Created: 12/18/2013 2:54 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The Salvation Army bell ringers are iconic for spreading holiday cheer and collecting donations for the needy. But recently in Phoenix, a bell ringer was punched for telling someone "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
"Some people have a bad day," said Doug Williams, representative for the Salvation Army in Albuquerque.
Williams said what happened in Phoenix is extremely rare.
"100 percent minus one, you know, are just wishing each other Merry Christmas," Williams said.
He says bell ringers are actually trained to say "Merry Christmas," but if they feel more comfortable saying "Happy Holidays," that's fine too.
If bell ringers feel threatened in any way, this is what they are trained to do: Walk away, then call the supervisor and store manager.
"It's none confrontational. It's not, you know, conversation or, you know, anything is back and forth, you know, with folks coming up. You try to take the high ground. You step away," Williams said.