‘Blue Christmas’ service
The Payson United Methodist Church will hold a special service, “Blue Christmas,” at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19. The service will recognize the sadness and loss that many people may acutely feel this time of the year.
Anyone who may feel this way is invited.
The Christmas Eve Service will begin at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24 and will include special music and the Candlelight Ceremony.
For additional information, contact the PUMC Office at (928) 474-0485 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Payson United Methodist Church is at 414 N. Easy St.
Book sale benefits MHA
The Mogollon Health Alliance will benefit from the Books Are Fun Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18 and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19 in the Payson Regional Medical Center west lobby (Labor & Delivery entrance).
Select from hundreds of new books and a big selection of gift items including photo albums, stationery, music and much more.
Proceeds from the sale will go to support the many programs and scholarships offered by the Mogollon Health Alliance. For more information, call (928) 472-2588.
Celtic Christmas music and stories
The Rim Country Celts will sponsor an evening of Celtic and Christmas music with Cinnamon Twist followed by stories in song by Buckshot Dot among others from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Dimi Espresso in the Swiss Village.
Cinnamon Twist will begin at 6 p.m. and the story songs will begin at 7 p.m. Persons attending are invited to wear their favorite Celtic apparel including kilts and tartans. For more information, please contact Anne James at (928) 951-4420.
There is no charge and the artists are donating their time.
Family Christmas Program
Calvary Chapel of Payson will host a Family Christmas Program at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18. Calvary Chapel is at 1103 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.
Other holiday services at Calvary Chapel include a Christmas Eve Service at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24, but no special service is scheduled for Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25.
Free stress reducing relaxation session
Give yourself a special holiday treat with a free stress-reducing relaxation session from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19 at the Senior Circle Activity Room, 215 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.
Join Penny Navis-Schmidt, a local clinical social worker, for a session of meditative movement guaranteed to help you manage the stress of this busy season. After the session, there will be refreshments and healthy snacks.
Then, Holly Crump, a local Eastern Area Health Education Center program coordinator, will facilitate an optional format to talk through stress that you may be facing during this holiday season. Sometimes, just talking through a concern helps to diffuse the anxiety that accompanies it. We will share, and invite you to share additional tips for enjoying a stress-free 2013 holiday.
The December Chamber Mixer is at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19 at Dan Good Flooring, 810 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.
Call (928) 474-4515 to reserve a spot and get additional details.
See’s Candies sale
The local Soroptimist club will be selling See’s Candies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20 at National Bank of Arizona. The bank is at the corner of Highway 87 and West Main St., Payson. See’s Candies will also be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday at Walgreen’s. Arizona Elite Properties, 1101 S. Beeline Highway, has See’s available all the time.
Pine Library still has See’s Candies available for sale. There is a variety of candy, from a 2-pound box of chocolates to a 4-ounce Santa gift box.
The library is also offering a chance on a gorgeous See’s Candies basket valued at $180. The drawing for this basket will take place Saturday, Dec. 21.
Funds from the sale of See’s Candies and the tickets for the gift basket support the purchase of additional materials from DVDs to new books. Candy will be available until sold out.
Stop by during regular library hours to make your selection. Contact the library at (928) 476-3678 with any questions.
Live Your Dream Art Contest
Children of all ages are encouraged to enter the Live Your Dream Art Contest sponsored by Soroptimist International.
Age categories for recognition are: 4 years to 7 years; 8 years to 11 years; 12 years to 15 years, and 16 years to 18 years.
Artwork can be in any medium — pencil, paint, crayon, etc. The piece can be no larger than 11-inches-by-14-inches. The subject should be a woman who inspires the student: family member; friend; or celebrity, alive or dead. She can be someone from history, someone in the student’s personal life or even a fictional character.
The pictures will be submitted with an entry form on the back. The local club members will review artwork, but all art will be forwarded to Soroptimist of the Americas headquarters.
No artwork will be returned, but may be used in the Web site or on promotional materials. Local winners will be honored at a banquet in Payson in March 2014.
Artwork and an entry form must be turned in no later than Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. Contact Kim Kendall, (928) 478-6112, the student’s art teacher or Jean Oliver, (928) 474-6167 to obtain more information or an entry form. On the entry form is a place to explain why or how this woman inspires you.
American Gulch Trail hike
Hike American Gulch Trail, starting at the end of Country Club Drive, once the road turns to dirt, continue on to the cattle guard, on the left is a pull-out available for parking, with the trailhead on the right. Meet at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 21. The trail is ranked “moderate” in level of difficulty.
Christmas for Kids
Do you have last-minute Christmas shopping, house cleaning or just need time to relax? Let us share the Christmas story with your child. They will play games, activities, and have a light snack.
The program is offered by Rock of Ages Church, 204 W. Airport Rd., Payson, and will be from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 21 for children ages 3 to 12. For details and to register, call (480) 688-6427.
Moose Lodge hosts children’s Christmas party
The Rim Country Moose Lodge 852, will have its annual Kids Christmas Party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21 at the lodge, which is next to the Hellsgate Star Valley fire station.
Santa will arrive at noon. The planned activities include decorating gingerbread men and gingerbread houses, making ornaments and more.
Stop by the Moose Lodge anytime before the party to see how you can help.
Kids’ crafts and movies
Rim Country youngsters are invited to spend some time getting ready for Christmas at the Payson Public Library’s Children’s Holiday Craft Festival from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21.
Then to further entertain the youngsters over the holiday break, the Payson Public Library will offer special Monday Midday Movies from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., both Monday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 30.
The movie Dec. 23 is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” “Happy Feet 2” will show on Dec. 30.
The library is at 328 N. McLane Road.
Diamond ring raffle
Win a 1/2 carat diamond, appraised at $3,600. Only 200 tickets will be sold, which make chances much better than winning the lotto.
Payson Jewelers donated the diamond for a previous charitable raffle. The winner donated it back again, this time to benefit the Payson Senior Center and Payson Assisting Displaced Students.
Raffle tickets are $25 each or three for $50. They are available at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St., Payson or the Chamber of Commerce, 100 W. Main St., Payson.
The drawing will be Dec. 22 and ticket holders need not be present to win.
Angel Trees around the Rim
Angel Project Toy Drive
A special Angel Project Toy Drive is being held through Dec. 21 by 8-year-old Angel. He wants to collect toys and other gift items to benefit Payson area children and children in foster care.
Those interested may make donation at boxes located at Cutting Edge, Mandarin House, Knotty Pine Cafe, Sawmill Theater, Time Out Thrift Store, Payson Barber Shop, Pizza Hut, Alibertos, Tiny’s, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Pizza Factory, Anderson Dental, Star Valley Storage or Bob’s Western Wear. Those interested may choose an “Angel” from one of the drive’s local Angel Christmas trees at Stage or LaSierra.
For more information, please call Leticia (Angel’s mom) at (480) 322-2743 or Penni Stonebrink, AZ Partnership for Children, at (928) 970-0426.
Salvation Army Angel Tree
The Salvation Army Angel Tree, which provides an opportunity to gift a child in need, is located at National Bank of Arizona, 804 S. Beeline Highway, Payson.
Senior Angel Tree in Pine
The Pine Edward Jones office is closed until March. However, Maureen Walsh would still like to do the Senior Christmas Angel Tree in Pine.
A tree with the names and suggested gifts for the elderly in the Pine and Strawberry areas is located at the Pine Thrift Store this year.
Senior Circle Money Tree
The Payson Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle is sponsoring a Money Tree this holiday season to raise funds for the St. Vincent de Paul Society food bank and its efforts to provide financial assistance to Payson and Rim Country families in need.
Stop by the Circle building, 215 N. Beeline Highway, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday (not holidays) or 9 a.m. to noon; take an envelope from the tree and return it to the front desk with a donation (cash or check payable to St. Vincent de Paul Society).
Children’s Christmas program planned
The First Church of the Nazarene Children’s Christmas program, “An Out of the Box Christmas,” will be presented at the church, 200 E. Tyler Parkway, at 9:30 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 22.
A Candlelight Christmas Eve Service is planned for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24 with Christmas carols, communion, and a candlelight ceremony.
Everyone is invited to both services.
Assembly of God Christmas program
The Payson First Assembly of God, 1100 W. Lake Dr. (the Church at Green Valley Park) invites the public to attend its Christmas program, “The King’s Birthday,” presented by the church’s children, drama team, and worship team. There will also be a short message, “One Solitary Life,” beginning at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 22. Light Christmas appetizers to follow the service.
Christmas Eve at Mountain Bible
The congregation of Mountain Bible Church, 302 E. Rancho Rd., Payson, invite Rim residents and visitors to join them at one of their two Christmas Eve services — either 4:30 p.m. or 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24.
The services last one hour and are planned with the entire family in mind. There will be carols and special music, a children’s story and a brief message from the pastor. Outside events include carolers, cookies and hot chocolate and a small petting zoo.
Expedition Church Christmas Eve service
Expedition Church Christmas Eve Celebration is at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24 in the Julia Randall Elementary gym. the public is invited to attend and enjoy singing Christmas carols, tasty treats, an inspiring message titled “Light Has Come,” and a few more festive surprises. For more information, go to discoverexpedition.com.
Shepherd of the Pines has two holiday services
Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church, 507 W. Wade Lane, Payson, will celebrate Christmas with two special services. A Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24. The theme will be “Jesus is the Root of Jesse.” The Christmas Day Service is at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 25. Holy Communion will be served. The theme will be “Jesus is the Key of David.”
Pine Strawberry Food Bank
Cold weather is here, along with the holidays, and the need in the community is continuing to grow. Please consider donating to the Pine Strawberry Food Bank. A collection box is at Ponderosa Market as well as a freezer for turkeys and hams; another drop box is at the post office.
The Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) so donations are tax deductible and qualify for the Arizona Working Poor Tax Credit. Donations can be mailed to: Pine Strawberry Food Bank, P. O. Box 1534 Pine, AZ 85544. For more information, please call Diane at (928) 476-3579.
Snuggle with a Book
To close out 2013 and welcome 2014, the Payson Public Library will have a Children’s Winter Reading Program, Snuggle with a Book, from Monday, Dec. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Participants who read a total of six books during the period of the program will receive prizes and a certificate.
Stop by the library in Rumsey Park for more information.
Tax-Aide volunteers needed
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program in Arizona is seeking volunteers to prepare taxes for seniors and low-income families during the 2014 tax-filing season. Greeters, client facilitators and tax counselors are needed.
Volunteer training for the program will be held in December or January with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide sites opening from Feb. 1 through April 15, 2014. Tax-Aide volunteers are expected to work four hours a week during the program’s 10-week run.
To volunteer, please call AARP toll-free at (888) OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277) or register online at https://volunteers.aarp.org.
Digital photography class
Learning the ins and outs of using a digital camera can be made easier by taking the beginning digital photography class at Gila Community College this spring semester.
The class focuses on learning the basics of a digital camera — from understanding the camera’s manual and function menu, to how to set your camera for best results and how to make better photographs. The class is open to anyone interested in learning more about their camera. Students must have a digital camera of some type. The class covers information for the point and shoot, rangefinder and advance DSLRs. DSLR cameras are preferred for the class but not mandatory.
The class is taught by award-winning photographer Tom Brossart, who has more than 30 years experience as a professional photographer.
Class time is from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays beginning in January. Call GCC at (928) 468-8039 for further information on the class.