It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
… and when you take the likelihood of frigid winter temperatures and travel-snarling snowstorms out of the equation, it’s positively sublime. Ahh, South Carolina!
We love the holidays in Pawleys, Murrells and Litchfield, and it’s not just because of the mild clime. Here are some best bets for getting into the spirit of the season down here south of Myrtle Beach.
Nights of a Thousand Candles: Somehow, in some way, Brookgreen Gardens manages to out-beautify itself around the holidays. The world-famous expanse of flora and statuary becomes bedecked in light with the help of over 5,000 hand-lit candles and more sparkling lights. Meander along the picturesque paths, listen to carolers and bell choirs, and enjoy the most special time of year in one of the Grand Strand’s great treasures. The events goes from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., on December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20. Don’t miss the Peppermint Forest in the Children’s Garden! Also, November 28 through January 4, Brookgreen will offer the “Yes, Virginia” exhibit featuring the paintings of Tom Browning, a Santa Claus artist. Check out the toy trains and “Signs of the Season in Flora and Fauna,” all free with regular admission.
Murrells Inlet Annual Christmas Parade: Sunday, December 7 will welcome a fun and family-friendly parade that continues to delight year after year. In true Murrells Inlet fashion, tailgating is suggested — but this is all about the kids, of course. Treats for the eyes (and belly) await, so park a chair along the parade route and get ready to to have fun. Starts at 3 p.m., beginning at Wilcox Avenue.
Autumn, Acorns and Animals: While not a holiday event per se, it is happening during the holiday time, so it’s fair game. Animal lovers can come to support the SC Coastal Animal Rescue and Educational Sanctuary at the Beaver Bar in Murrells Inlet on Saturday, November 29 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Collect acorns (see above link for instructions) ahead of time and the top three collectors get a t-shirt and calendar. Enter the raffle to win a flatscreen HDTV, and enjoy abundant barbecue offerings (or vegan chili if you’re *really* a friend of the animal world). You will get in the spirit of giving, that’s for sure.
Christmas Cabaret: Christmas music, food and drink together? Sign us up! Enjoy the the Indigo Choral Society dinner concert on December 1 and 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Cross-Faith Memorial Church. For $50 per person, feast a delicious meal — wine included! — while listening to the spirited sounds of talented singers. It will leave you happy and humming holiday tunes for weeks to come.
Christmas Mouse: We admit. This isn't an event. However, when you think in terms of the first time of the season in which you walk into a shop bedecked in holiday splendor, and it kicks off your total Christmas excitement mode, well, that sounds like an event to us. Head over to Hammock Shops Village in Pawleys to experience Christmas Mouse, a store chock full of ornaments, decor, gifts, candles, collectibles and heirlooms in the making. While the Hammock Shops location is the smallest of their eight southern-centered spots, it’s still no slouch at 2,700 square feet full of holiday goodness. If you walk out of there not even slightly merrier, well, then bah humbug. We don’t mean that — maybe have some eggnog first and then try again!
What’s your favorite way to get into the holiday spirit South of Myrtle Beach? Let us know!