• Laurel Contributor

The Jolly Old Elf

by Mary Jane McCall

Whether you’ve been Naughty or Nice, you’re invited to chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus at their spot in Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park.

Rumor has it that Jolly Old St. Nick is a bit of a workaholic, but he’s learning to relax a bit.

We caught up with him recently to discuss his plans to once again make Highlands his home away from home during his preparations for his big night. There he was, leaned back, boots on his desk (shhh…don’t tell Mrs. Claus) looking as relaxed as anyone you’ve ever seen. Mountain air agrees with the jolly old elf.

Once again this year, he plans to work hard during the week and come to Highlands on weekends to unwind a bit and take time to reflect on that extensive Naughty and Nice List. And, as in years past he plans on mingling a bit and providing us with a chance to have our photos taken with him. Mrs. Claus will be on hand, too.

It’s just the right mixture of working and relaxing as they make time to come out and visit with the families and children of Highlands and offer them the unique opportunity to have their pictures made with him. Many families make it a tradition to have an annual photo with Santa taken, and Santa himself enjoys seeing how the kids have grown from one year to the next.

This year Santa will make his first appearance at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park on Friday, November 29, from 11:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. He will stop by the next day, Saturday, November 30, after the Christmas Tree Lighting as well. He will also be back on December 7 at the same spot after his annual appearance in the Christmas Parade until 4:00 P.M. Your final opportunities for photos will be on Saturday, December 14, and 21, from 11:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M.

If you have questions about Santa’s busy schedule or the events that mark Highlands’ Holiday Season – the Olde Mountain Christmas Parade or the worship schedules of local churches – contact the Highlands Visitor Center at (828) 526-2112.

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