Content about Christmas


Did you ever wonder how they get Christmas trees all wrapped up in the netting that protects them until you get them into your home? Pictured above, members of the Avalon Volunteer Fire Company package a tree on its way to a local home. The firefighters are selling Christmas trees to raise money, and have a wide variety of types and sizes in the lot across from the fire hall on New Brighton Road. The lot is open weekday evenings and all day on Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 24. Delivery to North Boroughs homes is available for free or a nominal charge.


The Avalon Volunteer Fire Company is selling Christmas trees at 629 New Brighton Rd., now through Wednesday, Dec. 24.

Hours are Monday -Friday, 5-10 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Trees can be delivered at no cost to residents of Avalon and Ben Avon Heights, or to other North Boroughs residents for a $5 donation.


Any of you who have had any contact with me over the last six months knows that my Christmas present to me this year was a Great Dane puppy. Deacon is the new Citizen dog, and you all will be seeing a lot of him as the weather gets nicer.

He has some big paw prints to fill. Arthur was loved and welcomed by so many of you during his short life with me, and losing my constant companion last May was a life-changing experience.


The North Suburban Chamber of Commerce will host a holiday celebration in Bellevue on Friday, Dec. 6.

Festivities will begin on the YMCA patio at 5 p.m. The Northgate elementary choirs will perform, and then the Northgate Marching Band will lead everyone to the former Central Methodist Church patio for more entertainment and refreshments starting at 6 p.m.

The community Christmas tree will be lit at 6:45 p.m., followed by the arrival of Santa Claus.

Begining at 7 p.m., individuals and groups are invited to sing their favorite carols from an “open mike.”


I hate winter. Even the mildest of them wear me down mentally and physically. By February, my tolerance for cold temperatures, dreary days, and snow and ice is pretty much nonexistent. This year, however, it appears that we all are going to have to dig a little deeper when it comes to putting up with a winter that has shown us no mercy.


I think many of us are having trouble finding the Christmas spirit this year. Where is the joy, the generosity, the warmth of kindness that makes this one of my favorite times of the year? Perhaps this year we all need to look a little harder.

The shootings in Newtown, CT have landed a heavy blow to the spirits of many of us this year. Our hearts ache for the loss of so many children. Our spirits recoil in the presence of whatever it was that drove a young man to devastate so many lives.


Santa Claus has been popping up all over the North Boroughs, including a visit to the Bellevue holiday festivities last Friday evening. Pictured here, 4-year-old Savian, of Avalon, goes over his Christmas wish list with Santa.


“A Grand Day and Night for Singing” is set for Sunday, Dec. 16, at Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon, 7501 Church Ave..

The day of music begins at the worship service at 10:30 a.m. as the junior choir, chancel choir and bell choir lead the congregation in song. Guest musicians, including string players from the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, and soprano Lynn Horton will accompany the choir in the mini-cantata.

At 4:45 p.m., on the front steps of the church, the community is invited to join Christmas caroling in the Ben Avon Community.


And you think you get a headache trimming your Christmas tree? A crew decorating the Bellevue Christmas tree Wednesday afternoon ran into a slight problem when the evergreen decided to topple over. The tree was soon upright, however, and firmly attached to the former Central Methodist Church building on Lincoln Avenue. Donated by WPAHS, the tree was the centerpiece of festivities sponsored by the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce Friday night.


Avalon Volunteer Fire Co. will be selling Christmas trees, with proceeds benefitting the VFC.

The sale will be held at the fire department, 629 New Brighton Rd. in Avalon, Nov. 23 - Dec. 23. Hours are Monday - Friday, 5 - 10 p.m; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Free delivery is available for Avalon and Ben Avon Heights residents. Residents of other North Boroughs can get delivery for a $5 donation.


How do the days and months go by so quickly? It seems like such a short time ago that we were here at this point, closing out one year and preparing for the next.

With time going by so rapidly, each of us caught up in the busy-ness of our individual lives, sometimes we forget to stop and say thank you to all the people who matter in our lives.


The Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon, 7501 Church Ave. is opening its doors to the community with several events being held in the next few weeks.

A Christmas concert and dinner will be held Sunday, Dec. 11. The concert will begin at 4 p.m. and will feature chancel choir, junior choir, bell choir and soloists. Following the concert, dinner will be served in the Fellowship Hall. There is no cost for the dinner. A basket for a free will offering will be available.


It once again is that time of year when many of us shop until we drop, either from exhaustion or the weight of the debt we've accumulated.

And as the holidays draw closer, the desperation level increases. How to find the perfect gift? What is it? Where is it?

What we forget sometimes is to look to the practical, rather than the fantastic.


Holiday celebrations around the North Boroughs kicked off last Friday when Bellevue welcomed Santa Claus and friends. Pictured here, 4-year-old Troy Arluf of Bellevue gives Santa a list of what he hopes to find under his tree on Christmas morning. Sponsored by the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Borough of Bellevue, the celebration featured a variety of entertainment and business-related events for those willing to brave the cold. Emsworth will host its annual tree lighting tonight, while Avalon has an entire day of festivities planned for Dec. 11.


Emsworth residents are invited to join borough officials for the annual Christmas tree lighting in front of the borough hall on Friday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m.


A celebration of the holidays in Bellevue will be held Friday, Nov. 26, beginning with the lighting of the Christmas tree on the Central Methodist Church patio at 6:45 p.m.

Santa Claus will arrive at the patio by firetruck at 7 p.m.. There will be a number of activities, entertainment and refreshments along Lincoln Avenue.

The event is sponsored by the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Borough of Bellevue.


The smells and tastes of the holidays trigger memories decades later. What holiday food traditions make your Christmas special?

This year, you can share recipes for everything from cookies to entrees, appetizers to cocktails, in The Citizen's Holiday Recipe Guide, which will be published on Friday, Nov. 26.

E-mail us your favorite recipe, and include your name, address and a daytime telephone number just in case we need to reach you. Our e-mail address is


The vast majority of Lincoln Avenue building and business owners missed a great meeting this week about the Allegheny Together program.

By "vast majority" we mean all but about a half-dozen. Actually, less than that.


Looking out at the warm, bright sunshine, it's hard to believe that Christmas is just a few weeks away.

But believe it or not, the holiday season is rapidly approaching, complete with that extra long "to do" list as we prepare to celebrate family, friends, and the joy of the season itself.


The closing of Emanuel's Lutheran Church on North Fremont Avenue in Bellevue marks yet another passing of a long-established house of worship in the North Boroughs. With active membership no longer topping 50, a dramatic falling-off from nearly 600 members in the early 1960s, the congregation simply could no longer meet the expenses of maintaining the gothic-styled church that was dedicated in 1909, with additions and embellishments made throughout the century that followed.


Greenstone United Methodist Church in Avalon will hold its annual Christmas festival, Saturday, Dec. 13.

Activities include more than 30 crafters and vendors, lunch at the snack shack, a Chinese auction, and the church’s Second Time Around Thrift Store.

From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. the Allison Friday Band will perform a free concert in the sanctuary. From 1 until 2 p.m., people can meet and greet the Snow Queen and her sister the Snow Princess. Cameras are welcome.

One person will get a $50 Visa gift card by winning the “Have you seen this craft or vendor?” scavenger hunt.


The Church of Assumption in Bellevue will present its annual Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 7, 3 p.m.

This presentation by the church’s music ministry, under the direction of Dr. Neil E. Stahurski, will feature the adult and the children’s choirs, as well as the brass ensemble, in performing music by Lauridsen, Handel and others.

The Christmas concert has been an annual event of the church for more than 40 years.

A free-will offering will be accepted.

For more information, call (412)766-6660, ext. 110 or e-mail DrSta hurs


Members of the Ben Avon Volunteer Fire Company will deliver Santa Claus on a fire truck. Santa will arrive at the borough building on Saturday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m.

Everyone is invited to enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, cookies, a fire, holiday music and a decorated Christmas tree.

The light-up festivities will continue until 8 p.m. In case of inclement weather, Santa and the refreshments will move inside the borough building at 7101 Church Ave.


From his home in the hills above the train tracks running parallel to the Ohio River, Rich Kohler hears every whistle of the engines rolling by, every clickety-click of the cars on the tracks.

"That's what I love about Emsworth. You can't go anywhere without hearing the trains," Rich said, looking over his personal world of trains, towns, and scenes of everyday life. It's not the typical Christmas season train set-up, tracks circling the tree. Rather, it's a year-round hobby that is in a constant state of change, with the tweaking and expanding providing the enjoyment of his hobby.