Do you have your Christmas shopping done? I hate that question.
Mostly because my answer is no until maybe Dec. 23. I’m the type of person who really likes to think of unique gifts. I shudder when my mom tells me to buy socks for my dad or a gift certificate for my brother. But, finding something just right takes time—and what working mom has TIME??
Here’s the thing, when prioritizing, one thing that will stay off the chopping block is family time. Of COURSE we’re going to be intentional with making memories during the Christmas season. Of COURSE we’re going to visit Dollywood for Smoky Mountain Christmas.
Here’s a secret I discovered many years ago: you won’t lose a shopping day by going to Dollywood, because you can play AND mark off your Christmas shopping list. Here are my recommendations when buying for the people you love at a place I love!
Dolly’s Closet– It’s Dolly’s style, but your size! And it’s not all glitz and glam; there are several items for everyday wear. Check out this post to find out more about what they have. I always peruse the Vera Bradley merch and accessories. Find it in the park’s Adventures in Imagination area.
Rivertown Garden & Gifts– This is my go-to shop when I’m looking to pick up gifts for my friends and family who have green-thumbs. I’ve purchased beautiful stepping stones for my best friend here. It’s a great way to give your loved ones a touch of the Great Smoky Mountains in their own garden. Find it in Rivertown Junction.
Old Flames Candles– This is not your run-of-the-mill candle in a jar. There are GORGEOUS hand-made candles in this shop. It’s so fun to watch our Master Craftswoman sculpt these, then purchase one of her works of art! Find it in Craftsman’s Valley.
Blacksmith & Foundry– Knives are always cool gifts (so my husband tells me), and when they are crafted over a fire, even cooler. The craftsmen here also make Christmas nails, which is the perfect blend of manliness and originality. Watch the video about Christmas nails below. Find it in Craftsman’s Valley.
Smoky Creek Leather and Hat Co.– Wallets and belts are pragmatic gifts, but I get the unique factor I’m looking for when they’re handmade at Dollywood. Find it in Craftsman’s Valley.
Temple’s Mercantile– Located across from the Dollywood Express depot, this shop has lots of gifts for train-loving kiddos, like my 2-year-old. There are also stuff-your-own bears. Find it in The Village.
Hillside General Store– Nostalgic gifts galore. Sometimes simple is better, and you’ll find it inside this shop. Find it in Craftsman’s Valley.
Taste Traders– From moonshine jellies to the best bean dip I’ve had, there are fun food and kitchen items in this store. I’ve stuffed stockings with finds I’ve purchased at Taste Traders. Plus, they offer free samples! Find it in Craftsman’s Valley.
Mountain Blown Glass– Do you have someone on your Christmas list who has everything? This is what I get for people like that—their own unique hand blown glass ornament. They’re lovely and fun to make! Find it in Rivertown Junction.
Mountain Laurel HOME– This shop has quickly become one of my go-to’s for Christmas gifts. As soon as you walk in, you feel an overwhelming sense of warmth and comfort. With candles that smell like home and unique soaps and linens, you’re sure to check a few names off of your list. Find it in Rivertown Junction.
Season Passes– I’m a mom who FIRMLY believes in experiences over toys. Plus, this is a gift everyone in the family can use. This season is the best time to buy, because it’s the lowest price point, there are online payment plans if you want to stretch it out, and if you buy a 2018 Pass now you can visit as many times as you’d like for the rest of this season as well.