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Eddie and I counted them aloud.

In the back seat of the family car, my brother and I tallied the homes decked out and lit up for Christmas as we rode by.

One of my favorite Christmastime activities as a child was to gaze at all the decorations, whether in my own home or through the backseat windows of my parents’ car.

I also loved to help assemble and decorate my family’s artificial tree each year.

Better yet, after assembly I loved to curl up on the couch and take in its beauty.

Taking it all in. This is still one of my favorite aspects of the season, and one reason I love spending Christmas in the Abingtons.

One favorite among many.

There is so much to do in this area at Christmastime - from selecting and cutting down your tree at one of the many area tree farms (we abandoned the artificial one a few years ago), to shopping at local stores and vendor fairs, to attending the various dramatic programs presented by our schools, churches and community theater groups.

Below is my “top five” list - though I don’t advocate any particular order - of things for families to do here during the holiday season. The last two are not a part of what most people consider to be “the Abingtons,” but their hometown vibes make the short trip worth it for the Abington-area residents who attend.

1. Seeing the lights

Pile the kids –and young at heart - into the car and take a drive around the community to “ooh” and “ahh” over all the decorations. If you’re feeling adventurous, stop at South Abington Park for a brisk walk along the paved walking trail to enjoy the lights up-close. This is also a great spot for family Christmas photos.

2. The Santa Project

Did you know you can invite Santa Claus to your home for a short pre-Christmas visit with the youngsters?

Members of the Abington Lions Club will drive the jolly elf around the Abingtons to visit with local children and present small gifts from Dec. 11 through 13. There is no cost, but registration must be completed by Friday, Nov. 30. You can register online at abingtonlions.org. For more information, visit bit.ly/2P0gRQJ.

3. Live Nativity of the Abingtons

Clarks Green Assembly of God presents a free annual Christmas program, the Live Nativity of the Abingtons, with music, animals, and refreshments by the fireplace, a giveaway and more.

What better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than to watch the biblical story of the first Christmas unfold through creative storytelling? This year’s program will be held at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 and at 6 p.m. only Dec. 9. Learn more online at

livenativityoftheabingtons.com.

4. Christmas in Our Hometown

Abingtonians who venture to neighboring downtown Tunkhannock for this annual affair scheduled for Dec. 7 and 8 will find a tree lighting ceremony with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, horse-drawn wagon rides, live entertainment, ice carvings, free movie showings, crafts and more. For more information, visit bit.ly/2DKTfgT.

5. Factoryville Christmas Market

The atmosphere of last year’s inaugural Factoryville Christmas Market was nothing short of magical. This European-style event features food and drink, shopping among local vendors, children’s activities at “Elf School,” entertainment and more. This year’s market is scheduled for Dec. 8 and 9. Admission is free and more information can be found on the Factoryville Christmas Market Facebook page at bit.ly/2THZFDb.

This list just touches on the many things to do. For more holiday events, check the Suburban’s community calendar each week on page two or online at theabingtonsuburban.com. Have a public holiday event of your own to add? Email the information to suburbanweekly@timesshamrock.com.

I think what’s most important, however, isn’t what we do or where we go. It’s who we share these experiences with and the memories we make. So let’s gather our families and friends and enjoy Christmas in the Abingtons and beyond.

Together.