HOLMDEL, N.J. - During a chilly night, the Holmdel Recreation Department sponsored the Annual Christmas Tree and Menorah lighting celebration Thursday evening.

The holiday music from the choral singers warmed everyone up as Mayor Buontempo emceed the event. The Girls Scouts arrived at 5:15 to practice their songs early and, when it was time, they sang Jingle Bells and Silent Night. Everyone enjoyed the singing as the drank hot chocolate and ate cookies. After the singing the main events began.

Children joined the Mayor as they all counted down together as the Christmas Tree came to life. Soon after, traditional Hanukkah songs were sung including the classic dradel song. The Menorah was then lit in celebration of Hanukkah which starts next week.

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Off in the distance a siren began to blare with bright red, white and blue lights. As it came closer it was clear to the children, both young and old, that a special visitor came from a far away place to visit all the girls and boys. It was Santa in all his splendor. "Merry Christmas!" he shouted to all present as he asked them if they had been naughty or nice all year. He passed out candy canes to all the children.

Holmdel celebrates the seasons each year in concert with the volunteers of Holmdel First Aid, Fire and Holmdel Police as well as Police Explorers and others who ensure a safe journey for Santa and all those who came to see him during the holiday season in Holmdel.