Celebrate Holly Days This Weekend
in Downtown Waynesville
“Holly Days” - A Weekend of Holiday Gatherings - will brighten your spirits in Downtown Waynesville this weekend. Beginning with ART after DARK on Friday evening, downtown galleries will be celebrating the holiday in grand style with luminaries, musicians, and refreshments from 6 p.m. until 9p.m.
On Saturday morning, bring the kids down to The Strand for Story Time with Santa at 10 and 11 a.m. And be sure not to miss the Waynesville Christmas Parade on Main Street on Monday, December 9th beginning at 6 p.m. There’s so much to enjoy in Waynesville this holiday season!
Gift Wrapping Offered by Sarge's Animal Rescue
Sarge’s Animal Rescue offers gift wrapping in the Waynesville Store now through Christmas Eve. There is no charge, but your donation helps Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s many beneficial programs on behalf of Haywood County’s adoptable pets.
All gift wrapping donations will go directly to Sarge’s. To find out more about this worthy organization, please check out www.SargeAndFriends.org.
Candlelight Evenings at Biltmore
From now through New Year’s Eve, the Biltmore Estate hosts Candlelight Evenings at Biltmore. As daylight fades into dusk, candlelight and firelight accent Biltmore House’s extravagant holiday décor, accented by live entertainment and outside illuminations. Biltmore House glows with holiday spirit, appearing much as it would have at the turn of the 19th century. Carols from choirs and ensembles fill the halls with festive sounds.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings tickets are available by reservation only, and include a self-guided candlelight tour of Biltmore House, next-day visit to the gardens, Antler Hill Village and Biltmore Winery. Advance reservations are required. Visit the Biltmore website HERE for tickets.
Celebrate an Old-fashioned Christmas
In our modern times, we often feel that we don’t have time to slow down and enjoy the moment. But, that’s what memories are made of – moments that seem ordinary as they happen, but looking back, they had an extra special meaning.
The Christmas season is filled with opportunities to string together moments into a festive garland for your family. Here are a few suggestions that you may want to incorporate into your celebration.
The Victorian age was filled with games and activities. At Christmastime, children loved to take part in a game called The Christmas Cobweb. In one room in the house, gifts are hidden and the only way to find them is to follow a length of ribbon or yarn, which is wound around table legs, under seat cushions, and maybe even through a book or two until it gets to the package.
Perhaps the most vivid of memories are based around food and conversations around the supper table. A certain smell or taste can trigger a warm memory from years ago….that’s why the kitchen is often the most crowded room during family gatherings. Put together a menu that incorporates everyone’s favorite dish to make your Christmas dinner a meal that is looked forward to throughout the year.
Masters of the little details, a Victorian package would be gaily wrapped with brightly-colored ribbon and trussed up with silk ribbons and bows. There might even be a bit of hand-knotted lace added for extra flair. For your old-fashioned Christmas, find an old picture of your gift recipient and scan it. Place it in a tiny frame and tie it on with the ribbon to be used as the “to and from” card. It may become a keepsake to share with their other family members.
Decorations and parties spanned the season. Evergreen roping and trees filled homes on the inside and the outside. In addition to the Christmas Tree, perhaps one of the best known old-fashioned holiday traditions is the kissing ball, which has now dwindled down to a sprig of mistletoe. Whoever was fortunate enough to end a dance under the kissing ball was lucky enough to share a kiss with their partner. You can make your own by gathering pine boughs, maybe from the trimming of your tree to fit in the stand, and sticking them into an apple or a potato. Tie a ribbon around it to hang it and affix some mistletoe to the bottom. You will enjoy the fragrance throughout the season.
Charity was an important part of the Victorian Christmas celebration; a duty to remember and to help those less fortunate. As we scurry around looking for gifts for this one and that one, it is easy to forget those who need our help. But, in making traditions that can be carried forward, this may be the most memorable and touching, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Prepare a meal for an elderly neighbor and spend some time just visiting. Get a group of friends together and go caroling at a nursing home or extended care facility. Work with your local social services department to make the holiday special for a foster child and his or her family. A little thoughtfulness can go a long way for the receiver…and the giver!
The Mast General Store can help with your preparations for an old-fashioned Christmas. In the country gourmet pantry, you’ll find the makings for mulled cider, a mix for old-fashioned gingerbread, and cookbooks to help in planning your holiday menu. The mercantile department is filled with traditional ornaments, some made here in the Carolinas, and candles that will help fill the air with a holiday bouquet. Throughout the store, Mast Store shopkeepers want to help you find the perfect gift for your friends and loved ones, and to provide an experience to make even the Scroogiest Scrooge smile.
Be sure to visit our “Old-Fashioned Christmas” page by clicking HERE. This site features special coupons and offerings as well as our holiday calendar at the bottom of the page. The holiday calendar is updated weekly and showcases ongoing in-store and community events across all locations.