The Red Kettle

An embarrassing but true tale: The red kettles used to annoy me. For years I felt guilty if I didn’t have anything to put in them – and who likes to feel guilty, right? (So sometimes I would just go in a different door….classy.) I also felt annoyed because it felt like they were everywhere. Then, when I did give my $1, I wished I had a hand stamp that I could wave at the next kettle ringer indicating I already gave. Oh, how I was filled with the giving spirit of Christmas!

Then one Sunday morning in December of 2008, I heard Stan Buck, (my pastor who passed away on November 18th) give us a challenge about the red kettles. He challenged us to give generously; to be prepared to give each and every time we passed a red kettle.

He suggested then that if we put a dollar in the kettle each time we passed one it is likely to not total more than $50. Most of us can afford to be that generous. If you can’t, consider dropping $0.50, or even $0.25 – each and every time. It feels good. Which is usually how this giving thing goes – in blessing others we usually feel blessed ourselves.

Perhaps I wasn’t really annoyed at the red kettles, it’s more likely that I was annoyed at myself for not being prepared to give. Or maybe I was just stingy. I’m not sure, but what I do know is that since that message, each Christmas season I have gone to the bank for my $1 bills and I put one in the kettle each and every time I see one.

And this year, since Stan isn’t here to give his dollar bills, I put one in for him too.

(I’ve read several Facebook postings in the last few weeks about people from our church thinking of Stan when they see a red kettle – and giving. This good and faithful man inspired so many to do the good and faithful things in life. His legacy will be far reaching.)

Be Not Afraid of the Red Kettles; The $1 Difference; Stan Buck

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