Skyline Lodge at Christmas
Skyline Lodge Celebrates the Holidays

Skyline Lodge in Highlands NC celebrates Christmas.

The Scaly Screamer
Highlands NC

Letters to Santa at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founder's Park

Neither a global pandemic nor their occasional random acts of naughtiness will prevent Santa from hearing the wishes of his dedicated followers.

Ice, Ice, Baby
Highlands NC

Highlands Ice Rink is open at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park. (Note to Olympic Hopefuls: The Beijing Winter Olympics debut in two months, so

Jubilant Illumination
Highlands NC

Decked out in jubilant illumination, Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park sets the stage for a joyous Holiday Season.

Trim our Town
Highlands NC

Trim Our Town is an ardent way to bring the Jolly to downtown Highlands.


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Eng and Chang

My phone rang one night a few years back and on the other end of the line was a 50-year summer resident of Glenville who introduced himself as Woody Haynes.  He wanted to talk about my most recent Laurel Magazine article and when I mentioned that my Zachary family came to Cashiers Valley from Surry County, North Carolina (later Yadkin …

Christmases Past

Ho! Ho! Ho!   Just hearing those jolly three words brings peals of excitement from children everywhere.  Here in Highlands, we’ve been blessed with Santas of almost legendary stature, from the current jolly Allan Dearth to the man whose name is synonymous with Santa, Buck Trott — men who have given freely of their time to help children believe in …

The Holly and the Ivy

Holly and Ivy have been used in Christmas decorations in churches since the 1400’s.  Holly was called “Christ’s thorns” because of the sharp edges, and the red berries represented the drops of blood shed by Jesus.    Henry VIII wrote a love song “Green Groweth the Holly.” The Holly represented a love that never changes (well, in his case, maybe the …

Elk Encounters

He’s not Rudolph, though he is a distant cousin.  He’s made several guest appearances on our ridge.  North Carolina Wildlife Biologist Justin McVey has identified our almost half-ton visitor as a young elk bull.  Why is he stopping by?  Is he auditioning for a guest spot for Santa’s sleigh?  Nope.  He’s doing what any young fella would do…he’s looking for …

Nature’s Own Tree Ornament

This bird is close to the human heart, the state bird in seven states.  We revere Cardinals and have made them mascots of innumerable sports teams from kindergarten to the major leagues including the St. Louis, Arizona, Ball State, and Wesleyan Cardinals.  We take them as totems and even have a College of Cardinals, appropriately attired, in the hierarchy of …

HANDS Christmas Dinner

It’s time to make your reservations for the annual Christmas Dinner sponsored by H.A.N.D.S. ­— Highlands Area Non-Profit Donation Sharing. Once again the dinner will be held at the Highlands Country Club from 11 to 5 on Christmas Day. What started in 2001 has now become a tradition for Highlands families and visitors. It was originally organized by innkeepers who …

Drink and Let Drink

I have been informed many times in my wine career that I am not drinking the right (best) wines. The truth is that I cut my teeth on California wine and that’s all I drank for almost a decade.  As I have been a wine professional for 25 years now, I drink and/or appreciate wines from all over the globe.  Still, …

One Cookie, Ten Ways

Baking holiday cookies sounds like a great idea until you are actually doing it and your kitchen resembles Santa’s workshop with all kinds of recipes, tools and ingredients.   Instead of working so hard, you can make one type of a cookie. Then add different things to the basic recipe in order to get 10 different cookies!  This healthy sugar-free …

Santa Rules, and He Cooks

Santa Claus cooks!   Who knew?   After the rush and scurry of Christmas, one of the ways he relaxes is by trying out new recipes.  This is the time when Mrs. Claus gets a respite and enjoys yoga retreats and Crossfit, so the mister takes over the cooking duties.   You didn’t think he was just a pretty face, did …

Scenes from Highlands Food and Wine Festival

During last month’s Food & Wine Festival, Highlands Chamber of Commerce reached for the stars and gracefully gifted our town with a weekend chock-full of wine, food, and music.  Six breathtakingly beautiful (and sold out) events, along with exquisite wine dinners from our talented local chefs, cumulated into lip-smacking and toe-tapping memories. If you weren’t lucky enough to enjoy Highlands …

Christmas Carol Sing in Highlands

There will be a Christmas Carol Sing at Highlands First Presbyterian Church at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 3, after the Olde Mountain Christmas Parade. Stell Huie will be the song leader with Angie Jenkins at the piano.  If you enjoy singing familiar Christmas carols, you’ll want to make this a part of your Christmas tradition. The church is located …

Highlands Community Christian Chorale

The Highlands Community Christian Chorale Christmas Concert performances will take place at 5:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11, at Highlands First Presbyterian Church.   Dr. Michael Lancaster, conductor of the Asheville Symphony Chorus, will serve as artistic director for the concerts this year.  Dr. Lancaster also serves as director of worship/music at First Presbyterian Church and …