OK, I’m exaggerating – there were no actual explosions or Santas turning into giant robots. The most violent action seen was just me dodging errant snowballs flung about by innocent toddlers.

Still, the Paramount Studios annual Christmas Tree Lighting Party for their employees was quite the spectacle (and yes, Michael Bay was there).

This is one of the nicer perks my wife Jaci enjoys as an employee in Paramount’s costume & jewelry archives. I went for the first time last night (December 1st) and it was quite lovely. Plus free food and drink for their 4000 employees and families.

A wide swath of lawn was turned into an actual snow playground. They kindly provided miniature Paramount mittens so the kids could have it.

Everything was first lit in blue…

…with those projected rotating snowflakes.

As the countdown from the president hit zero, lights started dancing on the tree, while snow starting falling from several strategically-placed jets.

Then everything went black…

and then first the star…then up the tree…

…and through a series of impressive color changes

Then the fireworks

A series of crisscrossing spotlights dramatically accented the snow…

And if you looked up from just the right spot you saw that the cleverly planned it in such a way as to create a “spotlight star”

All the trees on the main thoroughfare were hung with lights

A beautiful, impressive display assembled over the last month by Paramount stage crews. (While at my company, we get a free cafeteria lunch.)

And the Christmas countdown is on!