I believe in Santa Claus.
From as early as I can remember until last year, I have always believed in that wonderful man in the red suit with the white beard and the bag filled with presents and yumminess and the love that wraps it all up in a bow.
But as the 2020 calendar turns to the holiday season, I’ve found myself wondering what an experience with Santa will look like in this year where everything has changed. And among all the things to do this Christmas, what I really want is some sense of tradition and normalcy that only my family and friends – and Santa – can provide.
Why is Santa part of this mix for me? I think it’s because he represents so much of the sweetness and kindness and wonder of the season, and we all need that in this everything seems so un-normal year.
And then Dollywood answered this fervent Christmas wish of mine. Seems that Dolly asked her good friend Santa to let her show all the children that visit her theme park this holiday season a glimpse into his special hideaway in the Smokies. Yep, that’s right! Apparently, Santa has revealed that he has his own place in the Smokies, and he’s left the toy-making tasks that still need to be completed in the capable hands of his trusty team of elves at the North Pole and has come to one of his favorite places on earth – the Great Smoky Mountains. He and the Mrs. have their own cabin here, tucked away in the woods not far from their close friend—Dolly Parton.
With everything that’s gone on in 2020, Santa knew he had to take extra care this year so that he would be in top shape to deliver toys to all the boys and girls around the world. When his friend Dolly told him she was trying to figure out a way that kids of all ages visiting Dollywood this November and December could still see Santa, they put their heads together and came up with an idea sure to delight. They knew that things would have to look a little different this year, so Dolly suggested an experience to give guests a peek behind-the-scenes at Santa’s cabin in the Smokies, where he and Mrs. Claus are spending the final weeks before Christmas working on the final list of names of all the boys and girls around the globe.
Santa has granted special access for Dollywood guests to see into his Smoky Mountain cabin through a special window into his holiday world. Located in the Heartsong Theater in The Village, children will be escorted inside to take a look into Santa’s hideaway where he’s sitting at his desk by a cozy fireplace and completing all the final details for his big Christmas Eve journey circling the globe – including working on that all-important naughty and nice list!
Children and families will be able to peek into Santa’s cabin and see just where their names are on that list of Santa’s. While kids are looking to find their own name, Santa takes notice of the anticipation on each guest’s face and makes sure every child sees his or her name on the good side of his scroll. Then Jolly Old St. Nick is sure to give everyone at the window a big wink and a nod to let them know that he’s still watching!
What hasn’t changed about seeing Santa at Dollywood during the holidays is what he represents – all the wonder, joy, love, kindness and magic of Christmas, all wrapped together and placed with presents in a sleigh. Like Dolly’s song paying tribute to Santa, all we have to do is believe.