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The halls are decked, hopefully the majority of your holiday baking is done. This is it. The fun part. The holidays are special. My brothers are in town and I rarely get to spend quality time with them. The holidays are about the food, and the gifts, and the parties, and all of that fun stuff. But it’s also about family. Take some time this Christmas to spend time with the ones you love.

I’ve learned with age to enjoy the holidays. When I was younger I would be stressed out. I would just want to open presents. That’s all it was about for me. It’s about so much more and I’m glad I’ve come to learn that. Because with each passing year I enjoy Christmas more and more. From my family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season with everyone you love.

Here’s what else is happening around town this week

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Corpus Christi news

Christmas wafers can be found in the vestibules of the churches. Donation is $2 for a pack of four wafers.

Christmas and New Year’s Masses are as follows: Monday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve Masses, 4 and 10 p.m., Immaculate Conception; 5:30 p.m., Holy Redeemer. Tuesday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day Masses, 7:30 and 10:30 a.m., Immaculate Conception; 9 a.m., Holy Redeemer; Monday, Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, 4 p.m., Immaculate Conception; 5:30 p.m. Holy Redeemer. Tuesday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, 10 a.m., Immaculate Conception.

Members of the youth group are selling Christmas wreaths. The cost is $10.00 for a fresh wreath decorated with a red bow. To order, see any youth group member, stop in the rectory or call Juel Anne Klepadlo at 570-430-1470. You may pick out your own wreath through Monday, Dec. 24, at Ciampi’s Greenhouse on Tunkhannock Avenue.

All boys and girls of the parish are welcome to take part in the Christmas Eve family Mass. The children can participate as lectors, gift bearers, or take part in the skit (non-reading parts). Confirmation students are urged to take part as narrators. For information or to sign up, call the rectory at 570-654-2753.

First United Methodist Chrurch news

First United Methodist Church, West Pittston, will hold two Christmas Eve worship services on Monday, Dec. 24, at 408 Wyoming Ave. All are welcome to a family-oriented service at 4:30 p.m. and a traditional candlelight service at 10:45 p.m. For information, contact the Church at 570-655-1083.

First United Methodist Church, West Pittston, recently received more than 2,000 donations to its food pantry as a result of two local food drives.

In keeping with its annual tradition, the Wyoming Area Primary Center helped fill the shelves with canned goods and food items, and the Wyoming Area School District also contributed in a big way. Students, teachers and administrators not only donated items themselves, they collected from those who attended the Wyoming Area/Pittston Area football game.

“We would like to thank everyone for all of their hard work,” said the Rev. Tenny Hutchinson Rupnick.

Donations to the First United Methodist Church Food Pantry are accepted and appreciated all year long.

Located at 408 Wyoming Ave., West Pittston, the pantry is open the first and third Wednesday of each month, from 9 a.m. to noon. For information, call the church at 570-655-1083.

First United Methodist Church recently kicked off its winter homemade pasty fundraiser, with proceeds funding the church’s multiple charitable initiatives throughout the year.

Church members hand make the meat- and vegetable-filled hand pies using authentic family recipes and sell them through March 2019. Choices include beef with onion, beef without onion, sausage and pepper and vegetable, and include a small container of gravy.

They sell for $6 each. To order your pasties or for information, call the church at 570-655-1083.

Trinity Episcopal news

Trinity’s pocket prayer shawls are back! These small, square, hand knit “shawls” are just the right size to tuck in a pocket or purse. Intended as a comforting reminder that we are always surrounded by God’s love, these pocket shawls are made available to Trinity parishioners free of charge. They are knitted with prayer, and prayers are said daily for those who receive them. Please take one for yourself and/or for family or friends who might be comforted by this small, tactile reminder of God’s love and care and the prayers of friends at Trinity. Feel free to take an extra so next time you learn someone is in need of prayer, you can share a shawl along with your promise to pray for them!

West Pittston Library news

West Pittston Library announces the following upcoming activities:

Hand Sewing 101: Monster Pillow — 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15. Sewing provides children with an artistic way to develop and mature their finger dexterity and fine motor skills, build their self-confidence and learn patience. Kids will have fun practicing these skills as they create a buddy to sleep with and sew on eyes and mouth and watch their monster come alive! All materials provided. Appropriate for all ages with parental assistance. Registration for this free event must be done in advance and can be done in person or by calling 570-654-9847. Registration cannot be done through Facebook.

Teen String Art — 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. String art is a fun way to create colorful artwork with dimension and texture. The library has modified the technique from the traditional wood and nails to something simpler but just as dynamic. Design your art for a custom piece worthy to hang on any wall!

Those attending the teen art program are invited to come early and join the Teen Advisory Board. The group’s meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Tax reminder

West Pittston Tax Collector George L. Miller reminds residents the face period for school taxes ended Nov 30. Until Dec. 30, all taxes for the year will be in the penalty period. All delinquent taxes will be forwarded to the county for collection.

Office hours for the penalty period are 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday or by appointment. Please contact George L. Miller at 570-655-3801 for information or to make an appointment.

Parks and recreation news

West Pittston Parks, Recreation and Beautification Board holds monthly meetings at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the borough building. New members are welcome.

Recycling

Recycling containers located at the Public Works Building on Delaware Avenue are open to the public from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Curbside collection of recyclables is the first and third Thursday of each month.

The Public Works Department asks that residents place their recyclables in front of their homes Wednesday evening prior to collection Thursday morning.

See you around town.

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