Holiday season is officially here — peppermint drinks have hit the coffee shops, snow has hit the ground, and lighting displays are in full force.

However, one of these displays will shine particularly bright this year: the Realities for Children NightLights Tree.

The "holiday tradition that helps," this tree will not only light up Fort Collins, but it will also brighten the lives of local abused children.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the NightLights Tree Lighting, and Realities for Children is celebrating by revealing a huge, brand new tree.

The tree also acts as a fundraiser for abused, neglected, and at-risk children. Attendees can donate or sponsor a Nightlight (through December 31), with all of the proceeds going to directly to the needs of these children.

With almost 7,000 reported cases of child abuse in Larimer County last year, every donation counts.

The event takes place on Sunday, December 1 from 6-7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church (531 S. College Avenue).

Aside from the gorgeous 50-foot blue tree, guests can enjoy free hot cocoa, chai, and coffee. Free hot soup and free homemade cookies will also be available.

Santa Claus himself will be there with his horse-drawn sleigh, and children will have the chance to win a 3-foot tall chocolate Santa from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Live music will be provided by HoldFast, a local Fort Collins rock band, as well as singer-songwriter Emma Marie and the Ridgeview Classical School's Madrigal Singers.

"The band will be playing a handful of originals, as well as a few covers [including] O Come Let Us Adore Him and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," said Charlie Maddocks of HoldFast.

The event will also be emceed by our very own J.B., Kama and Dave Jensen from Retro 102.5 Mornings, who will be spinning some of your favorite holiday tracks.

Join us on December 1 to help a child out of the darkness of abuse and neglect, all while partaking in holiday cheer.