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Sautee residents stay close to home at Christmastime
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Location: Ga. 255 south of Helen in White County

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The little town of Sautee, located just south of Helen in White County, buzzes - albeit quietly - around the holidays.

Nearby churches offer live nativity scenes and musical celebrations, as well as more somber occasions, including Nacoochee Presbyterian's The Longest Night event, when those who might be sad or mourning this Christmas can come to the church for solace.

Anne Hall, who attends Nacoochee Presbyterian Church, said she spends Christmas attending church activities like Lessons & Carols, an event scheduled for Sunday.

"All the kids come together in the church and they have 30 minutes to rehearse, and everybody is either a shepherd or all the nativity scene stuff. Then they have birthday cake for baby Jesus," Hall said.

Hall, who also works at Old Sautee Store, said many Sautee residents shop locally during the holidays.

The store sells gifts and food items, including ginger snaps, cheese and crackers and glogg, a popular Christmas gift.

"Glogg is a warm Swedish fruit drink," she said. "The traditional holiday drink for the Scandinavians, especially the Swedes."

Two Christmas tree yards also are within a couple of miles of Sautee, making it easy to stay in the small town to celebrate the holiday.

"I shop locally and I got my Christmas tree here. I got my gifts here," Hall said.

Those with a heart for art can make it an artful Christmas at the Sautee Nacoochee Center.

The community center, which Hall said is "a kind of community gathering place in a lot of ways," is located in an old school house.

The Sautee Nacoochee Center is home to many Christmas events, including a holiday show at the Center Gallery, which displays work from artists within a 50-mile radius.

Performance art gets to take the stage, too, as the Sautee Community Chorale puts on its yearly Christmas concert, and local kids can take part in plays like "Kidwaters," which took place earlier this month.