This morning I got up early(ish) and set out to run some holiday errands. While the early start did help me avoid some of the usual crush, by the time I'd visited three different stores and dealt with cranky clerks, rude customers, whiny children, ugly traffic and some of the worst Christmas music ever, I was most definitely In. A. Mood.
I was thinking decidedly un-jolly thoughts about the season in general and the rest of humanity in particular when I heard the distant ringing of a Salvation Army bell. Now, you may not know this about me, but I am constitutionally incapable of passing by one of those red kettles. I'm not saying this to sound holier-than-thou - it's just a holdover from my childhood. Salvation Army kettle = cough up some dough.
So there I was, trying to stand out of the way and juggle my packages while I fished a single out of my wallet, when I realized that someone was singing Christmas carols. You know how people sing in the shower? (Guilty!) And you know how sometimes people sing really enthusiastically in the shower, even when they know they suck? (Also guilty!) That's the kind of singing that I was hearing. I free my dollar bill and head out the door only to see this short, portly little Asian guy, all bundled up against the cold, ringing his bell with one hand and holding a notebook page with hand-written Christmas lyrics in the other, belting out "O Holy Night" for all he was worth. And thanking people for their donations in between:
"Faaaaaalll on you knees! O heeeeeeaa..."
"Thank you, Me-y Chistmas"
"...the angel voooooiiiiices"
(Like I said ... little Asian dude. He tended to drop his "Rs". Not being racist here, just trying to paint the scene.)
Anyway, I was in a much better mood when I headed back to the car. So thanks, Salvation Army guy.