NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Live sheep, bunnies and even an ornery donkey joined angels, shepherds, wise men and the Holy Family for the annual living nativity and tree lighting at the New Providence Presbyterian Church on Friday.
The church, one of the oldest landmarks of the borough, is the picturesque Norman Rockwell scene located at the pivotal intersection at Springfield Avenue and South Street. When you add the luminary lined sidewalks with the community congregating on the hill, you felt the magic of the season.
Mayor Al Morgan said Happy Thanksgiving to the crowd, "We are thankful for living here -- tonight is about the Christmas season. It's not about receiving, it's about giving -- giving of yourself, helping your friends, neighbors and anybody in need. That's what this is all about."
He said, "The tradition of this tree lighting has gone on for a good number of years -- I remember [this] as a child growing up here."
He brought out a new special switch, and with the children gathered around, they started the countdown. As the crowd loudly counted down to zero, with the flick of the magical switch, the tree was lit and the Christmas season has officially begun.