Silver bells silver satisfaction

Silver bells…job satisfaction

Nice melody, orchestration, cheery lyrics. This song is one of the “olde favorites” we hear every December. It’s as old as I am, which explains why I remember hearing it all my life.

“Silver Bells” is a classic Christmas song, composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. It was introduced by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in a motion picture called The Lemon Drop Kid in 1951. The first recorded version was by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards in 1952, which also became a hit in late 1952. The lyrics are unusual for a Christmas song because they describe the holiday in the city, not a rural setting. —from Wikipedia

And those Silver Bells? Those bells ringing in the song were inspired by the imagery of Salvation Army bell-ringers standing outside department stores during the holiday season.

Fifty-seven years later, the Salvation Army bell-ringers are still outside our stores. And to my eye, they look forlorn. They are ravaged by the cold, dampness, and boredom. They look discouraged as people mostly ignore them. For most shoppers, they seem invisible or a nuisance.

I’ve chosen to bring cheer and job satisfaction into the lives of as many bell-ringers as I can. I realized that I could drop a $20 bill into one pot, brightening one bell-ringer’s day, but then I’d be like everyone else, ignoring the bell-ringers for the rest of the season. So instead, I got twenty $1 bills and stuck them in my jacket pocket. Now, every time I run across a bell-ringer, I pull out a $1 bill and drop it into their red pot. And when I run out of ones, I’ll go to the bank and swap out another twenty for more $1 bills. And when that’s gone, I’ll do it again.

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With recession in full swing, charitable giving seems to be one way everyone is cutting back…just when more and more Americans are being laid off from their jobs and in need of extra support.

By the time Christmas Eve arrives, I will have donated about the same amount of money. But every time I drop a bill into one of those red pots, I get a big smile, a thank you, and a happy holiday wish from a silver bell-ringer who got satisfaction from their job.

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