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With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, it’s time to set our sights on Christmas. Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite holiday traditions. Whether it be helping my mother put her collection of Santas out, decorating my own bedroom, or helping my father decorate the tree while we watch the Bill Murray movie “Scrooged,” the holiday season is so deeply rooted in tradition, and that is part of what I love so very much about it.

Not all traditions go back years and years though. The great thing about the holidays are that you can make your own traditions as you go along. One of my favorite traditions that seems to have been growing year after year is the annual West Pittston Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The fun will begin with a parade at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. There will be gift bags, coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies, live entertainment and of course the man in the big red suit will be making an appearance as well.

It is always such a fun way to beat the Sunday blues and really get into the holiday spirit. Please consider joining in the fun.

Here’s what else is happening around town:

Corpus Christi news

Corpus Christi Parish put up the Giving Trees in the churches the weekend of Nov. 23-24 and are asking for all gifts to be returned under the trees by Sunday, Dec. 15. So if you or anyone you know of is looking for help for the holidays, please call the rectory 570-654-2753 or e-mail Joyce at jcecconi50@gmail.com as soon as possible.

There are a few opportunities when teenage boys and girls needing service hours can help out at the church. Help organizing Giving Tree gifts and assembling and filling Christmas food gift boxes and distributing the gifts and food is needed from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, and from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.

All boys and girls are welcome to take part in the Christmas Eve Family Mass. The children can participate as lectors, gift bearers, heavenly hosts or take part in the skit with non-reading parts.

Parishioners who are homebound and those residing in nursing homes love to receive gifts of goodies for Christmas! For those of you who love to bake, would you consider baking a few extra dozen of your favorite Christmas cookies which the parish will package and share with these elderly parishioners? If you can bake and share, please have your baked goods dropped off at the rectory no later than Thursday, Dec. 12.

Library news

West Pittston Library announces the following upcoming programs:

West Pittston Writers’ Workshop — 6 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month. Jamie Marino’s popular writing workshop continues through the winter. This free workshop is designed to challenge and inspire the poet or storyteller in you with writing exercises, coaching and community. The writing group meets in the reading room.

Fun Felt Stocking Craft Night — 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Using pre-made stockings and a plethora of felt, make a one-of-a-kind decoration for you or your favorite little elf. Learn how to cut felt, make fabric flowers and basic sewing stitches. The library provides the supplies, you bring the creativity! Cost is $5 and includes all materials. Registration required.

Gno-Sew Gnomes Craft Night — 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16. You’ll get “gno” push back on this easy craft project! Inspired by traditional Scandinavian tomte, these little gnomes will be fun to make and may even bring you a little good luck for the next year! Cost is $5 and all materials are included. Registration required.

Fan Favorite: A Christmas Carol — 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. Join in as the library presents a dramatic reading of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

Ghosts of Christmas past, and yuletide refreshments of hot chocolate and gingerbread will abound. The entire community is invited for a relaxing holiday evening. Please call, stop in or message the library to confirm so that the they can be prepared with plenty of cookies for everyone.

Registration is required for many library programs. Registration must be done in advance and can be done in person or by calling 570-654-9847. The library does not take registrations through Facebook.

Holiday bus trip

West Pittston Library will have a bus trip to the Big Apple this holiday season.

There’s so much to see and do in New York City, especially during the holiday season! The library will provide the transportation on Saturday, Dec. 14, and NYC will provide the entertainment. Enjoy a show, shopping, the decorated storefronts or even a spin around the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink. The bus will pick up at the First Presbyterian Church in West Pittston, 115 Exeter Ave., across from the library, at 7 a.m. and will drop off and then pick up at 7 p.m. sharp on Eighth Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets, subject to change at Martz discretion.

Tickets are $30 and 100% of the ticket price goes right to the library. The library offers many thanks to Cliff and Ruth Melberger for making this possible!

Tickets can be purchased at the library or by phone. Payment is due at the time of registration. Be sure to reserve early to get your choice of the best seats.

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