If you do give to the Salvation Army, give them a donation when you leave, not when you walk in, this is crucial. You could give them a thousand dollar bill when you walk in, but that damn judging bell ringer doesn’t remember you. They will still give you that condescending stare down if you don’t put something in that red pot while leaving.
They may say “happy holidays” even if you don’t give anything, but trust me they don’t mean it. Here is the translation: “Thanks a lot you cheap son of a bitch, now go fuck yourself.”
I like to save them a nice shiny penny or drop in 2 quarters and ask for change. What can I say, I’m a giver.