CROSSNORE — For 11 years, the Snowy Mountain Christmas Shop has operated as a one-stop shop for who those are in the Christmas spirit to not only stock up on speciality, hand-crafted Christmas decorations and delicious, chocolatey treats, but also a place for visitors to the High Country to pick out their own Fraser fir Christmas tree to take home with them for the Holidays.

Snowy Mountain Christmas Shop is a perennial winter wonderland for those who like to celebrate Christmas even in the summer months. The shop reopened in May of this year, and business is continuing to pick up as the holidays approach. The shop has even turned on its vibrant display of Christmas lights to delight motorists driving by the shop on Highway 221 and spread some Christmas cheer late into the midnight hours.

The shop was started by Christmas tree growers and Avery natives Clay and Bev Cuthbertson to help compliment their family Christmas tree farm of a similar name: Snowy Mountain Christmas Tree Farm.

“We’ve been in this industry for over 40 years. We built this Christmas shop when there was a glut of Christmas trees. There was a lot of Christmas trees that were hard to sell back in 2008. So we built this business in order to start a choose and cut farm, and we did it. It has helped us to be able to sell Christmas trees,” Bev Cuthbertson said.

While the shop has been operating for the past 11 years, the site itself has been occupied by members of the family for generations. The site was previously home to a floral shop and a tax business. However, when the building entered into a state of disrepair, it was torn down and the Snowy Mountain Christmas Shop was built in its place.

This past year, the shop was expanded to house even more of its handmade Christmas decorations. Cuthbertson said that it has taken her years to build up a clientele base of vendors who supply unique, quality decorations to the shop. Visitors can find handcrafted carvings of Santa, hand-woven stockings, distinct sets of the nativity scene and many, many more unique decorations that can hardly be found anywhere else.

Additionally, the shop is home to treats such as cookies, fudge, brittle, cakes, ice cream, as well as coffee, hot chocolate and hot mulled cider, thus the the store’s full name of Snowy Mountain Christmas Shop and Treats.

“There’s not a whole lot of things for tourists to do on this side of the county. So it’s a good place to stop and eat and spend some time if you’re on vacation or traveling,” Cuthbertson said.

There is a lot happening this year at Snowy Mountain Christmas Shop. The choose and cut Christmas tree farm opens in mid-November, and Santa Claus himself will be coming to town to take pictures with the kids beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The festive events are all part of the family’s mission to spread the Christmas spirit to their customers and community.

“(The shop) was something my husband wanted to do, and it’s a good way to make a living,” Cuthbertson said.

After Thanksgiving, store hours will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Snowy Mountain Christmas Shop and Treats is located at 4699 Linville Falls Highway. To get to Snowy Mountain Christmas Tree Farm, turn left out of the shop parking lot, then turn right and drive through downtown Crossnore. Continue on Mount Pleasant Road for a mile and a half before turning left onto Horney Road. The farm is a quarter mile up on the road on the right.

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