Elves Behind the Scenes: Picnic Time!

If you’ve been to the store or the hotel, you surely know how hard the elves work every day to make everything special for you.  Each August, our “owners & outlaws” (as we call them) host the elves at a pre-season kick-off picnic – it’s one of our favorite days – after Christmas, of course.  Our Elf on the Shelf, Chrissy, sent out the invitations a few weeks ago.

What other tent color would Santa have but red and white?

The food was a special treat – Chef Manolo Diaz flew in from Puerto Rico to cook for us – and who else but a chef would fly in with a GIANORMOUS paella pan – big enough to feed everyone at the North Pole.  Finally, we can answer that nagging question that so often wakes you up in the middle of the night.  Just how big a pan do I need to cook a meal for 200 elves all at one time?

THIS BIG!

How many airplane seats do you suppose that thing took??

Also hiding underneath all the *shiny* foil (you know I love shiny!) was tender, garlic-marinated pork.

Even the most responsible elf sometimes can’t resist a quick sampling before dinner gets to the table….

It’s the owners and outlaws turn to serve the elves, and we get to thank them for all they do for us throughout the year.

Chrissy loved the red peppers and green olives in the Christmas – make that chicken – paella.

Now here’s how you really dig in, elf-style!  Go for it!

Ho, hum. No milk bone treats for me? Sorry, Latina, hopefully we’ll remember next year.

Can’t have pork and paella without brownies. BIG brownies. PLENTY of BIG brownies.

Because, BROWNIES.  (Oh, Chrissy.)

Chrissy encouraged the elves to share a little instant praise with each other, too, for the great teamwork that keeps us all on the mark each day.

It’s a great time for the elves from both sides of the parkway to relax together and enjoy conversation over a good meal.

More dessert, Chrissy? Can we teach you about the elf way of sharing, dear?

Now it’s time to get down to the good stuff – to finish decorating all our Christmas trees, throw a bunch of new lights up on the roof, fill the racks with new ornaments and gifts and goodies, and keep singing loud for all to hear – so you’ll all join in the Christmas cheer! We’re sure looking forward to seeing you at the store between now and Christmas.

~Janet @ Christmas Place

P.S. If a trip to Tennessee is not in your stocking, just join us at www.christmasplace.com – we’ll be adding new goodies every day until Christmas.

Move Over, Reindeer – Time for the Elf Games!

The reindeer at the North Pole aren’t the only ones who enjoy games – the elves like to compete, too!

Friday, it was a “Decorate the Tree” contest.  Each elf team was asked to design and decorate using an unique tree theme they dreamed up themselves.

The competition was fierce, as teams had only 5 minutes to select a theme, scour the store for products, and produce the final result.

Our design and display elves did the judging, and here are the results.

Peach, Purple, & White Dream

Winner, Most Effective Color Presentation

Casualty of Battle: Tree Down! Tree Down in Quad 2!

Grand Prize Winner, Overall Design & Designers’ Favorite!

Proving that elves make good team players, everyone has a creative side if they take the time to give it a try, and … you can put a lot of stuff onto a 3′ tree!!

Only 128 sleeps - and 18 Saturdays – until Christmas – and it’s never too late to start trying to be good…

~Janet @ Christmas Place

P.S.  Don’t miss our August Sale-on-Sales!  On line or in the store, take an extra 40% off anything with a clearance price ending in 97 cents.  Click below to start shopping now.

Posted in Store on August 18, 2014 – 11:31 am | Comments (0)
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Letters to Santa

Santa is at the North Pole this week (though judging from the picture he’s sending us for Facebook, we’re not totally persuaded he is there yet…), and the Christmas letters are really starting to roll in.  Some of the elves get to read through them while Santa is away, and they’ve brought a few to be shared with you.  Enjoy!

Don’t be afraid to dream big, and keep sending those letters!  And remember, as Santa will tell you, on Christmas eve he really likes sugar cookies with icing to go with his glass of milk.

~Janet @ Christmas Place

 

Posted in Letters to Santa on August 7, 2014 – 2:49 pm | Comments (0)
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Friday Floral Frenzy!

We want to showcase more of our design work in floral arrangements.  We aren’t able to offer it online very often because so many pieces are one-of-a-kind, but the team is doing such beautiful work, I can’t help showing off a few pieces!

They have an incredible variety of interesting items to work with, of course, including a ribbon closet that just sets the heart aflutter.  Here are a few of my favorites of the week.  (Remember to click on the picture two times to see the full-size photos.)

Snowy White Angel Tabletop

Sparkling Deer Wreath

Toasty Bear Wreath

Father Christmas Tabletop

Snowy Pair of Deer Wreath

Ho-Ho-Ho Santa Wall Arrangement

You can tell, they love working in any color and any style, from elegant to folksy.  My second favorite is the last one with the carved-looking Santa.

Of course, their favorite is custom design work, when you pick out the flowers and colors you want.  Give us a call, we’ll be happy to go to work for you.

~Janet @ Christmas Place

P.S. Speaking of Santa, he’ll be at the North Pole next week – so you’d better come and meet Gingerbread and Rudolph – they get to play while Santa is up north!

Posted in Floral Design on August 1, 2014 – 5:51 pm | Comments (0)
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Christmas Windows!

We’ve been teasing you with glimpses of the construction phase – now we hope you’ll enjoy seeing the final product.

Betsy & Prissy created a variety of vignettes – there’s a window to inspire everyone for the holidays.

In the toy store window, an idea you could easily duplicate in your tree – mini airplanes are hanging from an “Ornamotor” light strand plug-in, so they spin!  I wonder if our giant elf is easier to manage than a comparably-sized, real-life elf??

The combined  peppermint and gingerbread window is a sweet favorite, filled with bright colors and tasty decorations.

The Nutcracker window is quite grand, dominated by a regal purple and gold color palette – but there’s room for every color at Christmas! Check out the whimsical star – is that a frog prince on your head, or a nutcracker prince under your feet?  Notice the pair of scrolled brackets used to provide more anchors for decorations – an elegant solution for a tight space.

Sparkling in clear simplicity, the Nativity scene quietly highlights our reason for celebration.

Fast becoming our new favorite, the Christmas Place Home collection has a homespun take on decorating – for any season! Keep watching for more information of this fun new assortment and a tour of our freshest ideas.

Just watch out for mirrors .. there would have been one more photo in this group but for an, ah-hem, ”accidental #elfie” of the photographer.

Lots more sunny days to come this summer – come and pick your favorite window, and start dreaming of Christmas – only 153 days (22 Saturdays) until The Big Day!

~Janet @ Christmas Place

P.S.  I almost forgot – look who’s waiting to greet you at the front door .. what a sweet little character!

Choices can be so hard, you know?

Every day, so many choices.  Coffee, tea?  White socks, red socks?  Banana nut muffin, cranberry orange scone?

Here are just a few of my hard choices…

Do I need a turquoise chair for my big blue vase, or a big blue vase for my turquoise chair?  (Both.)

White trim, black trim, or leopard trim?  (One of each, different occasions.)

Do I need a big, sparkly, mirrored urn or a bigger, sparkly, mirrored urn?  Or a pair?  (Things look better in threes.)

Rustic, burlap snowman or lighted, lantern snowman?  (There is more than one room in the house.)



Here’s a choice over which I did not wrestle – warm, toasty, soft, and pretty!  Turquoise with snowflakes, of course.


And this – a new Natures Winter Wonder Woodland Santa from Jim Shore.  I love the snowy white and soft pastels of this, as well as the cute animals.


I hope your choices are as easy as these!

~Janet @ Christmas Place

P.S.  Don’t miss our “favorite Christmas photo” giveaway on Intstagram – #christmasplace #christmasinjuly

Oh My Minis!

I have, from childhood, been drawn to miniature things – miniature figurines, miniature tea sets, mini books – I even have a collection of mini, hand-painted water colors picked up along my travels.  So when I found the new, mini fairie collection in the store, I immediately fell in love with these darling little cottages, figures, and accessories.

How I would have loved to arrange the pieces and imagine complicated (and probably somewhat incomprehensible) tales of their comings and goings.  You probably know a youngster who would dream of finding a little fairie under the tree or in a stocking on Christmas morning!  Take a peek at the collection.  (Click two times on any image to see the full-size photo.)

Santa and his village are also represented in miniature.  These pieces could easily become holiday heirlooms to be arranged and rearranged by both grown-ups and children a hundred times, for many Christmases to come.

The tables, chairs, mushrooms and plants, and many other accessories are sold separately, so you can assemble the village that suits your fancy.  They would look so sweet on a bookshelf or tabletop.

Not every fairie is a miniature, though.  Here’s a delicate girl who would add real charm to your home or greenhouse – and she’s wearing a touch of Christmas sparkle.  Everything’s better with a little glitter!


May even your tiniest dreams come true this Christmas – but we hope you’ll be dreaming big, too!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  One more – in pure white, she’s quite the charmer of butterflies.  She kind of reminds me of a famous area resident .. hmmm, of whom am I thinking now?

Posted in Store on July 8, 2014 – 5:24 pm | Comments (0)
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Rudolph!

Santa’s not the only kid in town at Christmas Place .. well, not if Rudolph has anything to say about it!  While Santa was away this week, Rudolph snuck in to the workshop for a few photos – but I don’t think our guests were fooled!

Where’s Santa??

Where’s your beard?! I need to pull on your beard! I don’t think you’re Santa Clause, no, I do not.

When we all get together .. we can never agree on a restaurant!

Naughty! No – no – I mean “nice!” We’ve definitely been nice all year!!

That tickles! You wouldn’t do this to Santa, would you?!

Don’t worry, the Big Guy (the one who wears red) will be back by this weekend!  But don’t forget to wish Rudolph ”Happy 50th Birthday!” when you see him – he’s still looking pretty young for 50, isn’t he?

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Bring the kids to the store every Saturday in July for face-painting and balloon creations – it’s almost Christmas!

Posted in Santa on July 1, 2014 – 1:59 pm | Comments (0)
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Three (ish) for Thursday!

I only say (ish) because I can’t use just three pictures – there’s more – and even a video!

We’re putting together a new home décor section in the store, and it’s filled with a mix of country garden and, of course, Christmas goodies.  I immediately fell in love with the AquaFlame flameless, water fountain candles.  They are beautiful and relaxing, especially tucked in among some greenery and lighted flowers.  Here’s a little video that shows them in action.

Fill the wax cylinder with water, and it bubbles up the center making a flame look at the top, and runs back down the interior perimeter of the candle.  It can run on batteries or be plugged in to an outlet, and there’s a convenient, built-in 5-hour timer.

Do you love those distressed signs like I do?  I’m a big fan of the rustic look.  Here are a couple of other signs that caught my eye today.

And #3 – Santa says “USA All The Way!” Yes, he’s excited that the U.S. team has advanced in World Cup soccer from the Group of Death to the elimination round – the team’s still on the nice list for now!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. You do realize that Christmas is officially less than six months away now? I thought you did.

Posted in Store on June 26, 2014 – 4:08 pm | Comments (0)
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Santa is Good with Technology!

The only thing missing is a red hat with white fur trim, right?!

The next time you come to the store, here’s one more reason to check out Department 56 – look for the iPad, and find the latest information about products, video design tips, and store opportunities.  This is the first of several tablets we plan to use throughout the store to give you the opportunity to learn more about all your favorite collectibles.

We’ve designed it to be extremely user-friendly!  Although it won’t bring you a cup of coffee or rub your feet, it does have only four buttons to push – well, screen-touches – to get right to the information you want to see.

Here in Dept. 56, we offer a quick overview of each village collection – you may not have realized just how many there are, and we’ll tell you why each is unique.

One of the favorite links is to our Designer Tips – and we plan to add lots more tips during the year.  (You can also find these at our website Designer Tips link and on our YouTube channel.)

You get to choose which video you want to watch – or, feel free to watch them all!

You can also sign up to receive e-mails from Christmas Place – and you can choose what messages you want to receive from us – general store information, notice of promotions and sales, information about your favorite collectible items, etc.  We will never sell your e-mail address to any other entity, so you can be confident you won’t be receiving anything from us that you haven’t requested.  You can also ask us to remove your e-mail from the list at any time.

Lastly, you can sign up for our Christmas Rewards program – the more you shop, the more rewards you receive!  You can also receive rewards when you shop online, no minimum purchase is required, and every qualified order adds to your rewards balance.

Santa is very happy that we are now able to offer you so much more information on demand – I think I heard him exclaim that everyone who uses the iPad to look up information is automatically on the nice list this year!  ;)

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Posted in Store on June 6, 2014 – 12:08 pm | Comments (0)
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