The Inn at Great Neck hosted its annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Wednesday, Dec. 2, to commence the holiday season on Cutter Mill Road. More than 50 Great Neck residents crowded the hotel lobby to participate in this festive gathering of music, food and Christmas lights.
The reception tables were completely overwhelmed with food and drinks: eggnog, cookies, cakes, hot coffee, tea and apple cider. People of all ages lounged with friends and family in a faintly lit room, enjoying the snacks and warmth on the rainy evening.
Fifteen members of Great Neck South High School’s choir sang familiar holiday songs and handed out packets of the lyrics so everyone could join in. Tunes, such as “Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Let It Snow,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland” and “I Have a Little Dreidel,” vibrated across a dozen tables.
As Santa Claus entered, wearing the traditional costume and a huge smile, everyone clapped and cheered. Families and children
took pictures while waiters collected plates and napkins, preparing for
the anticipated moment of light.
After the sing-along and snacks, people walked outside to stand in front of the tree. Everyone counted to three in unison and Mayor Jean Celender flipped the light switch. Instantly, the participant’s faces reflected blue, green and red. Guests lingered for a few minutes to gaze at the tree and catch up with acquaintances. Through the mist and fog, the lights shone extra brightly.
While the tree signifies a very specific holiday, people from various religions all joined together for the occasion. Regardless of observance, the tree shared its lights with all during the 2015 holiday season.