Church delivers warmth of meals and companionship on Christmas Day

Caitlin Derico was 11 years old when her family’s Christmas tradition shifted from stockings to service.

WOW helps pay off Christmas layaway purchases

What sometimes gets lost amidst the blizzard of radio, television and internet advertising so ubiquitous this time of year is that Christmas is not solely a season of getting, but also a season of giving.

Bryson City bar donates to family resource center

The local dive bar in a small town usually gets a bad rap, but Mickey’s Pub in Bryson City tries to redeem itself every Christmas by giving back to the community.

Community helps fulfill a boy’s birthday wish

Ashton Zari turns 7 on Christmas Eve, and even though he is in Columbus, Ohio, seeking medical treatment, his only birthday wish is for his community members back home in Macon County to make a donation to a great cause.

Crabtree General brings Christmas to Franklin

Crabtree General Store & Coffee Vault in Franklin has recently transformed into a Christmas headquarters.

This must be the place: ‘Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy.’

But, I’m not sad either.

Even with that Charlie Brown quote in the headline to emphasize my thoughts on the impending Christmas, I still find myself somewhere in the neutral zone. Sure, I’m a positive thinking and focus-driven person, but why-oh-why do I find myself more of a loner when the inclusiveness of the holiday season taps my shoulder? 

Christmas classic comes to life

A frigid mountain wind howled through Bryson City last Friday evening as a handful of folks hurried into the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre. Finding a seat in the old building, one was immediately greeted by numerous actors in full 1940s attire.

“Welcome to the show,” they smiled.

This must be the place: Christmas Jam, now more than ever

“You don’t know me but I’m your brother/I was raised here in this living hell/You don’t know my kind in your world/Fairly soon the time will tell/You, telling me the things you’re gonna do for me/I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see/Takin’ it to the streets…”

All one can do is keep fighting the good fight

I don’t know about you, but I need a quiet place about now. I need to turn off the news and close my laptop and just take a break from all of the noise. I need to put my fury away, shut down all the lights except for those on the Christmas tree, and have Doris Day sing “Silver Bells” to me alone, slumping down in my easy chair with a hot mug of chamomile tea here as the whole miserable year collapses into darkness.

Weather doesn’t trip up traditions

op coxWhen we wake up on Christmas Eve, it is nearly 70 degrees and raining so hard that when our miniature dachshund is about to go out for his morning trip to the bathroom, he takes a look up at me instead as if to say, “Are you kidding me, man? No thanks, I’ll just hold it.” What he means, of course, is that he will go back to bed just long enough for us to jump in the shower or start making breakfast, whereupon he will find a nice, quiet room somewhere in the house and surreptitiously relieve himself on the leg of a chair, reappearing minutes later, with another look that says, “No worries, mate. That room is all clear and secure.”

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