My man you are heading in the right direction.. My wife and I get up there PRE-Xmas. The lights and atmosphere is great, the people are friendly, and the hot cocoa flows like a river,,,, oh sorry, got on a rant there.. Just kidding. Gatlinburg is starting to deteriorate a little.. but it is still very nice. I highly recommend one of the many many off season cabin rentals. They are roomy, warm and always have that log cabin appeal. They have fireplaces, and hot tubs, sit on top of mountains and have amazing views. When it snows in Gatlinburg, you are in heaven. Its quiet and you are on your own. I recommend checking out one of the many cabin rental places, they are cheaper than any hotel at xmas time. I dont recommend going on xmas though.. it gets kinda crowded. The streets of the old village shoppes are very quaint and inviting. There is plenty to see and do. I like to drive through the National Park, and up the mountain to the TN/Carolina border. It is an amazing view down the valley with the trees and snow. Make sure you dress warm. I highly recommend the Dolly Parton Restaurant and Show,,its a little pricey, but worth it to see at least once. The cream of Vegetable soup is to die for..