MILLBURN, NJ – The lights are hung, the halls have been decked and the fa-la-las are ringing out as Paper Mill Playhouse swings into Christmas.

The Millburn landmark is celebrating the holidays with gusto, from handmade arts and crafts for sale to the spectacular holiday light display and of course, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas on the stage.

The festivities got underway Monday night with the opening of the 2011 Holiday Shopping Bazaar in the lobby and art gallery, where vendors and craftsman from far and wide are selling jewelry, crafts and unique gifts. The Bazaar will be open Monday and Tuesday evenings, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. through Dec. 19.

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The 2011 Holiday Village and Animated Light Spectacular is another feature of Christmas at Paper Mill Playhouse. More than 75,000 animated lights, timed to music, highlight the courtyard area, from the rooflines to the trees. The light display will run seven days a week through Dec. 24. 

Monday night and tonight feature some of the best youth choirs in the state performing holiday selections in the courtyard, and children can have a free photo taken with Santa in the cheery and warm Carriage House. Free hot cocoa and apple cider also is available.

Paper Mill Playhouse is partnering with Jersey Cares by collecting coats for their winter coat drive. New and gently used coats can be brought to Paper Mill Playhouse through Dec. 24.

Last season, Paper Mill Playhouse patrons contributed more than 450 coats to this worthy cause. Coats can be dropped off in the baskets inside the theater’s lobby.

“Paper Mill Playhouse is thrilled to partner once again with Jersey Cares,” said Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director. “When two not-for-profit organizations come together to serve the community, there is true holiday magic. Through the generosity of our patrons, Paper Mill Playhouse has been able to provide warmth to thousands of underserved New Jersey residents.”

And of course, the crowning glory of the holiday season at Paper Mill Playhouse is Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

The popular show runs through Dec. 24 and will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Check the Paper Mill Playhouse website for special holiday schedules. Click here for TheAlternativePress.com's review of the show.

Based on the beloved Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye film, this merry musical tells the tale of two famous song-and-dance men who stage a show in a scenic, snow-topped Vermont inn — and end up finding love with two singing sisters under the mistletoe. With laughter, crazy plot turns, Broadway-size production numbers and the unforgettable music and lyrics of the legendary Irving Berlin, a book by David Ives and Paul Blake, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a brightly wrapped holiday gift.  

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is directed by Marc Bruni, with choreography by Randy Skinner. The cast features James Clow (Bob Wallace), Tony Yazbeck (Phil Davis), Jill Paice (Betty Haynes), Meredith Patterson (Judy Haynes), Edward James Hyland (General Waverly) and Lorna Luft (Martha Watson).

Check the Paper Mill Playhouse website (www.papermill.org) for a complete schedule of holiday events and show times.