• Nov24Fri

    "Keep the kettle boiling!"

    Retrospective #53 November 24, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    It's a Christmas Bubble!
    It's a Christmas Bubble!

    The dictionary tells us that a kettle is: A container or device in which water is boiled, having a lid, spout, and handle; a teakettle.

    Some of our bands are known to own and use the percussion instrument – the “Kettle Drum” (a name sometimes mistakenly applied to the Snare Drum). The Kettle Drum of course is quite large and cauldron-like. A cauldron (or caldron) is a large metal pot (kettle) for cooking or boiling over an open fire, with a large mouth and frequently with an arc-shaped hanger.

    The Salvation Army “Kettle Season” is upon us and across the country variations of these items are popping up all over with bell ringers, carolers, bands, ensembles, even combinations of these and then some.

    “From whence cometh this activity?” you ask.

    Wikipedia supplies us with the following information:

    The Christmas Kettle is The Salvation Army's most 
    famous street campaign. It is most recognized during the 
    Christmas season through its volunteers who stand outside of 
    businesses and play or sing Christmas carols, or ring bells to 
    inspire passersby to place donations of cash and checks 
    inside the kettles.

    A tradition on the "kettle" started in 1891, in San 
    Francisco, by Salvation Army officer Captain Joseph McFee. 
    Captain McFee, resolving to provide a free Christmas dinner 
    to the poor of San Francisco, remembered a sight he saw in 
    Liverpool, England. From his days as a sailor McFee 
    remembered a large pot displayed on the Stage Landing, 
    called "Simpson's Pot." The pot took in donations put in by 
    passersby. Taking this idea, McFee asked for permission 
    from San Francisco city authorities to place a crab pot and 
    tripod at the Oakland ferry landing. The kettle - and McFee's 
    call of "Keep the Pot Boiling!" - drew in passengers and 

    The idea spread, and is in use by many Salvation Army 
    charities worldwide. Innovations from the crab pot have 
    included self-ringing kettles, booths that play Christmas 
    music, and Credit Card capabilities.

    Many of you have already volunteered your help in this special effort over the years and there are those of you who have already signed up for this time around as well!

    God Bless You!


    Leading up to Christmas it is my intention to continue posting pictures, stories, and writings relative to this ministry. I invite you follow as I do so!

    A "word-doodle" of mine from 2014:

    Randy C. Hicks
    November 17, 2014

    The name we use to speak of it
    I'm sorry, but it doesn't fit!
    Maybe it's predecessor did
    As people tossed in it their quid!

    But this thing's shape is really odd
    The viewers mind it's bound to prod
    Some are coloured, others see-through
    How does it work? What should I do?

    For kids to use it they must stretch
    But their attention it does fetch
    Then there are those who don't see well
    The opening they cannot tell!

    Like a magnet - it kindness draws
    As folk step up to help the cause
    Quarters, dimes, nickels and loonies
    Paper bills along with twonies!

    Sometimes you'll hear a small bell ring
    A band may play or a choir sing
    Often it's just a friendly smile
    That makes you pause a little while!

    Whate'er calling out your mettle
    This looks nothing like a "KETTLE"
    Thanks for helping those in trouble
    Thanks for stopping by our "BUBBLE!"

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