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A Real Hallmark Christmas


So, I might have a Hallmark Countdown to Christmas obsession. This is something that my husband and boys will never understand but have accepted as fact this time of year. Yes, the Hallmark channel will be on all the time. Yes, even when I’ve seen the movie before. And yes, even though the plots are completely formulaic and predictable.

But I love them. I love the decorations, the scenery, the tradition, and the love stories too. There is something magical about ending up in an unexpected place, a winter wonderland if you will.

I stumbled across one such place while attending a business meeting at The Ritz at Lake Oconee. It is unlike any other Ritz you might visit. It is a true lodge, oh if Georgia only had real mountains, it’s the absolute perfect ski lodge nestled on beautiful Lake Oconee in rural Georgia, about two hours east of Atlanta.


I arrived on a chilly afternoon right in the middle of a conference call. So, before checking in I went straight to the comfy chairs next to a roaring, real fire, and finished my call. This is the best lobby, common area, ever. I swear my blood pressure went down by 10 points just walking in. If they had brought me a fuzzy throw blanket, I may have moved in permanently.

Every nook and cranny was decorated. It was so fun to explore and take in all the details. And like with most Christmas decorations, they really come to life when the sun goes down!


I think the Hallmark Channel is missing out because this is one of the most romantic inns you will ever find. From s’mores by the fire, to ice skating, to playing pool or enjoying a drink by one of the many roaring fires, it would be easy to imagine love, romance, or mischief in the air. Oh, and don’t miss a romantic dinner at the Linger Longer Steakhouse which is one of those dinners that will stay on your top 10 meals list for sure!

So, I spend a lot of time in blah looking meeting and conference rooms, so what a treat these meeting facilities were. There was nothing drab or boring about them and they were very creatively decorated and festive.

So, if Hallmark needs me to write the script for this one, I’m on it and I’m open to many more scouting visits! This end of the year business trip really inspired me to get out and see the decorations and lights in the Atlanta area – always one of my favorite holiday traditions. So, I may have to turn off the Hallmark channel and drag the boys with me.


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