It may not seem like it, but day by day the calendar is marching forward toward Dec. 25. This holiday season looks a lot different. With my normally busy schedule, sometimes it’s hard for me to enjoy the preparation that goes into making a happy holiday in my house. For the past few years, my mom and dad have put the tree up while I was at rehearsal for a show. Since I won’t be rehearsing any time soon, when my father announced last week that he was putting the tree up, I jumped at the opportunity to assist. I canceled my plans for the rest of the day and was ready to get a steady dose of some much needed holiday cheer.

We watched the Bill Murray classic “Scrooged” while we put up the tree, like we always do. We were done right in time to watch the ending, like we always are. We cried, just like we always do. For two hours out of the day, it felt as if we weren’t in the middle of a global pandemic. Everything felt normal.

It’s difficult at times for me to remain present and to not get mired down in how different everything is going to look this season. But when I look at the tree that is the cornerstone of the holiday home living room, everything feels exactly the same. And for that I am extremely grateful. Some things never change — despite even a global pandemic.

Here’s what else is happening around town:

Corpus Christi news

Corpus Christ Parish announced traditional and drive-up holiday Masses will be held the following days: Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2, 4 and 10 p.m., Immaculate Conception, and 5:30 p.m., Holy Redeemer. Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, 7:30 and 10:30 a.m., Immaculate Conception, and 9 a.m., Holy Redeemer. New Year’s Eve, Thursday, Dec. 31, 4 p.m., Immaculate Conception, and 5:30 p.m., Holy Redeemer. New Year’s Day, Friday, Jan. 1, 9 a.m., Immaculate Conception.

Corpus Christi Parish has Rudolph’s Giving Trees in the sanctuary of Immaculate Conception Church, on the side porch of the rectory and outside the entrance of Holy Redeemer Church. Trees will be available outdoors on the following days and times: Immaculate Conception Church, side porch of rectory, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, and at Holy Redeemer Church from 5 p.m. until the end of Mass on Saturday and from 8:30 a.m. until the end of Mass on Sunday. A virtual Giving Tree also is available this year. Go to the link at www.corpuschristinepa.com or Facebook www.facebook.com/corpuschristiparishpa and follow the instructions. Contact Joyce at 570- 654-2753 or jcecconi50@gmail.com with any questions. The Giving Trees are filled with Christmas wishes from local children up to teens, and will be available through Wednesday, Dec. 16. All gifts must be returned by Sunday, Dec. 20. Please wrap the gift and securely attach the tag to it. If you are doing the virtual tree, please be sure to put the family number on the wrapped gift.

The youth group is selling Christmas wreaths. The cost is $10 for a fresh wreath decorated with a red bow. Visit Ciampi’s Greenhouse on Tunkhannock Avenue through Saturday, Dec. 19, and tell them you are purchasing the wreath to benefit the youth group.

Families from the parish will be receiving a winter lottery ticket in the mail. For a $25 donation, you have the chance to match the daily number from January through March to win $50 Mondays through Saturdays, $100 on Sundays, and $150 on the following bonus days: New Year’s Day, Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. To be eligible to win, your ticket must be purchased by Tuesday, Dec. 15. For additional tickets, call the rectory at 570-654-2753 or email lkasisky1@epix.net.

Library news

West Pittston Library will hold its annual reading of “A Christmas Carol” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, on Facebook.

John Bubul writes about West Pittston every week. To list an item, email jbubul@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.

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