BY KRISSI HUMBARD — Winter temperatures arrived just in time to help make the Hyattsville Tree Lighting feel even more like the start of the holiday season.

Despite the chill in the air, a group of residents gathered at Magruder Park on Dec. 2 for the annual tree lighting, the unofficial start to the holiday season in Hyattsville. Bundled up in hats and scarves, residents listened to carolers sing and enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate while waiting for the tree to be lit.

As is her tradition, Mayor Candace Hollingsworth invited the kids in attendance to help her flip the switch and light the tree. The crowd cheered when the red bow topping the tree lit up and the lights on the tree started blinking.

The night’s special guest — Santa! — wandered the crowd, spreading cheer, while residents mingled and posed for pictures in front of the twinkling tree.