written on 9.29

I had a small chuckle today when I read that someone’s “fantasy dream” was to rent a cabin in the Smoky Mts. for Christmas. I am sure it would be lovely to be gathered all together with all of one’s beloved ones in our beautiful mountains…
But my thoughts could NOT help but flow back through all the Christmas’ we have spent here- in the very scenic mountains she mentioned.

This will be our fifth Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.

Here are some real life thoughts about the Christmas season in this beautiful but unique place.

1.) You might lose power on Christmas Day. You might lose power and be told by the electric company- while speaking to an actual LIVE person- that you will not have power for at least the next three days. You will not have had a chance to heat your traditional Christmas breakfast- or start the lunch. You will have to be careful with the water and the bathroom. You will be cold. (Note- rent somewhere with a generator and make sure your rental car has four wheel drive.)

2.) A snow storm or ice storm could very well occur and you could be “trapped” in your scenic mountain cabin- because no one plows the roads in the winter weather. While it might seem “romantic”- it can also feel very scary. No one will go “over” any part(s) of the mountains because it is flat-out too dangerous. You are stuck. (Again- generator and four wheel drive)

3.) It could be shockingly cold in the weather-wary south. Stores might close early. Because it is 13 degrees. (stock up early!)

4.) You might run out of wood for the fire that you have to use because it is frigid and there is no power. So you hustle down the mountain to the neighbors to see if you can buy some from them. Only to be told that they absolutely canNOT sell you any wood. It is too precious. Their yard is stacked with logs and logs of firewood. (generator– see?)

5.) It could be sunny and fifty degrees and feel NOTHING like Christmas except everyone is in a seasonal sweater and decorations are aplenty.

6.) Be sure to bring ALL your gifts yourself and don’t ship ahead or try to shop. One- there might not be much of a selection. Two- UPS will have problems. They might deliver your package to someone else. They might deliver your package to a shed NOT on your property. You will only discover this when you wake up at 4 a.m. Christmas week and realize the box hasn’t come. You hop online and see that they left it in your shed. What shed? Oh- that shed- up on top of the road. They might leave your package hanging to a pole (NOT on your property) in a plastic bag. They might refuse to deliver your package and call you to come and get it yourself or pick it up in town. And- if you decide to lengthen your stay and hunker down here to live- they might even deliver your package to your neighbor- or to your husband’s workplace. Without your consent.
and on a more personal note:

7.) It could be part of the busiest time of the year for your husband- and so you rush through the holiday at break neck speed and try to make the memories you can. And every year, every year, December or so comes and you receive the “threat” that nothing is certain about Christmas Eve. Husband might need to work. It hangs in the balance. In the end- every year- for four years- he has been off- but not without anxiety until the very end! It is certainly NOT about relaxing, sipping cocoa round the fire, and priority family time.

Christmas in the Smoky Mts. while beautiful and sometimes romantic- is rarely ideal!