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LetterstoSantaWith Thanksgiving now in the rearview, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Santa Claus is checking his list before coming to town, holiday parades are jingling all the way, the halls are being decked and Christmas trees are being lit up.

Get in the holiday spirit at any one of these upcoming events across Long Island.

December 1
Holiday Spectacular
Two hour concert performed by the Long Island Philharmonic. Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food items, which will be collected by Island Harvest.
The Butler Building, Mitchel Athletic Complex, Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Uniondale. 4 p.m. 516-572-0400
Admission is free but tickets are required. Free tickets are available at all Bethpage Federal Credit Union branches, as well as the Administration Building at Eisenhower Park and the Aquatic Center.

December 2
Menorah Lighting
Rabbi Perl of Chabad of Mineola leads the ceremony.
Eisenhower Park Field 2, East Meadow. 6 p.m. 516-572-0348. Free.

December 3
Holiday Tree Lighting
Eisenhower Park Field 2, East Meadow. 5:30 p.m. 516-572-0348. Free.

December 6
Holiday Tree Lighting
Bring a natural food ornament to decorate the Solstice Tree. Bring canned goods for those in need. Hot beverages sold after Santa lights the tree.
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Great River. 5:30-7:30 p.m. 631-581-1002. Free www.bayardcuttingarboretum.com
Holiday Tree Lighting
Holiday music performed by Oysterponds Elementary School students, hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Winter coat collection and Canned goods collection
Orient Beach State Park. 6:30 p.m. 631-323-2440. Free.

December 7
Holiday Tree Lighting
Holiday music chorus, ice sculpture demonstration, fireworks and Santa.
Belmont Lake State Park, North Babylon. 631-677-5055. Free.

Santa in The Park
Toys, candy, cookies, and hot chocolate will be distributed by Santa’s elves after Saint Nick arrives on a fire truck.
Wantagh Park, Wantagh. 12 p.m. 516-572-0200. Free.

December 13
Holiday Tree Lighting
Spectacular Poinsetta Display in the Main Greenhouse. Eggnog, hot chocolate, cider, gingerbread men at Periwinkles Café. Winter coat collection and Canned goods collection.
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Parks, Oyster Bay. 6 p.m. 516-922-9200. Free.

Candlelight Evenings
19th Century entertainment in historic buildings lit by only candlelight. Holiday songs, Storytelling, Fiddle Music, Hot beverages.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration. 5 p.m. 516-572-8400. 7 p.m. $10 adults, $7 seniors, firefighters. Through 15 and Dec. 20-22.

December 21
Town of Oyster Bay Holiday on Ice Show
Keeping with this being “the season of giving,” those attending the show are asked to bring two non-perishable food items to the show, which will be collected by Island Harvest
Town of Ice Bay Center in Bethpage. 7 p.m. Free.

Mail Letters To Santa
Colorful red and green “Mail Your Letters to Santa” mailboxes will be accessible from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the administration buildings of the following parks through Dec. 16:
Cantiague Park in Hicksville 516-571-7056
Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn-North Hills 516-571-8113
Grant Park in Hewlett 516-571-7821
Rev. Arthur Mackey, Sr. Park in Roosevelt 516-571-8692
Wantagh Park in Wantagh 516-571-7460
Eisenhower Park’s Lannin House at Parking Field No. 6, in East Meadow 516-72-0348
Nassau Aquatic Center at Parking Field No. 1A, in East Meadow 516-572-0501
Nassau County Parks Department’s Administration Building in Eisenhower Park, in East Meadow 516-572-0396, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
All children who send letters to Santa will receive a reply in the form of a “Santa-Gram” from the North Pole, with Santa’s elves at the Parks Department pitching in to send cheery but noncommittal letters in response to children’s letters. To assure a reply, each letter must contain the child’s name and address, written legibly. There is no postage necessary for the Santa letters. The “Santa-Grams” will be sent before the holiday.

Through Dec. 20
Toys for Tots Holiday Gift Drive drop-off boxes for new, unwrapped toys will be located at the following Nassau County locations:
East Meadow:
Eisenhower Park, Main Lobby of Administration Building
100 Carman Avenue, Main Lobby of Corrections/Sheriff’s Department
40 Main Street, in front of Suite C Office
16 Cooper Street, Main Lobby of Traffic and Parking Violations Agency
One West Street, Main Lobby
1550 Franklin Avenue, Main Lobby of Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building
1490 Franklin, Nassau County Police Department, 2nd Floor Training wing
240 Old Country Road, Main Lobby
262 Old Country Road, Main Lobby of District Attorney’s Office
400 County Seat Drive, Nassau County Probation Department, Director’s Office
200 County Seat Drive, Main Lobby of Consumer Affairs
60 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Department of Social Services, outside cafeteria
106 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Health Department, kitchen
1194 Prospect Avenue, DPW/Fire Marshal, 2nd Floor Reception



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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.