Thursday, November 30 2023 10:23

Publisher’s Letter

Written by Edwin Malet

December 2023

It’s December. The stores, trees and houses are lit and decorated. There’s music on the street. Carolers are outside our window. The holidays are upon us. Will there be snow?

There’s nothing quite like the theater, writes Elizabeth Hughes, and the holidays are a perfect time to take in a show. People’s Light, Media Theatre, Hedgerow Theatre Company, Candlelight Theatre, the Grand … Your tickets await. She’ll tell you what’s happening in “Holidays at the Theater.”

Shelley Laurence of Main Point Books says that a trip to your local bookstore is a great way to breeze through the gifting process. In “Holiday Gifting Made Easy,” she has recommendations for gifts for everyone.

Or this year, instead of giving traditional gifts, why not make a donation to a local nonprofit in the name of a special someone on your list? In “A Giving Back Guide,” Abbey Gau suggests a number of way to make a difference in the community.

Making sustainable choices is important all year, but Shannon Montgomery says this season we should focus on giving plants — in “Planting Holiday Joy”­— the original green gift, and looks at other ways we can reduce our carbon footprint,

From tree lighting to train rides, Erin McGinniss writes about eight towns in County Lines country, asking “Ho, Ho, Ho — Who Wouldn’t Go?” and describes how they will celebrate the holidays.

Christmas in West Chester is back with all the charm you’ve come to expect. And Cara Corridoni finds this year that “New Shops Liven Up West Chester’s Holiday Shopping Experience.” She’ll take you on a tour.

To make things easier for you, Marci Tomassone compiled a list of shops, museums and restaurants in “Holiday Window Shopping” — everything you need to complete your shopping. Plus there’s “Holiday Style” with truly memorable gift ideas for the season.

’Tis the season to delight your loved one with surprises under the tree. Sparkling wines, pairings from around the globe, enchanting elixirs. Liz Tarditi mentions several in “The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide” but says they’re just a glimpse of the many options available at your local wine and spirits shop.

“Get Aweigh?” For many of us, Christmas means vacation, and vacation means travel, and travel means venturing into new territory. But how and where to go? I suggest a cruise. Whether for education, adventure or pure luxury, I’ve got advice from local experts.

Courtney H. Diener-Stokes of Brandywine Table has a trick to have her gift cookies fully appreciated during the busy holidays. Give them out early, immediately after Thanksgiving. In “A Sweet Bite of Family History,” she shares friends’ recipes. Yum!

And of course this issue if full of events to enjoy during December, including fabulous holiday house tours.

At, you can read the December issue’s articles online. And at, you can enjoy the complete digital issue FOR FREE. You can also click Get A Copy on the website to find convenient locations to get a print copy.

We hope you’ll subscribe to County Lines. Do it online or call 610-918-9300. For single issues, try Carlino’s, Kimberton Whole Foods, Janssen’s, Crop’s Fresh Market, Country Butcher, the Well, the Foodery, Harvest Market, Wellington Square Bookshop, Reads & Company, Main Point Books or your local library.

Copies are also available over 300 locations. Visiting an advertiser is a great — and free — way to find copies!

From all of us at County Lines Magazine, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Ed Malet, Publisher


New Shops Liven Up West Chester’s Holiday Shopping Experience

Photo: Timlyn Vaughan Photography

Storefronts wrapped in pine, lights twinkling and singers on the Historic Courthouse steps adorn the borough. All fine. But this year you’ll find a bounty of exciting new shopping options. First, on Church Street, you’ll find a new coffee shop, a new package shop and a new plants-and-more shop. On Gay Street, one new shop features ethically sourced décor and home goods. Another has women’s, men’s and kids’ clothing. On High Street, find another new boutique, a vintage clothing store, a coffee shop and a tea shop. Finally, on South Matlack street, a modern art gallery has replaced a neighborhood store.


Planting Holiday Joy

Consider the environmental impact of your season’s gifts and celebrations, and choose to give plants this year. Plants purify the air, are biodegradable, don’t require any packaging and don’t need to be wrapped. You can buy them at our area’s nurseries, greenhouses and garden shops. Or, you may want to opt for a flower arrangement. Alternatively, if you’d rather that a professional staff cares for the plant — and will offer more variety — you can give a membership to one of our area’s public gardens. In fact, you can give a passport to visit multiple gardens!


Get Aweigh?

Photo: American Queen Voyages/

Attractive as Chester County may be, travel is likely to be high on your wishlist. And traveling by ocean, sea, lake or river, on a magnificent cruise ship, visiting spectacular ports and scenery all around the world, with chef-made cuisines, onboard spas, educational outings, Broadway entertainment and Disney amusements, may offer the ultimate in luxury and relaxation. Several local cruise planners share their suggestions.

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