One of our favorite Christmas attractions is really an event, at North Georgia's Chief Vann House Historic Site where one of the first Christmas celebrations was held. Moravian missionaries, who were building a school to teach Cherokee children, were invited to join James Vann for a Christmas celebration in 1805. Each year park rangers work with local volunteers to recreate Christmas at the Vann House in the oldest structure still standing in North Georgia. The home is in Chatsworth, Georgia and you can call 706-695-2598 for more information.
Our second stop is also in the northwest corner of the state, about 6 miles south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, where for the final six weeks of each year beautiful Rock City Gardens becomes a festival of lights known as the Enchanted Garden. It is a wonderful time to visit this north Georgia standard.
Let's start our Christmas Tour of North Georgia at The University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, where we find out from David Moorhead that 33 million Christmas trees are cut every year and that it takes from 5 to 12 years to grow a new tree. The Virginia Tech Christmas Tree web site goes deeper into the subject and includes the types of trees, how to select a tree and care for it in your home, and inventive ways of using your tree after the Christmas season.
Stores with Christmas merchandise abound in the North Georgia mountains. One that we found to be worth the visit is Always Christmas, (pictured, left) in Hiawassee, Georgia. They bill themselves as "North Georgia's largest Christmas store." Always Christmas features many of the Christmas collectibles that have become so popular in recent years. The store is open year-round, but closes on Sundays. (Photo used with permission)
We also found a great site where you can send Christmas Cards to friends on your e-mail list with Internet access. The folks at Blue Mountain have one of the most successful sites on the web. Simple animated folk art cards can be created for any occasion, but Christmas is their most popular time. When you select a card and enter text, the site creates a web page and e-mails the address to the recipient. If you have selected the "notify" option, when the page is viewed you are informed via e-mail.
Of course, no mention of Christmas in North Georgia would be complete without mention of Santa Claus. North Georgia's Santa Claus is centrally located in Canton, Georgia just off State Road 140 near of Cherokee Drive. Its a fun trip from anywhere in North Georgia and his warm home lacks any commercial trappings - just the spirit of Christmas. We recommend a visit.
Well, our brief tour of North Georgia at Christmas is through. We are going to spend a few minutes in front of the fire, snuggling with the one we love, hopeful that Santa will bring our gifts, for we have been good boys and girls here at About North Georgia.
Other links of interest during the holiday season: