The Christmas season fun is about to start in Hamilton, with the lighting of New Zealand's tallest Christmas tree in Garden Place on Saturday, November 30.

The fun begins at 6pm with free children's entertainment, balloons, and face painting with music on the stage and lighting of the tree at 9pm. Start spreading the word to your friends and family.

There will be a chance to sing some Christmas carols and watch the 27 metre tree light up to signal the start of the city's Christmas celebrations.

On December 8, the annual First Credit Union Christmas Parade will allow Hamiltonians the chance to get up close with Santa, his elves, and many more characters. There will be lots of pre-parade entertainment from 1.15pm with the parade starting at 2pm and finishing by 3pm. The parade and giant Christmas tree are organised by the Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust.

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The trust event manager Karen Watkins says an exciting new float in the parade this year will feature the children's cartoon characters from PJ Masks.

Karen says the talented elves in the technical department are working on another new lighting programme for the big tree this year.

The on-stage entertainment for the lighting ceremony will include songs by Mosaic, a community choir from Cambridge.

Time to write your Santa letters

Santa Claus is getting ready to visit Hamilton, and with Christmas decorations and trees now springing up all over the city, it's time to write and post your wishlist letters to Santa.

With Santa busy making his list, checking it twice to find who's been naughty or nice, he has hired some extra honorary elves in Hamilton to help with the huge increase in letters he receives at this time of year.

The residents of the Linda Jones Retirement Village in Hamilton were chosen by Santa to help with answering all those local letters on his behalf. Santa sent special elf Jingles to visit the village to give them the important news and explain their duties.

There is still time for children to get their letters in to Santa before he makes his annual journey from the North Pole to deliver Christmas gifts.

Across Hamilton there are four special mailboxes where you may post your letter to the big man free of charge. The post boxes are at:

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• By the big Christmas tree in Garden Place in the Hamilton CBD.
• At the Hamilton News office at the NZME building in Hardley St (off Liverpool St).
• At the First Credit Union offices in Collingwood St.
• At the VegeKing shop in Heaphy Tce, in Hamilton East.

Tree concert includes Mosaic choir

Mosaic are performing as part of the tree concert this year.

Mosaic is an unauditioned community choir based in Cambridge. The group is made up of regular individuals with a wide range of ages, cultures, occupations and interests with one thing in common; they all absolutely love to sing.

The name Mosaic reflects the idea of many small pieces joined together to make something even more wonderful that they were on their own.

In their words: "We all like to think we're pretty amazing individuals but have discovered that joined together as a choir, we are capable of absolute magic."

So if you want to hear some magic, come along to the concert on Saturday in Garden Place.