Omaha area kicks off the 2015 Christmas holiday season with lights and song

Papillion’s shopping center has a mailbox to the North Pole

The bells are jingling. The lights are shining. And Santa Claus is in the house. The Omaha Metro area kicked off its 2015 holiday season with a series of tree lighting events over the Thanksgiving week.

The yuletide season actually started Nov. 21st, when Midtown Crossing hosted its annual Family Fun Day activities. It culminated with the lighting of the outdoor shopping center’s Christmas lights. The area has “dancing” lights, which bounce off the area buildings to the tunes of holiday songs and carols.

Midtown Center has a nice attraction

Several companies are displaying window decorations as they try to win money for their favorite charities. Visitors will vote for their favorite displays.

Papillion’s Shadow Lake center lit its tree the night before Thanksgiving. The tree lighting follows the culmination of a short holiday parade, featuring a marching band, elves and the arrival of Santa. This ceremony has become sort of a family tradition to attend.

Shadow Lake’s Christmas tree

We had an opportunity to check out the decorations at Aksarben Village before our Nebraska-Omaha hockey games. Stinson Park was well-decorated.

Aksarben Village’s main decoration at Stinson Park

The Village Pointe shopping Center in west Omaha was decked out for the holiday, as well. It has its tree display in the middle of the shopping center’s main street. The amphitheater area has plenty of decorations, as well.

Omaha proper is not to be left out. The city hosts an annual holiday lights festival. The lights along the Gene Leahy Mall are normally lit on Thanksgiving night. However, due to weather concerns, it was postponed to that Saturday. They will illuminate nightly until early January.

Downtown Omaha is lit up with white lights annually

The Old Market area was decorated for the holiday, as well.

Across the river, Council Bluffs has lights shining brightly this year at Bayliss Park. The city’s best-known attraction has lights hanging from the water fountain for all to see.

Walnut, Iowa, is known as the “Antique City.” The community of about 900 people has several antique stores downtown. They were decorated for the holiday season, as well as the main street.

Large ornaments are displayed on trees along Walnut’s main street

I love holiday lights and decorations. I can’t get enough of them and the music. So, we had a great time checking out the early holiday ceremonies and displays. We will be taking more tours of the area for the holiday views.

Enjoy the season and may you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.