The prelude to this big holiday season seems to be getting longer and longer. Around the middle of the summer you can hear promotions for "Christmas in July" -- July! -- With six months of hype, it is understandable why some of us might be sick of the whole thing by now.
Shame on us.
Let's get out there and recapture some of that true Christmas spirit. Visit one of the many angel trees around town and pick a name or two or three or four of those less fortunate and turn yourself into Santa for an hour or two and fill the wishes on those lists.
Attend a Christmas concert.
There are two performances of the program "Spirit of Christmas" on Sunday, one at 2 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m. at the Payson High School auditorium.
Young people will be sharing the sounds of the season in the next few days. The Payson Community Kids perform at Fireside Espresso at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, you can hit the jackpot and spend almost the whole day listening to children and teens. At Frontier Elementary School, there are three programs, the fifth-grade band and chorus perform at 8:30 a.m.; the kindergarten, first and second grades have a program at 10 a.m.; and at 1 p.m., the third- and fourth-graders are on stage. Drive up the hill to Pine for a performance by students at 6:30 p.m. or stay in Payson for a performance by the high school's band, modern and mixed choirs at 7 p.m.
Take a tour of all the beautiful Christmas light displays. The town is providing bus tours, the evening of Dec. 15, to see all the entries in the community's lighting contest. A list of all the addresses will be in the Tuesday, Dec. 18 edition of the Roundup, if you would prefer a self-guided tour. The residents of Forest Park have issued an invitation to see the neighborhood displays starting at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15.
Make some Christmas cookies. You can make a batch from scratch or you can pick up all kinds of mixes that take all the measuring and most of the other work out of the project.
Take some time and turn off the television and shut down your phones, put on the Christmas music and write down all the fun and little blessings you have experienced during 2007.
Make a Christmas wish list for yourself -- go ahead, be greedy and outrageous, share your heart's desires. What was the one present you asked for year after year as a child and never found under the tree? Put that on the list. Nobody needs to see it but you. That doesn't mean you can't play Santa for yourself, if you are so inclined.
The spirit of Christmas is joy and peace and love. These are things we don't grow weary of; they are worth holding on to and promoting not only in December, but also in July and the whole year-round.
Make Christmas merry -- just use your imagination.