As a rule, I don’t listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Once the turkey is over and done with, then I move on to Christmas. The holidays are all about family and friends but for many its always about tradition, as well. We all have variations of traditions around the holidays that we all cherish and hold dear to our hearts.
Something that I always look forward to is putting the tree up in our living room. My dad always brings the tree in the house while my mother and I bring down the lights and ornaments. My mother’s job decorating the tree is always putting on the garland. After the garland and lights are on the tree, and if we don’t need any last minute runs to Walmart to pick up more Christmas lights, it’s time to put the ornaments on the tree. My mother normally does a few, but my father and I do most of the ornament placement.
To some, putting the tree up is considered work. Not for my family. We always find a great amount of joy during the whole process. Playing in the background the whole time every year is the Bill Murray holiday classic “Scrooged.” What’s funny about it is that my family has decorating the tree down to an absolute science. You could set a watch to it. Every year we finish in time to enjoy watching the last 15 minutes of “Scrooged.” In my opinion, it is one of the best endings to a Christmas movie you will ever find. Every time it makes me cry.
Once the movie is over, we drink in the beauty of our tree and officially welcome it into our home for the next few weeks.
I hope you and your family enjoy some old traditions and even make some new memories while putting up your tree this year if you haven’t already done so.
Even if you have put up your tree already, come on out on Sunday, Dec. 2, for some caroling, some live entertainment by the Wyoming Area Marching Band, Santa and Mrs. Clause, and of course, to top it all off, the lighting of the official West Pittston Christmas Tree.
The parade begins at 5 p.m. at Erie Street and goes all the way to the tree at Delaware and Wyoming avenues. Hot cocoa, cookies, and coffee will be served and gifts will be given out to the first 200 children in attendance!
I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t think of a better way to welcome the Christmas season to our little town. Hope to see you there.
Here’s what else is happening around town:
Trinity Episcopal Church 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!
Corpus Christi news
Corpus Christi’s new ministry schedule, which will run from December 2018 through February 2019, has been announced.
Contact information for the coordinators is as follows: altar servers, Donna Mason, email@example.com or 570-587-3355; EMs, Teresa Crossin, firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-357-3985; lectors, Rosalie Cullagh, email@example.com or 570-430-7319.
This parish fundraiser, “Cabin Fever,” will offer two chances to win $500 on Feb. 14 and the chance to win $100 the following Sundays, Jan. 20 and 27 and Feb. 3 and 10. Donation is $25 for five tickets or $5 for one ticket. For additional tickets, call or stop by the rectory. This raffle is in place of the lottery fundraiser.
If you or someone you know will be needing help for Christmas, please email Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the rectory 570-654-2753. The parish needs a contact name and phone number, as a member of Social Concerns will call you for Christmas gift ideas for your children and give you the pickup dates and times.
Religious education classes are continuing from 9 to 10:15 a.m. Sunday mornings. Students who attend Catholic schools are not required to attend religious education and confirmation prep classes in the parish. If your child is in second grade at a Catholic school and is a member of the parish, he/she is eligible to receive the sacrament of first reconciliation and first Eucharist in the parish. If your child is an eighth grade student in a Catholic school, he/she is eligible to receive confirmation in the parish. You must call the rectory to register your son or daughter to receive the sacraments.
Members and friends of the St. Clare Sewing Ministry are knitting and crocheting a variety of hats, scarfs, gloves and mittens. They will be given as Christmas gifts to the families who are on the parish’s Giving Tree. The group has a lot of yarn, so if you would like to help, just call Pat Jacobs at 570-954-7552 and she will make arrangements for you to pick up some yarn. The group will gladly accept any donations of the needed winter items; just leave them in the vestibules of the churches.
Cherry Blossom meeting
West Pittston Cherry Blossom Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at Corpus Christi Parish in the school building located on Luzerne Avenue, West Pittston.
All committee members must attend and new members are welcome.
West Pittston Library News
Lib-Lab — The Library Laboratory is back to continue engaging kids ages 9 and up in science-based, hands-on learning activities. Measure, mix, compare, experiment and test in a fun environment! Class size is limited so sign up early. Dec. 4, will begin a session on light.
Why does a pencil look bent when you look at it through water? What happens when you break a glow stick in water? The library will shed some light on these questions and more with this month’s experiments. All participants are required to bring two drinking glasses and a large zip-lock bag.
Quick Gifts with Kendra — Monday, De.c 3, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Need help crossing some names off your holiday shopping list? Let the library help with this crash course in bulk holidays gifts! Learn how to make great gifts like mason jar lid ornaments, faux cowhide rug coasters, beeswax candles, and your own home made taco seasoning. Registration is $10 and includes materials.
Lego Winter Reading Program — Registration for this free event must be done in person in order to receive a log card. Registration is not available through Facebook.
Why should a fun, prize-filled reading program be just in the summer? The library is calling all Lego-maniacs for another winter reading program. Register any time starting Dec. 1 to get a Lego Minifigure reading log and Lego bookmark. Color one minifigure for every 20 minutes you read from now until Feb. 24. Completed reading logs will be entered to win a Lego building book and the biggest reader will win The Lego Ninjago Movie! An what would a Lego-themed reading program be without Lego construction! Rub elbows with other Lego enthusiasts at the library’s weekly Lego club and complete the weekly Lego building challenge to be entered to win more Lego prizes! Stop by the library to register.
Communicating for Success: Watch Your Language — Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6 to 7 p.m. This free workshop is conducted by certified business coach Paul Hatrak, of Hatrak Associates, LLC, and is perfect for business owners, entrepreneurs, and those curious about starting their own business. Make the most of your opportunities with effective communication.
Arm Knitting — Monday, Dec. 10, 6 to 7 p.m. Create your own infinity scarf out of chunky yarn with just your arms. Summer Belles will teach all the skills you need to leave with a completed scarf. Bring 2-3 skeins chunky yarn — the chunkier, the better! Registration is required. Call 570-654-9847 or sign up in person at the library. Registrations cant’t be made through Facebook.
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 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 email@example.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.