.
I made it a goal this year to put some money into every Salvation Army persons bucket this year, even if it was just small change. You see them at EVERY store now. So far I have been given a mumbled thank you, and maybe a small smile. No problem, doesn't discourage me in any way.
BUT...what a breath of fresh air the Michael's man was! As I approached Michael's from the parking lot, I started to hear music. Not really a tune I could put my finger on, but a pleasant sound, nonetheless. After putting my keys in my purse, I looked up to see a short, hispanic man wearing a huge colorful sombrero. He was smiling the biggest smile I have ever seen as I approached the Salvation Army bucket. He was wearing the red apron, but was not ringing the traditional bell. I put my money in, and he looked me right in the eye (I am a short white person) and said in broken English, "God bless you! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!" He then lifted a harmonica to his lips, and started to play a random tune as he walked back and forth in front of the store.
I was caught off guard! I was smiling from ear to ear! How wonderful! Everyone around me was smiling as well, and he offered a "God Bless You", or "Merry Christmas" to everyone who came within a few feet of him.
I don't know about you, but I rarely hear those words from people outside my circle of friends and family. Perhaps they think they will offend me in some way. I was not offended. I was made cheerful.
And that is what you get when you cross a sombrero, a harmonica, and The Salvation Army.


The Patriarch said...

Shelli, you do my heart good. Thank you for relating that experience. It made me smile as well.

Sants said...

Okay, I know this is probably wrong of me, but I will totally put more money into the bucket if the person is making an effort. Show me some singing (even bad) and I will dig through the bottom of my purse looking for the spare dime. (Last year Wal Mart had a toothless lady who sang her heart out (badly) all sorts of Christmas Carols. I would get change just for her. She was inspiring, in her own off tune way.)

This year our Salvation Army workers aren't as good as the ones we had last year (a lot of your response). I'll have to try Michael's!

Krista said...


Team Pettijohn said...

It's amazing what something so simple can do for you. I remember one day when I was going up the escalator at the mall. I was just minding my own business when this hot shot teenager said "excuse me Miss...you dropped this" I looked at him all confused. He continued..."Your smile, Have a nice day." I couldn't help but smile at him...I thought it was so corny and funny. I'm sure he's quite the player with all that smooth talk. lol.

Smith Family said...

I just saw that guy yesterday! He was great! He was so unique and I have to admit that I didn't realize that he was a salvation army guy. (I walked to the store from the side and he was almost out to the street). He was delightful though! I will have to find him again next time and give him some cash.

Melanie Cain said...

I feel guilty now! I saw him and thought the same thing, he was so cute. I never put money in those because I feel like I can't trust people. I need to be better like you, you are so good.

Steph said...

I love that Christmas makes us interact with others in a way that is so unlike the rest of the year. Not that we are rude the rest of the year, but your commitment to contribute to EVERY bucket is a perfect example of the extra effort. I am hoping to visit a few more neighbors than last year. That;s my commitment. Now that I have shared it with you, I will be more likely to follow through. Merry Christmas!