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With Thanksgiving behind us, I’m ready to begin Christmas preparations. My radio plays classic Christmas music as I rummage through recipes, retrieve boxes of decorations from the basement, and write Christmas cards to old friends.

And I’ll shop. An activity I hate at any time of the year but one that causes great stress during this blessed season. What to buy? My kids don’t like the clothes I choose for them. Even my 5-year-old granddaughter has a fashion mind of her own. Another gadget no one needs? They download music and books. I don’t want to spend an hour in mall traffic to shove through crowds looking for gift ideas. Ugh! It wears me out. Unless they tell me exactly what they want, I absolutely hate Christmas shopping. And Black Friday? Wild horses couldn’t drag me out into that mess.

Small Business Saturday, on Nov. 24, is more my style. We have little stores in our communities that rely on us to keep them going. Think of the people whose names are on the backs of Little League shirts or line the fence of the Jake Sobeski stadium. Businesses that advertise in the drama club playbook or support our Scout troops. We routinely ask local merchants for donations to keep our non-profit organizations going.

Many of them are restaurants, so remember them, too. After a day of shopping, I certainly don’t want to cook. But I love to eat! How lucky we are to have outstanding restaurants right here in our little towns. I can think of more than a dozen places where, chances are, you know the owner and staff. I taught many of them. Whether I’m hungry for pizza or pasta, barbecue or steak, Asian or antipasto to die for — no one can beat the food served in Wyoming, West Wyoming and Exeter. A gift certificate to any one of them would be make me smile. Hint. Hint.

If you’re having trouble getting in the spirit, join in some community fun. Go to a tree lighting, take the kids to have breakfast with Santa, or attend one of the free concerts put on by the Wyoming Area Music Department. Our students, teachers and community groups work hard to create memorable events for all of us to enjoy. Let’s make an effort to show our appreciation.

Exeter tree lighting

Santa will visit Exeter on Sunday, Nov. 25, at the annual Exeter tree lighting ceremony. The event at Lions Memorial Park on Wyoming Avenue, next to the Exeter Borough Building, will start at 5 p.m. with snacks, refreshments, activities, caroling and pictures with Santa.

 

Free hearing tests

First Presbyterian Church of West Pittston is offering free noise and hearing testing at the Institute, 40 Institute St., Wyoming, from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28.

Bring your headphones and measure the noise you are putting in your ears. Take a quick hearing test to learn how noise is affecting your listening ability.

Family Hearing Center audiologist Dr. Jim Zeigler will share information on how hearing is damaged by noise and how to prevent damage with the use of safe earphones, earplugs, monitors and even cell phone apps.

St. Monica’s pierogi sale

St. Monica’s Church, West Wyoming, is taking orders for homemade potato and cheese pierogi made using the former St. Joseph’s Church recipe.

Pierogi will be available for pickup from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, or immediately after the 4 p.m. Mass in the church hall. Cost is $8 a dozen. To order, call Maria Parra at 570-709-2335.

Wyoming Area Catholic news

This month, Wyoming Area Catholic Student Council is collecting new mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks for newborns through age 16. Donations can be dropped off at the school or in homerooms.

This is the last week to order poinsettias from Wyoming Area Catholic PTG. The poinsettia colors available will be red, pink or white. The flowers and plants will be delivered Tuesday, Dec. 11, and can be picked up between 2:45 and 3:45 and 6 and 7 p.m. at the sports entrance of the school.

The cost for each poinsettia is $10 for a 6½-inch single branched and $17 for a 7½-inch two branched. Also available are 24-inch wreaths with red bow, $20; cemetery log, $20 and winter rose plant, $17.

Orders are due by Friday, Nov. 30. Please call the school at 570-654-7982 during school hours for order forms.

Library news

Wyoming Free Library will host an Usborne Book Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Children’s books for all ages will be on sale in the community room.

A children’s produce market will be held at the library from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The market is open to all Luzerne County families with children. Registration is required and ends at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26. Applications are available at the library.

A special “Twas the Night Before Christmas” event will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Wyoming Mayor Joseph Dominick will read the book, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” at 1:30 p.m. Activities and refreshments will be provided. The holiday event is open to children of all ages. Registration is required. Please call the library at 570-693-1364.

Wyoming/West Wyoming Senior Citizens news

Wyoming/West Wyoming Senior Citizens met Nov. 20 at St. Monica Parish Hall, West Wyoming.

At the previous meeting, November birthdays were celebrated, including hostess Helen Ostrowski, who will celebrate her 99th birthday Nov. 29, and Ed Piccillo. The 50/50 winners were Marion Pocceschi, Dorothy Rossick and Julie Lewis. Julie Lewis also won the bingo jackpot.

New members are welcome. For information, call Joann at 570-283-3388.

West Wyoming Ambulance holiday painting benefit

A family fun holiday painting event to benefit the West Wyoming Ambulance will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at The Arty Place, 33 S. Wilkes-Barre Blvd, Suite 2, Wilkes-Barre. Tickets can be purchased at www.theartpartyplace.com.

Adults will paint “Santa Wine Glass” on a large canvas and children will paint “Melting Olaf” on a medium canvas.

Kiwanis Breakfast with Santa

The Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club, along with the Wyoming Area Key Club and Builders Club, will hold its annual Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Wyoming Area Secondary Center cafeteria. The public is invited. Breakfast will consist of pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children 2 to 12 years and free for children younger than 2.

Tickets may be purchased in advance by using the Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club Facebook page and the link to PayPal. Advanced reservations are not required and tickets can be purchased at the door. Money raised from the event will continue to support the Key Club, Builder Club and K-Kids Club and Circle K Club sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.

Children and parents will have a safe, non-stressful environment to visit with Santa, enjoy the wonders of Santa’s Wonderland, and do crafts with the Builders Club members. There will be raffles for baskets of toys for boys and girls and Christmas trees. PSP will be available to take professional photos at an additional cost.

West Wyoming Community Ambulance subscriptions

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the West Wyoming Community Ambulance.

The yearly subscription covers medically necessary transport to the hospital and helps cover the cost of the ambulance's medical equipment and supplies, maintenance to the ambulances and training for the EMTs. Crews are on call 27/7 with no days off for holidays. Subscription cost is $50 for an entire family. Without a subscription, the average cost of ambulance service would be $200.

The service covers residents of Wyoming, as well.

Wyoming Hose Company

No. 1 fund drive

Wyoming Hose Company No. 1 reminds residents and businesses in the community that the 2019 annual fire department fund drive has begun.

This is the time you can donate to help the volunteer firefighters help you. Donations help keep the firefighters safe while they protect you and your property.

By now, you should have received a Wyoming Hose Company No. 1 2019 donation request form. Please fill out the form and send it in along with your donation.

A second reminder mailing will be sent soon. 

Wyoming Area Music Department has some programs scheduled to get us in the spirit of Christmas.

The fifth grade will take the stage for its holiday program Thursday, Nov. 29.

The high school’s concert band will perform its Christmas concert Thursday, Dec. 6. The chorus concert will be held Thursday, Dec. 13, and the piano/guitar concert will be Wednesday, Dec. 19.

All concerts begin at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium and are free to the public.

Wyoming Area talent show fundraiser

Wyoming Area Drama Club will put on a fundraising talent show cabaret from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in the cafeteria. All Wyoming Area students are invited to perform. The kids sing, dance, play musical instruments and perform monologues.

The audience may come and go as they please, enjoy the entertainment, and support the kids and the arts at WA. Admission is $5 and includes a desert and beverage.

Happy birthday

Finally, a very special belated happy birthday to Louise Leandri, a life long resident of Exeter, who turned 90 on Nov. 19. Hope it was a great day with family, friends and lots of cake.

Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming every week. To include an item in her column, email barbarabullions@gmail.com or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.