It is hard to believe that Christmas is here. It happens every year, but the years seem to get shorter, so Christmases are closer together. I am still behind from last Christmas ... one of these days.
Everyone is at home getting ready for the big night tomorrow and the huge day on Sunday -- cooking, wrapping, cooking, more wrapping and adding final touches to the decorating. Those Christmas lights are just about perfect and the cat is finally leaving the tree alone. All is well.
In the city, it is easy to get hung up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and tearing about. In our quiet communities, it is up to us to maintain the calm.
There is a wonderful child's book at the Pine Library, "A Houseful of Christmas" by Barbara Joosse. It features Granny -- who lives in a place like Pine or Strawberry, and is busily cooking her famous yam casserole. All the family arrives, and there are bunches of them, including children and dogs, bearing more food. They all eat a festive dinner and while they are not paying attention, enough snow falls to keep them stranded at Granny's for the night. Granny brings out endless blankets and pillows, while folks find their place on the floor and finally, everyone settles in for a long winter's nap.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to be snowed in? Being stranded at home is good for the soul. Put everything on hold and just sit, reflect, work on New Year's resolutions, read the paper, read a book and watch a favorite movie.
Oh, back to those activities in Pine and Strawberry. Not too much is happening during the next week, as everyone is enjoying family and friends.
Call your favorite local restaurant to make reservations for New Year's Eve. It is much safer to stay close to home. Good food, good music, good fun can be had right here in Pine and Strawberry.
There is not much time left to contribute to the Credit for Kids program. Your contribution must be made before the end of the year. You can choose where you want your money to go. According to information from the Pine/Strawberry School, areas of need are: library books; technology, such as computers and programs; the music program; field trips; or you can specify that your money be used in a specific class or grade level. The money will go where you designate. It costs you nothing and it helps our school children.
Movies at the Pine Library can help relieve some of that post-Christmas energy that is sure to plague area youngsters. Bring the children to the library for two great movies during the school recess: "Kronk's New Groove," rated G, will be shown at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28; "Sky High," rated PG, will be shown at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Popcorn will be provided and the children will sit on the floor, so they might want to bring a pillow.
A very important notice from the Pine/Strawberry Fire Department -- As of Jan. 3, the local emergency telephone number will no longer be in service. If there is an emergency, dial 911. We are all familiar with 911, so this will be a good change. The nonemergency number for the fire department remains the same, (928) 476-4272.
Book Buddies 2006 begins at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Pine Library. This program is for 3- to 5-year-olds from Pine and Strawberry. Direct questions about the program to Becky Waer or Grace Schoerner at the library, (928) 476-3678.
Tust Studio in Pine is offering a wood graining class in January. For more information, call (928) 476-3344. This is a great opportunity for us. These two are true artists.
AA meets at 6 p.m. every Sunday in the Senior Dining Room at the Pine Community Center.
Please provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest for residents and visitors of Pine and Strawberry. Call or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.