I recently read an article in which the author described his loss of the holiday spirit. His words left me wanting to replace his yearning for the excitement and joy he had experienced as a young boy -- all that fills the mind of a child for weeks to come each December as they eagerly anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas morning.
It is with great appreciation that I am able to witness the holiday spirit each year through the many acts of kindness provided by Payson residents.
You see, I work at a local school where, as is common in any town, there are many good, hardworking families with young children who can use a bit of assistance during the Christmas season. This year was no exception. In fact, the needs were greater than ever before. But, in Payson, the greater the challenge, the greater the outpouring of people wanting to help.
Individuals, businesses and organizations called the school to ask what they could do to ensure that the children of Payson were able to have a Merry Christmas. More than 50 children from my school alone were provided with warm clothing, coats, shoes, toys, festive parties and an outpouring of love.
To see the gleam of tears in a parent's eyes as he arrives at school to pick up the carefully wrapped packages, purchased especially for his children, to have the opportunity to witness the overwhelming gratitude of a parents as he pushes the sparkling new bicycle toward the trunk of a car, one cannot help but feel the spirit of Christmas.
A special thank you to all of those individuals, who have asked to remain anonymous, and to the members of the Mount Cross Lutheran Church, Payson Elks Lodge, Payson Masonic Lodge, PHS Key Club, PHS SADD Club, Payson Santa's Helpers and Tonto Apache Tribe. Your thoughtfulness not only brought smiles to the faces of our children, as they undoubtedly squealed with delight when receiving their gifts, but you also reminded me of that youthful innocence and eager anticipation experienced at Christmastime as a young child, and the true meaning of giving.
Laurie Lindell, Payson