The Thomas Jefferson Gardens was the site for this year’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, Dec. 1. People of all ages gathered around the gardens to sip hot chocolate, tag the tree and listen to the Greene County Singers early. At 5:30 p.m., Santa Claus arrived by police escort on a lighted golf cart to the glee of the crowd. He talked with the children as they moved around the tree. With MC Don VanGilder’s count down, the Christmas tree was lit with hundreds of white lights. The Sugar Plum Fairies danced around the tree and more carols were sung. Chairperson Angie Reese-Hueser was delighted with the turn-out and felt everything was spectacular. She added a few new ideas with several photo ops and reindeer food for Christmas Eve available. Santa headed to the top of the Mahanay Bell Tower where free rides to the top allowed families to visit with him while overlooking the community. The live Christmas tree for the lighting was donated by Deal’s Orchard.