The lighting ceremony of the San José tree brings Christmas cheer and donations to the victims of the camp fire

adminNovember 24, 2018

Thanksgiving came and went and it already feels like Christmas, especially in San Jose.

The annual Christmas in the Park tradition began with a lighting ceremony of more than 550 trees decorated by local schools and community groups in the Plaza de César Chávez.

This year, Community Giving Tree is not your usual Christmas tree. Instead of normal lights, the tree has 100 lines of programmable lights synchronized with a musical light show, a special gift sponsored by Southwest Airlines.

Christmas in the park dazzles the center of San JoséChristmas in the park dazzles the center of San José

The tree lighting ceremony also brought a bit of holiday cheer to a family affected by the recent Camp Fire in Paradise, California. Kitty and Mike Smith, along with nine members of their family, will participate in the lighting of the Community Donation Tree.

"Everyone has some connection to the tragedy and the Smith family is ours," said the Board of Directors of Christmas at the park, Jason Minsky.

The family lost their home and belongings at the Camp Fire and, earlier this year, lost their 40-year-old daughter, Crystal Smith, and her fiancee, John Lowe, to a suspected drunk driver in Butte County, near of Paradise.

To help the victims of Camp Fire, 100 percent of all contributions made to Christmas in the Park from Friday to Sunday will be donated to Caring Choices and 25 percent of those contributions will be given to the Smith family.

Christmas in the Park will be open every day until December 25 in the Plaza de César Chávez with various events, such as an "ugly Christmas sweater party", "Breakfast with Santa Claus" and "Grinch Night".

Check Christmas at the park for more information.

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