Hawthorne, NJ - The borough of Hawthorne continued its decades-old tradition of lighting the Christmas tree outside the municipal building Saturday.  The tree, originally from May Street, was donated to the town by Mr. Sjaardema, a Hawthorne resident, some forty years ago.  According to his son, Professor Brent Sjaardema, "It was a quarter of its present size and it was transported on a flatbed truck.  There was no certainty that the tree would take its new roots, it was fifty-fifty," Sjaardema said.  But time has shown that it most certainly has thrived and it now towers over the building and the lighting tradition remains strong.

Complimentary cookies, hot chocolate, and Christmas decorations were available for those in attendance, estimated at about two hundred or so gathered in front of the municipal building.  Entertainment was provided by the Hawthorne High School Band and the Passaic County Tech Tones.  The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts assisted Mayor Richard Goldberg when he switched on the lights at 6:45 p.m. to an applauding and cheering crowd.