Hol­i­day tra­di­tions live on in county

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - News -

This past­week­end Iwas re­cov­er­ing fromThanks­giv­ing, get­ting outmy Christmas dec­o­ra­tions, clean­ing, lis­ten­ing to Christmas car­ols, decking the halls and stuff­ing my­self with the re­heated re­mains of ourThanks­giv­ing repast, when it oc­curred to methat I’d bet­ter take a half hour and go over De­cem­ber’s cal­en­dar. AndI’m glad I did!

Between­work­ing, shop­ping, bak­ing, wrap­ping and hol­i­day events and gath­er­ings, I’m go­ing to need to burn the mid­night oil this month. And I’m bet­ting many of you are too!

Tra­di­tional cel­e­bra­tions abound in Schuylkill County through­outDe­cem­ber and I am so glad they do. These cel­e­bra­tions give us an op­por­tu­nity to con­nect to and sup­port our com­mu­nity.

Be­gin­ning to­day and run­ning through Sun­day, the Spirit of the Hol­i­days Arts and Cul­tur­alTour is de­signed for you to ex­pe­ri­ence the hol­i­days Regina Gargano with­Penn­syl­va­nia ar­ti­sans, cozy shop­ping in the county and en­ter­tain­ment.

The tour is self- guided and en­com­passes Mud& Maker in Pottsville, Walk In Art Cen­ter and The Arts Barn in Schuylkill Haven and The Art& Craft Gallery in­Ham­burg. The Schuylkill County Coun­cil for the Arts will once again host Christkindl­markt on Satur­day and Sun­day, pro­vid­ing you with unique and ex­cel­lent shop­ping in a tra­di­tion­alGer­man Christmas en­vi­ron­ment.

Asal­ways, Schuylkill Cho­ral So­ci­ety will de­light us with it­san­nual hol­i­day­con­cert on Satur­dayat United Pres­by­te­ri­anChurch­inPottsvil­le­an­don Sun­day­atSchuylkil­lHaven AreaHighS­chool. Thisyear’s con­cert, “AHawai­ian Christmas,” prom­ises to gety­ouin the hol­i­dayspirit if you’re not al­readyfeel­ing it.

Or­wigs­burg’sFes­ti­val of Lights kicks off at 4: 30 Satur­day in the square­with mu­sic, kids cookie dec­o­rat­ing, Christmas carol sing- a- longs and car­riage rides with Santa! ThePottsville Lions Club will have its free Christmas movie at the Ma­jes­ticTheater on Dec. 16, com­plete with free pop­corn, candy treat and a visit fromSanta. “To­mas Garth, ACoun­try Christmas,” will also be at the Ma­jes­ticTheater on Dec. 23.

Hope Hill Laven­der Farm’s hol­i­day open house, com­plete with live mu­sic, re­fresh­ments and lux­ury laven­der beauty items that make spe­cial gifts, is on Dec. 10.

It­wouldn’t be the hol­i­days if Iwasn’t talk­ing about shop­ping, now­would it? Af­ter all, gifts are a tra­di­tional ex­pres­sion of love this time of year and it’smy job to urge you to ex­plore the many cre­ative lo­cal choices we have at our dis­posal.

Per­haps lux­u­ri­ous high qual­ity laven­der prod­ucts from Hope Hill Laven­der Far­mare in or­der? Amem­ber­ship to the Schuylkill County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety or Hawk Moun­tain Sanc­tu­ary, for an in­di­vid­ual or a fam­ily, isawel­come stock­ing stuffer.

Maybe some­one you love needs a beau­ti­ful­work of art fromMud& Maker, The Arts Barn orWalk InArt Cen­ter? Or bet­ter yet, art lesson­s­may be the per­fect gift for that hard to buy for loved one.

Per­haps a one- of- a- kind gift fromTink’s An­tiques or Hid­denTrea­sures will­make a loved one smile? Agift cer­tifi­cate for Pris­tine Green Clean­ing or Bee Hive Hair Sa­lon is sure tomake some­one smile! Howabout tick­ets to aGabriel Cham­berEnsem­ble con­cert? There’s no limit to the unique gift choices lo­cally avail­able.

And shop­ping lo­cally is more than just con­ve­nient. When you shop in your down­town com­mu­ni­ties you put rev­enue back into your com­mu­nity. Stud­ies show that for ev­ery $ 100 spent at a chain store, a mere $ 13 cir­cu­lates back into the com­mu­nity. Con­versely, the same $ 100 spent at a home­town busi­ness cir­cu­lates $ 45 back into the com­mu­nity. Unique high qual­ity gifts that ben­e­fit our com­mu­ni­ties and way of life; there’s no bet­ter way to give!

Nowyou or your loved ones might pre­fer some­thing a lit­tle­more tra­di­tional but rest as­sured, you can shop a slew of county re­tail­ers for a host of fes­tive gifts in­clud­ing: Fram­ing Mad, For­get- Me- Not Florist, HealthyHabit­sNat­u­ralMar­ket, Lessie’s Gar­den& Gift Shop, PeaceFrog, Ellen’s Gourmet Bas­kets, The Crafty Fly Gift Shoppe, Scha­ef­fer’s Har­ley- David­son, Some­where in Time Sports Col­lectibles, Kowalonek’s Kiel­basy Shop, C& CCandies, Mom­maMil­lie’s Bak­ery and Pine Creek Coun­try Gar­dens.

I can’t for­get our seven fab­u­louswiner­ies for gifts ei­ther: Benigna’s Creek, Red Shale Ridge, Galen Glen, Blue Lizard, Stone Moun­tain, Long Trout and Field­wood. There’s also a ton of great restau­rants that of­fer gift cer­tifi­cates too but alas, I’m run­ning out of time and space. ( Per­son­ally, I love restau­rant gift cer­tifi­cates and find them es­pe­cially use­ful­when I’m too tired or too busy to cook.)

For­more in­for­ma­tion on gift ideas and great hol­i­day events, go towww. schuylkill. org or give us a call at 570622- 7700. From all of us here at the Schuylkill Coun­tyVisi­tors Bureau, have a happy and blessed hol­i­day sea­son!

( Gargano is ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Schuylkill County

Vis­i­tors Bureau)

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