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On Thanksgiving every year I am so very grateful for so many of the wonderful things and people that are in my life. With each passing year I find that I have more and more to be thankful for. On Thanksgiving Day I am reminded of how lucky I am.

But I am also reminded of one not so happy Thanksgiving a few years ago. I had to work from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The entire day I was miserable but the people I interacted with that day were much kinder than usual. They would smile, say “hello” and have an extra little spring in their step as they walked away.

It was on that day when I didn’t get to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family that I truly didn’t recognize how lucky I was.

As Joni Mitchell once infamously sang, “Don’t it always go to show that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.” I hugged my family a little bit tighter at the end of that shift. And every Thanksgiving that I’ve been fortunate enough to share with them ever since.

May your Thanksgiving — and the rest of your holiday season — be merry and bright, surrounded by the ones you love the most and plenty of time off from work.

Here’s what is happening around town:

Corpus Christi news

Each year the church gives us the entire month of November as an opportunity to remember our loved ones who have gone before us in death, praying for their happiness and preparing ourselves to be reunited with them one day.

A special book with the names of the beloved dead from Corpus Christi Parish will be placed in or near the sanctuary of the churches. The church invites parishioners to take a moment and write the names of beloved departed family and friends in the parish book of the dead.

Because of the way Thanksgiving and Christmas fall on the calendar this year, the 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.

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 premade 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 us to confirm so that the library 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.

Community tree lighting

Stay tuned for more news about the annual West Pittston Christmas Tree Lighting. There will be gift bags, coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies, and of course the man in the big red suit will make an appearance as well. Join the fun beginning at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

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