Many Ways To Spread Holiday Cheer This Year

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Rim residents are invited to spread lots of holiday cheer this year. Adopt a child, a family or a senior for gift giving this season. Donate some time to ring bells for contributions to the area’s Salvation Army or make a holiday party extra special. Attend a Christmas program and contribute goods for the food bank or funds for scholarships.

All of these opportunities still await as we get closer to Christmas, however, there are deadlines to return gifts for those you choose to adopt.

To start with though, the Payson chapter of the Salvation Army still needs Bell Ringers to work through Christmas Eve.

Bell Ringers need to be able to commit to two-hour shifts, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Ringers will be working at Walmart, Walgreens, Bashas’ and Safeway.

For details and to sign up, call John Morgan at (928) 474-8454 or (928) 595-0517.

The program for holiday adoption of children in the foster system is Dec. 15, the last day to adopt a Senior Angel is Dec. 16.

An Arizona’s Children Association tree at Oasis Christian Books and Gifts, 512 W. Beeline Highway, Payson, is decorated with the names of children in foster care and their Christmas wish lists. Come by and get a name and list and make one (or more) of these children’s holiday special. For more information, contact Cindy Paul at (928) 232-7149.

Local residents and businesses may help less fortunate seniors in the community by stopping by any Edward Jones branch office during regular business hours to select a Senior Angel now through Dec. 16. Drop off all gifts, which Edward Jones staff will deliver to Payson area seniors in need.

Branch locations are Suite B, 411 S. Beeline Highway and 113 W. Main St. in Payson and 4010 N. Highway 87 in Pine.

The Salvation Army will again have an Angel Tree at National Bank of Arizona, 804 S. Beeline Highway, Payson, from which residents can choose an “angel tag” and provide Christmas gifts for area youngsters who would not have a holiday without assistance. The gifts need to be returned to the bank by Dec. 20 for distribution.

The Rim Country Optimist, Rotary and Kiwanis club members, the Payson Senior Center, school district personnel, other non-profit representatives and interested individuals are working on a community effort to provide Christmas gifts for the area’s displaced and disadvantaged youth.

Possible items to be provided are hat, scarf and gloves, sweater/hooded sweatshirt, flannel pajamas, underwear, socks, etc., and an age-appropriate book, game or puzzle.

Recently an anonymous donor made a large contribution of new clothing, shoes and toys. The items will be sorted this week and placed in the appropriate gift boxes and then finished with items still needed. On Dec. 17, the group will wrap gifts at the Senior Center.

For more information, call Joan Young at (928) 472-2264; Diane Morrison, (928) 474-4857; Allec Bales, (928) 474-2070; or Blanche Oakland, (928) 474-2233.

Christmas concerts

The community has at least four opportunities to enjoy some Christmas music and three of those are on Sunday, Dec. 11.

The Chancel Choir of Mount Cross Lutheran Church will present Schubert’s Mass in G Major at 8:30 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 11. Accompanying the choir will be violin and cello music, all directed by Dr. Victoria Harris.

There will be a praise service following the musical program, after which the congregation and guests will have a luminaria assembly project.

Mount Cross Lutheran Church is at 600 E. Highway 260, just east of Safeway.

Later that day, the Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship will present its annual Spirit of Christmas concert.

Mixing contemporary Christmas music and skits, along with the traditional story of the birth of Jesus, the program is presented by members of numerous area churches. No admission will be charged, but audience members are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the Rim Country’s food banks. The program will be at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

Jazz guitarist and vocalist Pete Pancrazi returns to the Payson Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11 for his annual “Have a Jazzy Christmas” performance.

It will be entertaining for all ages and all musical preferences — it will be a celebration of popular Christmas music. Joining him will be Nick Manson on piano, Vic Kottner on bass, and Gerry Reynolds on drums.

A request for seating sent to gerry-reynolds@hotmail.com or (602) 619-3355 would be appreciated, although the church doors will remain open to all. A donation of $5 or more is encouraged to support the program, which includes refreshments.

The Payson Choral Society’s annual Christmas concert is Saturday, Dec. 17.

The program, “Believe,” directed by Daria Mason, with accompaniment by Victoria Harris comes to the Payson High School Auditorium at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. — please note this is a change in performance times from last year’s concert.

Concert tickets are $10 at the door for adults, and $8 sold in advance. Children and students up to age 18 are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased in advance from Choral Society members, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and at the library. Tickets will also be available at the door before each concert. For added information, call John Landino (928) 468-0023.

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