Nativity Scenes On Display Beginning Next Week

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Jodee Smith

A special, but fairly new, holiday tradition in Pine and Strawberry is a display of a wonderful collection of Nativity scenes, which various residents share with the community.

I hope that you all had a really nice Thanksgiving with friends and family this year.

One of the things our family does is write down one thing we each are thankful for every day starting Nov. 1. On Thanksgiving Day we read back through the many reasons we have to be grateful. It’s a very special reminder to us of just how fortunate we really are.

The Tellebration Celebration turned out to be every bit as entertaining as promised. The tellers spoke to a packed house, sharing life experiences, parables, and historical events with a blend of mysterious, captivating and humorous wit.

Our family continued to discuss the stories and storytellers long after returning home, and even the kids were surprised at how much they enjoyed the evening. (That’s saying a lot because they were not impressed at all with the Nutcracker Ballet performance we attended last Christmas!) We all agreed that as long as the Tellebration comes to Pine, we will be in attendance. I can see why so many folks have made this event an annual tradition.

One lucky fellow even won a beautiful quilt during intermission. Many thanks to the DPS Quilt Angels and Don Doyle for bringing this unique experience to our community. Best of all, the proceeds from the event will help the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank provide a much-needed helping hand this holiday season.

In fact, the food bank was able to give out several food baskets for Thanksgiving this year. In addition to the bountiful boxes of food, the Strawberry Patchers donated 65 lovely, homemade Christmas stockings for the children. The Patchers work hard to bless folks right here in our community — and judging from the smiles on the children’s faces, I’d say they are doing a great job!

During hard times like these, the generosity of so many folks working together ensures that no one need go without basic necessities in our community.

I also want to take a moment to thank the members of the Riff Raff Club for making Thanksgiving much brighter for a few members of our community. The club provided generous gift baskets laden with turkeys, pies and all the trimmings to eight families. The sole purpose of the Riff Raff Club is to help others and they use fund-raisers, such as their recent rifle raffle, to make that happen. Pine and Strawberry are better communities because of the efforts of folks like those in the Riff Raff Club and we are fortunate to have them in our midst — not to mention they have a very cool name!

If the current economic woes are dampening your Christmas spirit, then I have the perfect solution. You’re all invited to a special Nativity display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at the Pine Cultural Center. This is the second year that this marvelous event has taken place and it is truly a unique opportunity to ring in the holidays. Last year there were more than 100 Nativity sets on display. There were all types and sizes — everything from traditional to unusual, homemade to store-bought, fancy to basic. The variety was amazing and even more amazing is that this event is absolutely free. The organizers even provide cookies and hot cider as an added bonus. My family has looked forward to this event all year and I know that yours will want to make this a holiday tradition, too. Those who are interested in displaying Nativity sets can call Lynda Howard at (928) 476-3001 or Barbara Davis at (928) 476-4317 for details. Set up is from noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 3. If you’re tired of the overly commercialized trend of the holiday season and wish to get back to the true meaning of Christmas, taking time to visit this wonderful display is a great way to start.

If you happen to visit the Nativity display on Friday, Dec. 5, stick around and attend the Pine-Strawberry Elementary School Christmas Tree Auction, too. Every year, community sponsors purchase the trees, which each class or school organization then decorates. The trees are auctioned off in the elementary school gym starting at 6 p.m. The bidding is always a great deal of fun to watch or participate in and the money raised is used for field trips, classroom supplies and other school room necessities. Santa will be there to meet the kids and hand out treats and there will be cookies and hot cocoa available as well. Even if you are not able to bid on a tree, you may want to purchase some of the handmade Christmas and holiday cards that will be for sale.

While you’re in Pine, don’t forget to check out our extraordinarily diverse gift shops. You will find an astounding variety of items for all tastes and all budgets. Whether you are looking for beeswax candles, prickly pear butter, eclectic ornaments, home furnishings and décor, antiques, knitting supplies, mesquite-flavored honey, high-quality art pieces or a variety of other unusual gifts, you can find them (and many others) in our local shops. If you’ve never taken time to check out the Pine community’s shopping opportunities, you will be pleasantly surprised. So don’t just settle for any old gift — find the perfect items at great prices for the special people in your life right here in Pine!

As you can see, the towns of Pine and Strawberry may be small, but there is always a lot happening, so grab your family and head on up to help us celebrate this magical season.

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