So the idea that somebody would steal a kettle is especially unseemly.
But that's what has happened in Northeast Philadelphia, not once, but three times.
Two kettles were taken from outside an ACME supermarket in the 8200 block of Roosevelt Boulevard.
The most recent theft was on December 6th in front of the ACME at 6601 Roosevelt Boulevard.
"A guy on a bicycle came and grabbed the kettle, stand and all, and dragged it and the kettle worker lunged to try and catch him and ended up just falling," Major Alma Riley of the Salvation Army said.
"The people who have taken these kettles, we'd be happy to help them, if they just came in for service the other way, and in this way, with them taking the kettles, we're not able to serve as many people," Randall Thomas of the Salvation Army said.
The Salvation Army says the need is greater this year, but donations are down 5 to 10 percent from this time last year.