“It’s the most wonderful time of the year …” so the song goes and indeed it is a special time for most of us, but for some it is a very difficult time. If you are reading this in the comfort of a warm room and have food in the refrigerator, count your blessings. There are many around the country and right here in Payson who, because of economic conditions, loss of jobs or illness, are facing a bleak holiday. Few of us can afford to give thousands of dollars, but if you can spare a dollar or two to drop in the Salvation Army kettle, send a small check to Payson Community Kids (P.O. Box 1856), Payson Area Food Drive (P.O. Box 307) or any other of the many organizations in Rim Country helping the less fortunate, please do so. Every little bit helps — and it will make you feel good too. After all, Christmas isn’t about a new Xbox or iPad, it is about faith, love and sharing.
It is not too early to think about resolutions for the new year. Are you going to make the same old “lose weight” or “quit smoking” pledges this year? Here’s an alternative suggestion. If we all resolve to recycle just one category of items such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles, etc., not only would we be lessening the amount of trash in the landfills, we would also be reducing the amount of raw material needed. Rim Country has facilities right here in Payson to recycle glass, mixed plastics, paper, food cans and more. Check out Earth Wise Exchange at www.ew-exchange.com for a full listing of what can be recycled and where.
Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store
The Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store at 3916 N. Highway 87 will have a 50 percent off sale on all Christmas merchandise, including Christmas clothing, Dec. 21 through 24. Other items on sale are specified garments, coats and cookbooks. There will be a Mix and Match Sale Dec. 28 through 31. Shoppers may combine two tops and one pair of jeans or pants or two pairs of jeans or pants and one top at $1 for all three. All books will be on sale for 50 percent off the marked prices. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but will close at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24 Christmas Eve.
There will be a free community Christmas dinner for Pine and Strawberry residents at 2 p.m. Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec. 25 at the Pine Community Center behind the Thrift Store. For reservations, call (928) 476-2151 or (928) 476-4633.
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
If you have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or are a caretaker of someone with the illness, you are invited to attend meetings of a new support group at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. The meetings are offered by the Desert Southwest Chapter of Alzheimer’s Support Group. They meet from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month. There is no charge to attend and reservations are not required. For information, call Shirley Grady at (602) 697-4870.
A Christmas luncheon will be served at the Center at noon, Friday, Dec. 23. The menu will be roast pork with sauce, holiday fruit stuffing, orange glazed carrots, broccoli blend, a whole wheat roll, pumpkin pie and beverage. John Kesterson of the Country Gospel Misfits will provide live keyboard and guitar music. Advance reservations are required and may be made by calling (928) 474-4876.
A gala New Year’s party is planned for noon, Thursday, Dec. 29 in the Center dining room. Wear your finest holiday outfit, enjoy the music of Don and Candy Brooks, and savor a delicious lunch. Advance reservations needed.
The Center and Thrift Store will be closed Monday, Dec. 26.
The Senior Thrift Store at 512 W. Main St. is having a sale on all Christmas merchandise, 50 percent off the marked prices. Winter clothing will be on sale at 10 garments for $1 through the end of the year. The Thrift Store will be open Christmas Eve.
Merry Christmas to all.