Welcome to Parenting Sweet!

Parenting Sweet is a resource for parents and caregivers, featuring all the great opportunities in our region that make parenting sweet!

This issue features holiday activities to enjoy with the whole family! From parades and tree displays to ice skating rinks, you’ll be sure to find something to get the holiday cheer rolling.

Bristol’s Promise Making Parenting Sweet

We have tips, information, practices, and parenting classes, sessions, workshops, support groups, seasoned educators, and friendships that can help lighten some of your load and make parenting easier.

Wish you had an extra hand? A little help? A hack that makes things a little easier? Wondering if doing something different would help?

Check out the Parenting Educator Network opportunities below in the December 2022 Highlights.

Bristol’s Promise is excited to welcome our new Parenting Program Manager to the team, Lily Royston!

Lily is excited to serve parents and parenting educators in our community and can be reached at

Poll:  What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Parenting Sweet helps us keep our five promises of caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education, and opportunities to serve.

Coming Soon: 
Grandparent Workshop Series

Just for Grandparents!

Bristol’s Promise will be offering a workshop series just for grandparents of children ages birth to five! Why? We love our grandparents! Whether you are “sharing the care” or a custodial grandparent, we recognize the vital importance of grandparents.

Did you know? In the U.S., one out of four children under age 5 is cared for by a grandparent while parents work or go to school and 1.6 million children are being raised by grandparents (US Census Bureau, Zero to Three).

We want to offer you the opportunity to build a strong social support network, sharing joys and challenges, as well as gaining and sharing knowledge. You can look forward to topics such as: challenging behavior, mealtimes and picky eating, early learning, sleep, generational relationships, and more!

Stay tuned to find out more! If you or someone you know may be interested in learning more about this program, please submit your information here. Questions? Email Lily Royston ( Thank you!

Click to learn more!

Is your child signed up for Imagination Library?

All children who are residents of Sullivan County from birth to age five can be registered for this program. Once registered, each child then receives a free, age-appropriate book in the mail every month – sixty books in all if signed up at birth. Every child will have books of their very own, at no cost to them. Click here to register.

Not in Sullivan County? Find your Imagination Library Program here.


Ice Skating in the Tri-Cities

Christmas Light Displays Around the Region

School is out, but class isn’t over!

Just because class isn’t in session doesn’t mean your high school student should give up working on their resumes and portfolios. Winter break is an excellent time to research colleges and majors, figure out future career paths, catch up on deadlines, or even get some extra volunteer hours.

Regional Christmas Activities
  • Candy Land Christmas Holiday Market – Founders Park Pavilion in Downtown Johnson City. 225 S Commerce Street, Johnson City, TN  37604. December 10 @ 8:00AM – 1:00PM. 40+ vendors, live music, special holiday guests & more.
  • Jingle & Mingle Shop & Hop– Downtown Kingsport. December 3 @ 10:00AM – 8:00PM. Shop and hop from store to store, do fun activities, and grab a bite to eat before the Kingsport Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting.
  • A Very Beary Christmas Celebration – Beech Mountain Town Hall. December 22 @ 5:00PM. Immediately following the town parade, help Santa’s elves prep Santa for the holidays with holiday crafts, cookies, and hot cocoa. Finish by handing Santa your letter and posing for a family photo.
  • Happy Christmas Tour with the Becky Buller Band and Nu-Blue – December 9, 2022 @ 7:00PM. Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace. $35 until December 8, $40 on December 9 and at gate. Under 18 is free. Get tickets at here.
  • Christmas Flea Market – Bargain Hunters Flea Market Mall of Johnson City. December 10 @ 10:00AM – 6:00PM. 2808 W Market St, Johnson City, TN 37604-5166. Discounts and door prizes you won’t want to miss!
  • Christmas Craft & Vendor Show – Big Stone Gap. December 3 & 4 @ 9:00AM – 5:00PM. Town Hall in Carnes Gym (505 E 5th St). Shop Christmas decorations, ornaments, and gifts from local crafters and vendors.
  • Christmas in the Country – Kingsport. December 3 @ 10:00AM – 4:00PM. Living History Farm (4812 Orebank Road). $5 for adults, free for children under 12. Exchange Place demonstrates 1850s wintertime farm life in our region through their annual tradition-rich event. Featuring activities such as a Yule Log Ceremony, candle-dipping, singing traditional Christmas carols, fresh made foods, and much, much more. Enjoy time with your family while learning about the history and traditions of former families from the Northeast TN region.
  • Visions of Christmas: 1861 – 2620 S. Roan St. in Johnson City. Saturday, December 3rd from 2:00PM – 6:00PM. Tours begin at 2:15PM and continue every 20 minutes until the last tour at 5:55PM. Hosted by Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site, this event will give family and friends a glimpse into life during the holiday seasons in the 1800s. Cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children. Reservations are strongly suggested due to limited space. Call 423-926-3631 or email to make a reservation.
  • Winter Wonderland Christmas – Located at Cumberland Square and Downtown Center, Bristol’s first ever Christmas tree display will feature over 20 trees decorated by local businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals. November 28th through January 2nd.
  • Kingsport Carousel Christmas – Friday, December 16th. Carousel is 1:00PM – 3:00PM. Snow is at 1:00PM. Free carousel rides with Santa. Includes reindeer games with Parks and Recreation. Plus, more snow!
  • Polar Express Christmas – Saturday, December 17th at 2:00PM. A special holiday viewing at the Kingsport Public Library includes snow in Kingsport at 4:00PM and 6:00PM at Glen Bruce Park.
  • Snow in Centennial Park – Saturday, December 9th from 6:30PM – 8:00PM. Kingsport is bringing snow to the park. Will also include Santa, caroling, and the Grinch. The snow and hot chocolate begin at 7:00PM.
  • Blountville Festival of Trees – December 2nd and 16th from 6:00PM – 8:00PM, December 10th from 1:00PM – 3:00PM, and December 4th, 11th and 18th from 2:00PM – 4:00PM. Located at The Old Deery Inn located at 3397 TN-126 in Blountville. This is the community’s first-ever festival with over a dozen trees that are decorated by area businesses and organizations.
  • Christmas in Southwest Virginia – The Southwest Virginia Cultural Center is hosting a winter festival from December 1st – December 31st. Events include: Celebration of Lights, Family Breakfast with Santa, Letters to Santa, and more. Visit their website for more information.
  • Chatham County Line – Electric Holiday Tour – December 16th, 2022. Doors open at 6:30PM; Show starts at 8:00PM. General Admission is $16. 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke, VA. The Holiday Tour takes on a new significance as an expanded Modern CCL lineup. With a little help from Jay Brown (Bass) and recording artist in his own right Johnny Irion (Guitar, Piano, Vocals) they will take to stages across NC and VA and throw one heck of a party with songs from the CCL canon and some great covers to have a little fun.
  • Tweetsie Christmas – November 25th through December 30th. Park opens at 5:30PM each evening. Located on US 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock at 300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane in North Carolina. The park will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland.
  • Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy Christmas concerts – A multitude of concerts presented by the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy. Click here to see a full list of showtimes.

“What Your Kids Don’t Want You to Know”
December 5th, 2022 @ 6:00 PM
Location: Towering Oaks Baptist Church (1985 Buckingham Road)

Members of the Greene County Anti-Drug Coalition, Greene County Sheriff’s Department, School Resource Officers, and Frontier Health will be providing an informative and up-to-date presentation on topics greatly impacting young people including social media, substance use, and mental health. 

Looking for information or support?
Visit to learn more about:

The Parenting Education Network, Bristol Family Resource Center, YWCA MOMS R US, Mom Power, Hope House, Frontier Health, Highlands Community Services, Breastfeeding Essentials, La Leche League Breastfeeding Support, Cherished Mom, Attached at the Heart Classes, Twin City Reads, Buckle Up for Life, Doula by Donation, Sullivan County Family Services, High Country Doulas, ETSU Family Physicians, Bethany Services, TriCities Babywearing TN, Sullivan County Health Department, STRONG Pregnancies, STRONG Starts, and more.

Free Weekly Online Parenting Topics – Join Us!

Parenting Classes – for all parents.

Let us help you with free tips, classes, information, support, resources, and more!
Sign up now to register for Attached at the Heart Parenting Program Online classes.
Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm online
Friday mornings at 10:30 am online

Attend anytime – Classes on every topic

And join our parent “prime time” at 9:00 pm on Thursdays to talk about parenting challenges and joys.

Attend anytime! Questions? Email

Local Christmas Parades

Johnson City – December 3rd, 2022 @ 10:30AM-12PM. “Christmas Around the World”. 225 Commerce St., Johnson City, TN 37604. The parade starts on East Tennessee State University’s campus, goes from University Parkway to W State of Franklin, turns left onto Buffalo Street, goes down onto E Main Street, then Colonial Way, and ends in the Old Burley Lot at the corner of Legion Street and E State of Franklin.
Kingsport – December 3rd, 2022 @ 6:00PM-7:30PM. 400 Clinchfield St., Kingsport, TN 37660. The parade moves throughout downtown and Church Circle.
Abingdon – December 3, 2022 @ 6:00PM – 7:30PM. Taking place on Main Street. 127 W. Main St., Abingdon, VA 24210.
Greeneville – December 4, 2022 @ 2:00PM – 3:30PM. Historic Downtown Greeneville.
Jonesborough – December 10th, 2022 @ 4:30PM – 7:00PM.
Gate City – December 3rd, 2022 @ 7:00PM. “Christmas in the Mountains” theme. Route begins at Gate City High School, goes down Kane Street and Jackson Street, turns down Municipal Street, and ends at the flea market lot. Santa will meet and hand out treats at the Courthouse.
Rogersville – December 3rd, 2022 @ 4:00PM – 5:00PM. “Hometown Christmas” theme.
Elizabethton – December 10th, 2022 @ 6:00PM – 7:30PM. “Silver Bells” theme. Downtown Elizabethton.
Oak Ridge – December 10th, 2022 @ 6:00PM – 8:00PM. “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” theme. Starts at Corporate Center on LaFayette, turns left at Oak Ridge Turnpike, and ends near Oak Ridge High School.
Beech Mountain – December 22nd @ 4:00PM. “A Very Beary Christmas” theme. 403 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Banner Elk, NC 28604-8012. Runs along Beech Mountain Parkway from Beech Mountain and ending at White Wolf Lodge. Cancelled if snow.
Lebanon – December 5th @ 6:00PM – 9:00PM. “Christmas Past and Present” theme. Downtown Lebanon, Lebanon Town Hall.
Bluff City – December 10th @ 5:00PM – Theme will be specially focused on Veterans and their families. Bluff City Main Street.
Bloomingdale – December 10th @ 10:00AM –
Church Hill – December 3rd @ 11:00AM – 12:00PM. “Jesus is the Reason” theme. The parade goes from Ketron Elementary School and ends at New Beason Well Road.
Blountville – December 10th @ 2:00PM. The parade begins at Keystone Drive and ends at the Historics Sullivan County Courthouse.

The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights

Friday, November 18, 2022 – Saturday, January 7, 2023 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

The region’s most dazzling holiday light show returns to Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway! The Pinnacle Speedway In Lights, Powered by TVA, is a 4-mile trek through 3 million lights and the chance to take a lap around “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” Holiday light seekers will circle the concrete oval as part of their festive drive and also may visit the Christmas Village, which returns to its popular infield location.

Christmas Crafts for Kids

Bonding Time Ideas
  • Make chocolate chip cookies together
  • Snuggle up on the couch and watch a Disney movie
  • Practice “Mommy & Me” yoga at home
  • Disconnect from screens for a while and take a walk around the neighborhood
  • Go to the park
  • Paint each others nails
  • Plan a family trip
  • Sort and take items to donate
  • Go to a show
  • Prepare dinner together
  • Go on a hike
  • Volunteer together
  • Have an impromptu family dance party
  • Pull out a board game

December 2022 Parenting Class Highlights!

MOMS R US is accepting teen parents needing resources, support, and classes
Cherished Mom offers free support groups for perinatal mental health and the importance of self-care to new moms, families
Frontier Health is accepting families in the Nurturing Skills / Nurturing Parenting classes
Sullivan County Department of Health is offering CoParenting Apart and and other classes
La Leche League has three free online monthly meetings on breastfeeding and parenting
TN Voices is offering a number of classes
See Bristol’s Promise for details, flyers, and more events and classes

Bristol’s Promise
Parenting Education Network Programs

Find a program that fits your needs! Click to search for free or low cost, morning or evening, online or in-person, first-time or veteran parent/caregiver, and more!

Parenting Sweet works to help make parenting sweet! Parents get connected to support and information because learning about parenting and getting support does make a difference.

If you would you like to continue receiving Parenting Sweet, you’ll need to be sure to sign up on the website.

If you know a parent, caregiver, grandparent, or anyone who cares about children, share the sign-up link with them and help them find all that’s great for children and families in our community.

Past issues and all the events are available anytime on the Blog.

Support for this program is provided by Ballad Population Health Community Health Initiative and Bristol Public Housing.

Parenting Sweet Team: Samantha Gray, Lily Royston,  Susan Turner, Emily Macbeth, Katherine Wilson-Thompson, Melissa Roberts, and Margaret Feierabend.

Have information to share? Submit it to

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.