2012 Festival of Trees in Gatlinburg

I basically love everything about the Christmas season. My all-time favorite are the Christmas trees! Each year, I start itching to get out the Christmas decorations way too soon, and I start fiddling through the ornaments that have been tucked away for a year – all this before I can even buy a tree. If I could fit them, I would put trees in every room of the house.

I love the way a string of lights makes a tree sparkle, and I love how there are so many different ornaments to choose from; I can make my tree traditional, modern, color themed or anything else I could imagine. Most of all, I love that amazing smell that fills my home when a fresh tree is placed in the window. The sights and smells of Christmas are incredible. But the most important (and most wonderful) thing about the holiday season is the spirit of giving that is associated with it. During the holidays, families, friends and strangers join in an effort to give joy and assistance to those who need it most.

At Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees, you can find all of these things and more. November 20th  through the 24th, the Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries will be hosting its annual event at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. On display will be hundreds of fun, elegant and whimsical Christmas trees. Local businesses and individuals sponsor many of the trees and decorate them in their own unique ways.

As you walk through this winter wonderland, while staying cozy inside, you will take in the sounds and smells of the season. It will take you back to that classic Smoky Mountain Christmas that you love.

Although the trees might steal the spotlight, there are many other things to see and do at the festival. Craft items and handmade centerpieces will be for sale, and there will even be a gingerbread house contest. Admission is free, but donations to SMARM are greatly appreciated. Since 2001, the organization has been providing relief in the form of food, shelter and clothing, for homeless and needy men, women and families. The Festival of Trees is a great holiday outing and a great opportunity to give hope and help during this wonderful season. For more information, visit www.gatlinburgfestivaloftrees.com or www.smarm.org.

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