WE WISH YOU THE BEST OF THE SEASON – And to do that, The Post turns to the cover of a postcard (above), dated Dec. 22, 1916, and mailed at the time “from Eva” in Philadelphia PA to “Lizzie” on North Fairhill Street in the city’s Olney section. The cost to send it? One cent.

All four Post Publications will take today (Friday, Dec. 24, 2010) through Sunday (Dec. 26) off to enjoy the Christmas holiday, and will next publish on Monday (Dec. 27). As always, thanks for reading The Post. Managing Editor Joe Zlomek sincerely wishes you and yours a bright and blessed season, filled with joy, wonder, and peace.

Airman 1st Class Timothy Schwarz.

CHESTER SPRINGS PA – U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Timothy P. Schwarz, stationed at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, offers holiday greetings to his mother, Theresa Schwarz of Chester Springs PA,in this video produced by the Joint Hometown News Service and released for distribution this month (December 2010).

Editor’s Note: For a second consecutive year, The Post is proud to have been selected by the San Antonio TX-based JHNS to carry video holiday greetings from U.S. Armed Forces troops to their family members who live within 25 miles of Pottstown PA. None of the greetings made available this year were from servicemen or women with ties to Lower Pottsgrove or Limerick (PA) townships, or the Borough of Pottstown. We know, however, that residents of our coverage areas join families across the nation in thanking our troops for their service, and wishing them and their families the happiest of holidays.

LIMERICK PA – Kids can dine with the most popular guy of the season, and help those less fortunate than themselves too, during a Breakfast With Santa event scheduled for Saturday (Dec. 4, 2010) from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the food court of the Philadelphia Premium Outlets, West Lightcap Road, Limerick PA.

Breakfast awaits at the outlets.

The meal and Santa-accompanied fun is being combined with a collection of Toys For Tots, the holiday gifts-for-children program conducted by the United States Marines. Donations of new unwrapped toys, books, and games will be accepted at the site, to be delivered by Marines during the holiday season to community children in need.

After he’s had his fill, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Santa can be found strolling the outlet center and greeting visitors there. Other Santa strolls, according to Keri A. Branch, Philadelphia Premium’s assistant general manager, are scheduled for Dec. 12 (Sunday) and Dec. 18 (Saturday), both from noon to 4 p.m.

The outlets will be echoing with music as well, Branch said. Like Santa, Victorian-dressed holiday carolers will roam the center to provide song, music and entertainment this Sunday (Dec. 5), next Saturday (Dec. 11), and Dec. 19 (Sunday), all from noon to 3 p.m.

For more information, call 610-495-9000.

WORCESTER PA – Lighted candles will cast their glow across the Peter Wentz Farmstead on Saturday (Dec. 4, 2010) from 2-8 p.m., during an annual holiday tour of the Montgomery County historic site, 2100 Shearer Rd., Worcester PA, that’s open to the public.

Lanterns light the way on a tour of the Peter Wentz Farmstead.

Visitors can experience a traditional Pennsylvania German seasonal celebration, including music, craft demonstrations, and a visit from Belsnickel (Pennsylvania German for St. Nicholas in furs). A $2 donation of per person is suggested.

Children of all ages can meet Belsnickel from 3-6 p.m. to find out if they made the “good list” or not. At dusk, candles will light the way through the restored site, and throughout the house 18th century tunes will be heard as played on various instruments by local musician, Mark Carroll.

Volunteers portraying Gen. George Washington and some of his troops will offer stories of their “recent” travels throughout the area and their busy preparations for winter encampments. Craftspeople will demonstrate skills, and in the summer kitchen 18th century seasonal food and drink will be prepared on the hearth.

For more information, call the farmstead at 610-584-5104.

Photo from the Peter Wentz Farmstead

WE WISH YOU ABUNDANCE – It’s Thanksgiving Day, and as it has for the past two years The Post again will take a 24-hour break to enjoy this holiday with family and friends. We are thankful for many things, and most certainly among them you, our readers. Please accept our best wishes for you and yours: love deeply, eat heartily, drive carefully, drink moderately, cheer loudly! We’ll have fresh news for you bright and early Friday morning.

We'll shop for more gifts during 2010, according to Deloitte.

POTTSTOWN PA – Here’s good news sure to warm the hearts of merchants across Limerick (PA) and Lower Pottsgrove Townships and the boroughs of Royersford and Pottstown: a new survey says shoppers in the greater Philadelphia area this year will outspend their national counterparts on holiday gifts.

There is, however, another shoe to drop. The same survey says greater Philadelphia residents will spend less on the holidays overall, even if the gifts they buy are pricier.

Shoppers across the region are expected to spend an average of $530 on gifts during 2010, compared to a national average of $466, according to an annual holiday survey by the business consulting firm of Deloitte and Touche. Its conclusions were the subject of an article Monday (Nov. 22, 2010) in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

They’ll also buy more gifts, 18.6 gifts to be exact, compared to the national average of 16.8 gifts.

Regional residents are cautious of overspending, though, the study noted. Consequently, for holiday spending overall, they will shell out a little less – $1,091 this season – than the national average of $1,160.

Need motivation to start shopping? Remember …

  • At Coventry Mall in North Coventry PA: Although it’s closed Thanksgiving Day, mall stores will be open on Black Friday (Nov. 26) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday (Nov. 27) from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday (Nov. 28) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. See its calendar of other holiday hours here.
  • At Upland Square shopping center in West Pottsgrove PA: Days and hours will vary by store. Check the hours for its major tenants, Target, Giant and Best Buy.
  • At Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick PA: Some stores will open as early as 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night (Nov. 25); others will open at 10 p.m., and still others at 11 p.m. Every store in the outlet center will be open at midnight on Black Friday, and remain open until 10 p.m. Then, Saturday hours will run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Patronize small business owners too. Many local retailers in Limerick and downtown Royersford are advertising terrific buys, and some items they carry won’t be found at bigger stores.

ROYERSFORD PA – Children at the Spring-Ford School District‘s Royersford Elementary School, 450 Spring St., Royresford PA, participated in a Halloween costume parade Oct. 29 (2010) outside the school building. It was filmed live by Bryan Walbridge and streamed to the video sharing website YouTube.

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