To live on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau is to experience an ever-changing fairytale. In the spring, wildflowers peek out from waterfalls. In the summer, our trees create a canopy of enchanted forests. In the fall, the change of color emulates a multi-faceted gemstone. And in the winter, oh, in the winter, we enjoy a frosted storybook wonderland. But nature isn’t the only treasure for us to discover during the cooler months, the plateau is also full of festive experiences. Whether you are looking for a place to find the picture-perfect holiday gift or are wanting to experience a Christmas parade straight out of a Hallmark movie, our mountain community has what it takes to add the cherry on top of your 2019 cake.
The Shoppes at Old Edwards Inn
For shoppers, both Highlands and Cashiers have a wide assortment of boutiques curated with items that would help check any name off of Santa’s list. The Bascom: A Center For The Visual Arts is hosting their holiday small gift art shopping experience, Petite Tresors, during the month of December. Stop by The Bascom for handmade gifts from local artists and while you are there, enjoy the free admission exhibitions in their three gallery spaces. If your Christmas list consists of that perfect table arrangement for your holiday hosts, visit Fiddlehead Designs in Cashiers or Oakleaf Flower and Garden in Highlands. These florists are responsible for some of the most breathtaking event florals throughout the season. Needing more than just a table arrangement? Capture that Instagram worthy tree or wreath moment while visiting Tom Sawyer’s Christmas Tree Farm and Elf Village in Lake Glenville.
The Plateau is well known for its Christmas parades. Where else will you get to see a camel walking down the town’s main street? Make sure to mark your calendar for the Highlands parade on December 7th and the Cashiers parade on December 14th. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get those last gift requests in on December 7th when you can meet Santa at the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park in Highlands. Earn a few extra “nice” points by choosing to eat lunch after the Highlands Christmas parade at the Food Pantries Christmas Barbecue Lunch to raise money for Highlands’ food pantries.
You can’t ring in the Christmas cheer without a little caroling, which is why attending the December 7th concert of the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet at the First Presbyterian Church of Highlands sounds extra joyful. Go a few hours earlier if you want to make a day of it and to enjoy singing Christmas carols after the parade.
If you are looking for experiences that are both fun and educational, try visiting The Highlands Performing Art Center’s documentary screening of The Prado Museum on December 6th, or check out the Cashiers Historical Society’s Christmas at Col. John’s Cabin taking place on December 7th. The Smoky Mountain Performing Art Center in Franklin has several Christmas concerts throughout December, including Steven Curtis Chapman on December 10th and LeAnn Rimes on December 13th.
You may choose to spend your December enjoying one of these many activities or just snuggled up with a cocktail next to your fireplace. Either way, if you are looking out into the majestic nature our area has to offer, Christmas is sure to be merry and bright on the plateau this year.