With parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting and caroling out in the snow; with scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago, Christmas for many is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Written by Eddie Pola and George Wyle and originally recorded by pop singer Andy Williams, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” has since become a radio airplay standard, attaining more and more popularity with each passing holiday season.
But for many of us who live in the Rim Country, it’s not only holiday greetings and gay happy meetings when friends come to call that make Christmas the hap-happiest season of all.
It’s not just much mistletoe-ing with hearts all a-glowing when loved ones are near. It’s so much more than that.
Here in Payson, there are Christmas trees to be cut and trimmed, marketplace crowds to be faced, lines to be stood in, and high school athletes to be cheered at holiday sports tournaments.
There are presents to buy, holiday recipes to prepare, travel plans to be made and school and community musical concerts to enjoy.
And, so importantly, there is appreciation to be given to the many area churches, individuals and groups reaching out to those in our community who need a little help.
Kudos to all who volunteer and support our area food bank, Kaitie’s Closet, Payson Community Kids, the Angel Tree programs, Salvation Army and to all of the so many other programs and volunteers who have given of their time and resources this holiday season.
My personal Christmas Spirit Award goes out this year to Kristen Slater, Salvation Army bell-ringing volunteer. Volunteers ring for two-hour shifts and usually ring for one to five shifts per season. But when the last bell rings in Payson, Kristen, who recently moved to Payson, will have rung for a whopping 13 shifts this Christmas season. Way to go, Kristen!
And lastly, two really big thumbs up go out to the kind gentleman who not only dropped some change into the red kettle when I was ringing last weekend, but also surprised me with a Snickers bar and a blessed wish of “I thought you might need a little energy pick-me-up.” (I must have been looking really haggard.)
This week’s question
This week’s question is — Can you name the year Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” was recorded and released? Was it A) 1952, B) 1963), C) 1974, or D) 1985?
If you are caller number four and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your favorite artist or genre. Good luck!
Last week’s question
Last week’s question asked if you could name the young actor and actress who sang the duet “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in the 1949 romantic comedy movie “Neptune’s Daughter.”
The choices were A) Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams, B) Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting, C) Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark, or D) Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
The right answer was Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams.
Following the debut of the movie “Neptune’s Daughter,” each of the other three well-known music duets released a cover of “Baby It’s Old Outside,” each scoring a Top-10 hit on the Hit Parade with their versions of the popular late-1940s tune.
Congratulations to last week’s first-time music trivia winner, Elaine Burdash.
Elaine was born in South River, N.J. and is a proud 1952 graduate of Hyland Park High School. She and her husband, Nicholas, have five children and two grandchildren. They just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.
Following a trip three years ago from New Jersey to visit her son in Camp Verde, Elaine and Nick passed through Payson.
“We just fell in love with the area, the mountains and the beautiful surroundings,” said Elaine.
Now retired from the postal service, Elaine enjoys gardening, playing the piano and her animals. She hopes to someday have a boat to enjoy her real passion, sailing, at Roosevelt Lake.
Elaine’s favorite music genres are classical, classic and contemporary country and the tenors. She says she really especially enjoys the music of George Strait, Alan Jackson and the Counting Crows.
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482, djcraiginpayson.com