WWYD: A Christmas Caroler

In our third installment of our “What Would You Do” series: What you’d do when someone knocks on your door and asks for money. This one comes from Alissa.

My dad was at home by himself last week when he hears the doorbell ring, and a bell jingling. “Christmas carolers?” he says to himself, and opens the door to find a woman standing by herself, ringing a bell and singing a Christmas carol. (I don’t know whether this is relevant to the story but he described her as … weathered and sad-looking.)

He said “Hello … ?” And she said “I’m going around Christmas caroling to raise money to buy Christmas presents for my children.”


What my dad did: “I gave her $10 … but I made her listen to my movie line story.”

“What’s your movie line story?”

“Once when you were kids, I dropped you off with your mother at the movie theatre and went to get gas. At the gas station, a man asked me for change to get on the bus home. I gave him $2 and when I got back to the movie theatre … there he was, standing in line in front of me.”

I had a similar experience last holiday when I was visiting my folks in California. A week before Christmas, a woman approached me in the parking lot of a grocery store holding a basket of what was clearly leftover candy from Halloween.

“I’m selling these candies, so I can buy my kids a Christmas tree and some presents,” she said. “If you could help me, I would be the most grateful mother on Earth.”

I reached into my wallet and pulled out a $20. “I don’t need any candy,” I said. “And since it’s so close to Christmas, see if you can get a good discount off of a tree.” I was convinced that she intended to use the money as she said she would, and even if that wasn’t the case, I would have found it difficult to say no to her after listening to her story. WWYD?

Email me your WWYD experiences to me with “WWYD” in the subject line.