(NEWS CENTER Maine) — As we loosen the buckles on our belts and say goodbye to one holiday, we usher in the mother of all holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or a non-secular winter solstice celebration, for most of us it is the busiest time of the year.

Little more than 24-hours after stuffing our faces with Thanksgiving dinner, Mainers are braving the cold, heading out for tree lighting ceremonies across the state.

Portland - In Monument Square, the city is celebrating the official beginning of the holiday season with the lighting of the downtown city tree from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. The event will also include music, free treats, a special appearance by Santa Claus, free horse and wagon rides and finally at 6:15 p.m a "wish kid" from Make-A-Wish Maine will officially light the tree.

Bangor - The Tree in Bangor will be lit at the annual Festival of Lights Parade on Saturday, Dec. 1. This year's theme is “Be The Inspiration” and will feature Santa, floats and lots of lights.

Augusta - The 2018 River of Trees is underway at the Colonial Theater in Augusta. Local businesses have donated and decorated artificial trees with $500-$1,000 worth of retail gifts. The trees and gifts will be raffled off from Nov 23 until Nov. 25, at 6 p.m. The money raised will go to the Augusta Downtown Alliance, The Colonial Theater and the Kennebec Valley Humane Society. Admission is just $2 and raffle tickets cost just 50 cents! More

Kennebunk - In downtown Kennebunk Tree Lighting Holiday Party on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 5 p.m.

Gorham - Tree Lighting and Light Parade is on Sunday, Nov. 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.