Charles Hotel Hosts Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Christmas Tree Lighting at The Charles Hotel
Parents carry their children on their shoulders to enable them to see the jazz band’s performance at this year’s Christmas tree lighting event at The Charles Hotel.
The holiday season kicked into gear at The Charles Hotel on Saturday when hundreds of attendees gathered in the hotel’s plaza to enjoy live renditions of classic holiday jingles and to watch the hotel's annual tree lighting extravaganza.

The evening featured performances by Santa Claus’s Jazz Band, a photo opportunity with Santa, and a tree decorating event, as well as free cookies and hot chocolate from local eateries Henrietta’s Table and Shake Shack.

“It’s a great event for the kids to come out and listen to the music and see Santa Claus,” attendee Nicole Boucher said.

The Charles Hotel’s general manager, Alex Attia, said the event has been an annual tradition at the hotel for more than 20 years.

Attendees were also asked to bring new gloves, hats, and baby coats to be donated to Cradles to Crayons, an organization that helps low-income children in the Boston and Philadelphia areas with which the hotel has partnered before, according to hotel spokesperson Ariana Ducas.


The Harvard Square Business Association helped publicize the event, according to HSBA executive director Denise A. Jillson.

“The Charles Hotel is a longtime treasured member of the Harvard Square Business Association,” Jillson said. “The Harvard Square Business Association [was] absolutely delighted to help promote this event that really kicks off Sparklefest, which is Harvard Square’s month-long celebration of the holidays.”

Cambridge resident Kathy Yoon said she has attended the event with her children Tyler and Jane for several years now. When asked what he thought of the event, Tyler Yoon loudly said “Santa’s great!” as he eagerly waited in line for hot chocolate.

Jessica Su, another local resident, said she decided to attend the event after seeing an advertisement.

“We’re having a great time,” Su said. “My daughter is loving the cookies and hot chocolate. She thinks it’s the best thing that she has ever had!”