Hillsborough Township will kick off the holiday season on Dec. 4 with its annual lighting of the township Christmas tree.
The virtual event will begin at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom and on the township’s YouTube Channel, featuring holiday music and clips of previous events.
At approximately 6:55 p.m., Mayor Doug Tomson will welcome all Zoom viewers for the arrival of Santa, which is expected at 7 p.m.
This event is not open to the public as per the governor’s Executive Orders. Participation will only be virtual via Zoom.
Register in advance at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_iSU0pyscT32JrqqfGu_qEg After registering, a confirmation email will be sent containing information about joining the webinar.
Santa will also connect with children through a special mailbox at the Hillsborough Parks & Recreation Department inside the municipal building.
Each night leading up to Christmas, Santa will send one of his elves to pick up each letter. Drop off a letter by Dec. 11 to ensure a response from Santa himself.
Sample letters are available at Santa’s mailbox or click https://s3.amazonaws.com/my.llfiles.com/00267366/Santa-letter.pdf for an example.
No postage necessary.
There will be some holiday fun for the adults as well.
Hillsborough’s first Home For The Holidays Decorating Contest will take place through Dec. 6.
Submit a picture of your yard or home’s exterior, your name and your street address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lights and decorations should be on display from 5- 9 p.m. nightly. Decorated homes should anticipate an increase in traffic during the voting period of Dec. 8-20. Participants viewing homes should remain in their vehicles or the sidewalk, if on foot. Do not ring anybody’s doorbell.
A list of participating homes and a voting link will be on the Parks & Recreation website at www.hillsboroughnjrecreation.org by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The voting link will close on Dec. 20th.
Then, the Hanukkah festivities begin as Temple Beth-El presents a Shabbat Hanukkah service with a virtual menorah lighting from 6:30-8:15 p.m. Dec. 11.
Yahrzeits will be read. Prayers will be shown on the screen.
Bring a menorah with three candles.
Join via Zoom using password “Sh@bbat” at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/98365509442?pwd=cXo0dGNvRmlLWGRFOXE0ZWpDREJ3UT09#success
Or, watch via livestream at https://livestream.com/ourbethel
For those in need over the next several weeks, Hillsborough Township CAN (Community Assistance Network) will provide holiday meals and gifts to residents with financial difficulties.
Contact the Social Services Department at 908-369-3880 to receive help, or to donate funds, food or gifts.
For more information on any of the holiday events and activities, visit http://hillsborough-nj.org
In addition, Somerset County Sheriff Darrin J. Russo and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation are sponsoring a 2020 Toys for Tots collection drive that will enable children who are in need to receive Christmas gifts.
A collection box will be placed inside the vestibule at the entrance to the county Administration Building, located at 20 Grove St., Somerville. Toys can be dropped off through Dec. 11, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Toy donations should be new or unwrapped, safe (non-choking hazard toys for infants and toddlers) and age-appropriate for both boys and girls. The ages of gift recipients range from newborn up to 14 years of age. Toy gun replicas and gift cards will not be accepted.