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Experience the Wonder of Christmas Past

by Scott Tidwell

Lifestyle Articles

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Published on this site: November 23rd, 2010 - See more articles from this month

Take a step back in time and discover the Christmas traditions your grandparents cherished. In the Great Smoky Mountains, the annual Festival of Christmas Past is the perfect way to share fond memories with both the youngest and oldest members of your family. Follow an easy walking trail through the woods behind Sugarlands Visitor Center, where you'll have a chance to meet residents of the era as they go about their day. Back at the visitor center, you'll find demonstrations of Christmas crafts, cooking, singing, and other holiday traditions sure to bring a smile to everyone's face.

Characters in Period Clothing Make the Past Come Alive The early settlers in East Tennessee spent much of their time at home, in church, or in school, and Christmas was no exception. On the Memories Walk you'll have a chance to meet the man of the house as he hunts for Christmas dinner (no frozen turkey for this
family), observe his wife as she waits patiently at home, decorating and singing carols, and visit with the schoolmarm and the local preacher. Youngsters will be fascinated at the changes in classrooms over the years, and they'll appreciate the
conveniences of modern life all the more after having experienced life as a pioneer child.

Be sure to bring Grandma and Grandpa along for a trip down memory lane, too. They'll love to share stories with the kids of how it was when they were young, and the old-fashioned sights and sounds will remind them of happy holidays spent with their own parents and grandparents.

The Gifts of Christmas Past

In our modern world, Christmas sometimes feels like a race to find this year's must-have toy and upgrade to the latest electronic gadget. But when the flashing lights and game noises become too much, it's nice to visit - even for a day - a simpler time. Before laptops replaced writing slates, when an after-church picnic was the biggest social event of the week, the holiday season was a time for families and friends to gather together to celebrate life and to cherish the small gifts family members shared.

At the Festival of Christmas Past, you and your family will discover the patience and skill required to craft traditional gifts like woven baskets, quilts, and hand-spun wool. Watch as talented artisans transform everyday objects into gorgeous and useful works of art. You'll even have the opportunity to make your own Christmas wreath to take with you as a reminder of a special family gathering.

Just like today, Christmas a century ago was celebrated with a variety of favorite foods. At Sugarlands Visitor Center, you'll enjoy watching as the fall apple crop becomes creamy apple butter and tart cider. After a walk in the brisk winter air, a steaming mug of hot apple cider is the perfect way to top off your afternoon at the Festival of Christmas Past.

This year, give the family a Christmas present they'll remember forever. Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains while spending a restful day with characters from the past.

Scott Tidwell invites you to book cabins in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee through Arrowhead Cabin Rentals. Visit http://www.arrowheadpigeonforge.com for pricing and availability.

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