Next to baking, my favorite part of the holidays is the wonderful Christmas programs and music performed in various schools and churches.
In my opinion, there is no better entertainment than the choral and instrumental music and dramatic presentations from our children. The kids show such enthusiasm, love of music and talent.
In Strawberry and Pine the school Christmas program is a big deal.
I commend the Pine-Strawberry School and all the parents for their amazing and talented kids who put on a lively and memorable Christmas program on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
The program had to be rescheduled from Tuesday due to snow, but it did not impact the turnout as the bleachers in the gym were packed.
The delay did not lessen the enthusiasm of the performers who were all in full-blown Christmas mode.
The teachers and students worked very hard to put on a fantastic program, with songs and skits that highlighted the talents of the children and was a reflection of the exceptional work of music teacher Ashley Kendrick, stage manager Patti Lawrence, drama assistant Annick Mason, costumes, Rene’ Schneider, and props, Andy Ward.
Pre-school and kindergarten wowed the audience, while first-graders did the same! Everyone loved the second-graders in their antlers, and third-graders in Russian Christmas. The fourth-graders had one of my favorite performances of the evening with “Santa’s Getting Fit for Christmas.”
The fifth- through eighth-graders were spectacular and the dance team had everyone moving to “The Grinch Rock.”
The fifth grade and junior high band entertained the audience with “The Little Drummer Boy.”
The skits at the end of the program were a highlight of the evening and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Jason Cluff, (Santa in “The Night Before Christmas”) was amazing! From pre-school and up, I witnessed history being made. This town has some superstars. Throughout the night I heard comments from the audience like “that’s the best I’ve ever seen,” and “it’s going to be hard to top that.”
The grand finale was truly a grand finale. Who hasn’t seen “The 12 Days of Christmas” at least 100 times by amateur choirs to dramatic Hollywood performances? Yet I have never enjoyed it more. The stage crew did a fantastic job. From 12 Drummers Drumming to a Partridge in a Pear Tree, the casting as well as costumes and props was nothing short of masterful. The three French hens were beautiful!
The program was well done by all and made me glad to live in this school district. If you missed it, I recommend putting the Pine-Strawberry School Christmas program on next year’s calendar. It put me in the Christmas spirit and will be remembered for years to come.
We’ve been experiencing some extreme weather. Still it has not dampened spirits or slowed down determined Rim-dwellers who are busy counting down to Christmas now just two days away.
Besides shopping, gift-wrapping, baking and social gatherings, keeping the bird feeders full is a non-stop activity. In Strawberry and Pine, our feathered and furry friends know where to go and bring all their friends to find sustenance for winter survival.
Our feline or canine companions love Christmas too. I’ve been making tasty dog treats in Christmas shapes for our three dogs and batches of peanut butter bird suet, thanks to a cookbook by the Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild.
The 30th Anniversary Cookbook not only contains great family recipes but many fun pet snacks to make. To obtain a cookbook, write to PO Box 934, Pine, AZ 85544.
The Christmas spirit is everywhere. You
see shoppers in holiday attire with carts full of toys and goodies, food bank boxes filled with turkeys and canned goods (thank you Pine-Strawberry angels), people mailing and receiving packages, children building snowmen, and homes and businesses adorned with lights and decorations. There is Christmas music like “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night,” and holiday movies like “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street.”
These stimulate happy feelings and create a time of joy, peace, giving and receiving love, and warm fuzzy feelings. It’s all about good times with family and friends, sharing, and making memories. As the song says, “if every day were like Christmas, what a wonderful world this would be.”
We can find ways to create these feelings of peace on earth, good will to others, giving, being kind, generous, and sharing on a daily basis.
A good start is by attending a meeting of the Riff Raff Club, Arts & Crafts Guild, Strawberry Patchers, Library Friends, Fuel Reduction Group, Search and Rescue, Senior Center Affairs Foundation, Food Bank, Business Community, or Strawberry’s Elite and see how they keep the feelings alive all year. For times and locations, log on to http://psaznews.com or any of the group’s Web sites.
Reason for the season
More than shopping and gifts, it is our traditions that bring meaning to the season. This Christmas Eve, many families will attend services together to celebrate the Nativity.
Pastor John Lake invites you to a Candlelight service at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24 at the Church on Randall Place at 6338 W Randall Place in Pine, followed by refreshments.
When growing up, my family would gather around the fireplace on Christmas Eve (often one made of cardboard) while my father read “The Christmas Story.” In his authoritative preacher voice, accompanied by guitar, he brought the story to life; a reminder of God’s gift to us and why we give and receive gifts on Christmas.
This story has brought hope and peace to the world for over 2,000 years and continues to do so today.
To my family, friends, neighbors, residents of Strawberry and Pine, Rim Country, and Roundup readers everywhere, wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and may all the joy of the season be with you and your families throughout the coming year.
Please send your comments or Pine Strawberry happenings to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-790-0248.