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Christmas tree lighting and Santa House opening—in photos

Annual holiday event warms hearts on cold evening

by Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (December 5, 2018) – The frigid temperatures made Wednesday evening feel more Christmas-y than the previous Saturday’s rainstorms would have, and approximately 200 people showed up on the Santa House campus to participate in the festivities that had been postponed because of weather. The photos below capture highlights from the Lansing Christmas tradition.

The Memorial Junior High Choir kicks off the evening in front of the Santa house by singing Christmas songs like Sleigh Ride, Deck the Halls, and Feliz Navidad. The choir later invited the Girl Scouts to join them. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Around 200 people gather around the Santa House for its second year in operation. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Jeremy Martinez did the Santa House landscaping as an Eagle Scout project. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Martinez’s work gives the Santa House a “homier” feel. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Mayor Eidam thanks Jeremy Martinez for his work. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Santa arrives by firetruck after the Mayor’s remarks. (Photo: John Gehring)
Mrs. Claus is happy to be back in town. (Photo: John Gehring)
Santa personally greets his little fans as he makes his way from the firetruck to the festivities. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The crowd surrounds the Village Christmas tree to await the lighting. The tree was formerly located across the street, and the Lan-Oak Park District arranged to have it moved and rejuvenated in a healthier space. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

The big moment finally arrives:

Following the tree-lighting, the Clauses took their places in the Santa House. Mrs. Claus has been part of Lansing’s Christmas tradition for 20 years. This Santa has been serving “off and on” for 15 years. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
A little girl runs into Santa’s arms as if she’s been waiting for him her whole life. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Gary, 11, is not sure how much faith to put in Santa Claus, but he shared his wish list just in case. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Two-year-old Alexandra Wylie met Santa and Mrs. Claus with her parents Randy and Tiffany. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Amy Todd, Director of the Lansing Area Chamber, is interviewed by LNN. The Chamber has been part of the Santa tradition for many years. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Firefighter Keith Zigterman had the honor of serving as Santa’s chauffeur tonight. (Melanie Jongsma)
The LNN crew records Mayor Eidam, her husband Bud, and their new puppy wishing Lansing a Merry Christmas. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Christmas in Lansing begins! (Photo: John Gehring)


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.