Invite Dolly Parton Into Your Home For The Holidays
Dolly Parton lights up the stage whenever and wherever she performs—plus pretty much every room she steps into—whether she’s singing or not. So she’s a natural choice to brighten up your holidays.
It’s easy to welcome Dolly into your seasonal traditions: Get the popcorn ready, snuggle into the couch and watch one of her Christmas-themed movies. Once Dolly’s added a little sparkle to your holiday celebrations at home, plan a trip to visit her hometown of Sevierville in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. The Christmas season is a festive time of year to visit.
WHAT TO WATCH
Christmas at Dollywood (2019)
This Hallmark Christmas movie showcases Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s East Tennessee theme park near Sevierville. In the movie, Dolly plays herself, owner of Dollywood. Danica McKellar - who played Winnie Cooper in the classic ABC series The Wonder Years - plays Rachel Lewis, a single mom and event planner whose schedule abruptly opens up when a client cancels a year-end extravaganza. When Rachel learns there’s an opportunity to produce an event for the 30th anniversary of the award-winning Smoky Mountain Christmas festival at Dollywood, she leaves New York City and returns to her Appalachian mountain roots with nine-year-old daughter Ava in tow. While interviewing for the job, she meets Luke Hakman (played by Niall Matter), a long-time Dollywood employee who sees the holiday production as key to becoming the park’s next General Manager. As the couple works together to pull off an event that will “wow” the boss (Dolly Parton), they also discover that love lurks in unexpected places at Dollywood! See It: On Hallmark Channel.
This Netflix original series brings eight Dolly Parton stories to life in hour-long episodes celebrating family, faith, love and forgiveness. Although the stories aren’t set during the holidays, this series certainly feels like a gift to fans of the beloved artist’s music. Each episode in the anthology is inspired by one of Dolly’s songs. Season one includes: Jolene, These Old Bones, J.J. Sneed, If I Had Wings, Cracker Jack, Sugar Hill, Down from Dover, and Two Doors Down. See it: On Netflix
Though not specifically a Christmas movie, we couldn’t leave this newest release off our list. Dolly Parton doesn’t appear on screen in this film based on Julie Murphy’s best-selling young adult novel, but the soundtrack includes many of Dolly’s classic hits as well as six new songs. The movie stars Jennifer Aniston as a former beauty queen and pageant organizer. Her plus-sized daughter Willowdean (Dumplin’), who is a huge Dolly fan, signs up for her mom’s pageant as a protest that escalates, inspires others, and revolutionizes the pageant. See It: On Netflix.
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love (2016)
This made-for-NBC TV movie is based on actual events from Dolly Parton’s childhood. The heartwarming story shares how her family sacrificed in order to buy her mother a wedding ring, who first recognized Dolly’s voice and musical talents might be made for something bigger than rural Tennessee, why teachers can be amazing influences, and what happens when an unexpected blizzard traps the family in their tiny cabin. See It: On Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Vudu.
Coat of Many Colors (2015)
Though not specifically a Christmas tale, the first of NBC’s made-for-TV movies based on actual events from Dolly Parton’s childhood is heartwarming and inspiring; watch it before the 2016 sequel for a deeper understanding of all the featured characters. Set in 1955, this story details how the close Parton family overcomes tragedy with faith and love. The film stars Alyvia Alyn Lind as nine-year-old Dolly Parton, with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles as her mother and Gerald McRaney as her grandfather. See It: On Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and Vudu.
A Country Christmas Story (2013)
In this Lifetime Original movie, a teenage singer from a small Appalachian town dreams of becoming a country music star. Against the wishes of her mother, she heads to Dollywood for a singing competition hosted by Dolly Parton. While there, she reunites with her musician father and uncovers the musical legacy of African Americans in the world of country music. See It: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and Vudu.
Joyful Noise (2012)
This musical comedy-drama is a story of faith and determination starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. Small town choir leaders rival over the group’s direction while heading to a national competition against overwhelming odds. See It:On Amazon Prime video, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play Movies & TV, and Vudu.
Unlikely Angel (1996)
A country singer with a cheating boyfriend is killed in a car crash, but before she can enter heaven she is told to go back to earth and complete a task. Dolly Parton plays singer Ruby Diamond who must find a mother for a widowed father and his family before she can earn her wings. The endearing movie is ultimately about love and hope. See It:On YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV, and iTunes.
A Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986)
This made-for-TV musical fantasy stars Dolly Parton as a disillusioned country music star who escapes to Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains for the holidays where she encounters seven orphans. Ultimately a story of love, the plot includes entanglements with a local witch, sheriff, mountain man, and judge. The film features six original songs by Dolly Parton. See It: On YouTube.
VISIT DOLLY'S HOMETOWN: SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE
‘Tis the season to see Dolly’s hometown of Sevierville decked out for Christmas.
Make your first stop the Sevier County Courthouse to snap a selfie with the iconic bronze statue of the music maven as a young woman. The statue was sculpted by local artist Jim Gray and has adorned Historic Downtown Sevierville for over 30 years.
Also visit the former site of the Pines Theater, which is where Dolly first stepped on stage at age 10. The building is now home to Treasures from the Heart Thrift Store. Sevierville's First Baptist Church annex was once a Cas Walker's Grocery Store, and the site where Dolly made some of her first appearances on the Cas Walker Radio Show.
If you’ve still got shopping to do, you couldn’t be in a better place! Tanger Outlets Sevierville, the largest authentic outlet center in the state of Tennessee, boasts more than 100 brand-name stores with discount prices of up to 70 percent off retail. You’ll also find dozens of one-of-a-kind boutiques and antique stores throughout town. Be sure to get your Sevierville Coupon Book for more ideas and savings.
In neighboring Pigeon Forge, make memories at Dollywood during the park’s popular Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration. Be dazzled by millions of lights, Christmas-themed live performances, and a spectacular Christmas atmosphere throughout the park.
Don’t miss the 31st Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration that runs through February 22, 2021. Among the festivities, you can view more than 15 million lights in a 25-mile stretch!
Let Dolly brighten up your traditions this Christmas season!