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Gift Giving Smiles from Local Aisles

Gift Giving Smiles from Local Aisles

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! As I’m in agreement with Andy Williams and his Christmas carol classic. Therefore, I’ll hold off on talking about anything that is politics, pandemic, or Governor Wolf’s complete poppycock that’s playing out each and every day. Hopefully, I get a new Louisville Slugger pen for Christmas to take full swings at these issues when the calendar flips to 2021.

Please enjoy, share, and partake in all your holiday traditions. Do not allow the grinches to steal one Christmas memory. There is a COVID-safe way to accomplish everything on your list. Most of all, remember and celebrate the true reason for the season.

Before I get started on some great holiday gift-giving ideas to support local business, I have one tackle to wrap up from last week. Mr. Burt Francis, longtime Jersey Shore resident, and historian, reached out to me. It was great to hear from him as always, and he dropped some great Bulldog gridiron knowledge on me to share.

In 1949, Mr. Francis played for the Jersey Shore Bulldogs and Head Coach Ken Hart. The team finished undefeated that season. There was no state championship gameplay that year. However, Coach Hart informed his then player, Mr. Francis, about the 1928 Bulldog team he had played on.

The 1928 PIAA State Championship game featured Harrisburg’s William Penn High School defeating Jersey Shore 26-0. So, this year’s team was actually the 2nd in Jersey Shore football history to reach the state final. Merry Christmas, and thanks for sharing, Mr. Francis.

If you’re still looking for just the right present or a stocking stuffer, here are some great quick, and easy ideas.

We have so many great local eateries and restaurants. You can never go wrong with the gift of food. A lot of our mom-and-pop places have had a very difficult year. So, here’s a great gift given that’s two-fold. It helps out the special people that have been the culinary backbone of the local business community, and provided great hospitality for years.

Hopefully, we soon return to everybody going out to eat as normal in the West Branch Valley. But for those that may still feel uncertain, or maybe are high risk to do so anytime soon, they can use the gift card for takeout/delivery. A person’s favorite meal out, at the comfort of their own table, is a great gift any time of the year.

Remember, gift cards for your kids’ favorite pizza place make a great stocking stuffer. Believe me, they will be found in both Jimmy and Hunter’s stockings. Dairy Queen and Dunkin gift cards are perfect to have on hand just in case you forget somebody — not that I would ever do that.

Before I move off food, I guess we should cover the confectionaries. We have so many great local chocolate stores. From chocolate covered Oreos to chocolate covered pretzels to whatever your Christmas candy tradition is, shop our local chocolatiers or buy their products in our local stores where available.

Next up, ideas for the active and sports minded folks in your life. The River Valley Regional YMCA has great facilities and fitness programs. There is something available for everyone, no matter of age. A gift card or even yearly membership may be perfect for a loved one.

If that person you’re looking for likes golf, don’t forget about White Deer Golf Course. A gift card for a round of golf and a cart or even a membership for that special someone will be appreciated. White Deer is very affordable, and the gift card could also be used for something great in the pro shop.

Another place with plenty to do for kids of all ages is the Liberty Arena and Kaos Fun Zone. From Fly World to bowling to the arcade games and laser tag, there’s plenty to do. You can also get gift cards to be used for the batting cages, turf time, or the state-of-the-art golf simulator. They can also be used at Scorz Bar-and-Grill, which is a great spot for the parents to hang out while the kids play.

If the person you’re shopping for enjoys swinging a racquet don’t forget about The PA Tennis Center. They specialize in tennis for all ages. From youth clinics to private lessons no matter of age. They have some of the best instructors available anywhere. The facility has recently been remodeled and is open to the general public. Gift certificates or full memberships are available for your stocking stuffer needs.

Closing things out on my gift giving ideas is something I missed very dearly last summer. Williamsport Crosscutters baseball. The Cutters will be back better than ever for 2021. They will be affiliated directly with MLB and not just one organization. The level of play will be much improved with the new all-star type format the league will be using.

The Crosscutter name and logo will remain the same and there’s plenty of great merchandise available. Gabe Sinicropi, Doug Estes, and sidekick Rhashan will be back to bring you plenty of baseball smiles.

Season tickets, or a gift card make a great stocking stuffer, but I make sure to get the following for a special gift — the 2021 Rhashan-13 Months of Smiles Calendar. Guaranteed to brighten any baseball fans’ year! The calendar goes for $10 and here is the great thing, all proceeds will be donated to Hope Enterprises. Now that’s a win/win for under the tree. You can check it out at

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday shopping season.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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