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.