LAKE COMO, NJ — Lake Como’s annual holiday tree lighting last night brought big smiles to the tiniest faces.

Children were among the more than 100 persons gathered at borough hall on December 2 for the festivities, which featured a host of activities just for them, including ornament-making, face-painting, the tree lighting and the highly anticipated visit from Santa Claus.

After a solo performance of "Silent Night" by Grace Allison of Lake Como, the children even participated in a sing-along with Mayor Brian Wilton before the switch was turned on — illuminating the tall evergreen that graces the front lawn of the building and the many other holiday decorations, including a life-size snowman.

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Then they waited eagerly for what many were promised — a visit from Santa, who appeared through the darkness and accompanied them back into borough hall where he posed for photos and listened to those youngsters who shared what they want for Christmas.

As a way to give back to those in need this holiday season, Lake Como residents and others are reminded that Wednesday, December 13 is the last day to participate in the borough’s giving tree tradition. Anyone who takes a gift tag from the tree, located in the main lobby of borough hall at 1740 Main Street, must bring back the corresponding unwrapped gift by that date. The gifts then will be distributed to 12 children in the borough.

The next holiday event is the "Light Up Lake Como" holiday decorating contest on Thursday, December 21. Beginning at 6 p.m., the mayor and council will tour the borough in a trolley judging the best holiday displays on homes and businesses.

While prizes will be awarded to the winners in the home decorating category, the top business will receive a free ad in the borough’s 2018 calendar.

Lake Como T-shirts also are available for purchase — priced at $10 each in sizes ranging from small through 3XL. Proceeds will benefit the borough’s tourism commission.

For more information about the giving tree, holiday decorating contest or  T-shirts, contact Deputy Borough Clerk Amy Boney at aboney@boro.lake-como.nj.us or 732-681-3232, ext. 203.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is a locally owned news organization serving the community. Our advertisers enable us to publish local online news for our readers at no charge. Sign up for our free daily e-News, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.