Marine Corps Community Services hosted the second annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the Pacific Views Main Exchange, Nov. 22.
The event culminated in the lighting of a 20-foot Christmas tree, decorated with 250 ornaments and illuminated by 5,000 lights.
“Not every Marine and Sailor gets the opportunity to go home for the holidays,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Anthony Cisneros, the deputy director of MCCS aboard Camp Pendleton. “Here in Southern California, we don’t have the snow, but we have the holiday songs and Christmas spirit that thousands of service members come here to enjoy that holiday spirit with their brother and sisters in arms.”
An estimated 8,000 service members and their families came together to celebrate the holiday season and enjoy several festivities such as a visit from Santa, holiday music, MCCS partnership vendors, raffle tickets giveaways and Christmas carolers.
This year, six-year old Joseph Robert May Jr., was signed up to flip the switch by his father, Staff Sgt. Joseph May, a telecommunication systems chief who is currently deployed with the 5th Marine Regiment.
“We had no idea my husband had signed us up for this,” said 1st Sgt. Christina Hunts Horse-May, company first sergeant for Bravo Company, 9th Communication Battalion. “This really provides a time out to show that, no matter who you are or where you come from; there is a time to reflect on the positives of the holiday season.”
The event provided an opportunity for service members’ families to meet one another and engage in fellowship in the spirit of the holiday season.
For more information about holiday events on base please visit the MCCS website at http://www.mccscp.com/holiday.