As Seen at Christmas Place!

It’s great to be back on the blog again!  We had some technical difficulties over the winter, but we’ve taken care of all that, and I’m looking forward to catching you up with what’s been happening here at Christmas Place and in our little corner of the state – where spring has definitely and finally sprung.

I am going to start with my favorite - photo sharing – here’s my “as seen at Christmas Place” album of the week.  Guess who has just come in from the North Pole to get these Christmas Place elves back into shape for the season?


Well, now that we’ve got the really important stuff out of the way…here’s some fun stuff – just a random collection of items and departments that caught my eye as I strolled through, looking at what’s changing this year.  We have a brand new look in personalizing – what, you can’t tell this is personalizing??  Wait until you see it again next week – we’re so excited with our red floor, and there’s a brand new counter on the way.

 

  These beautiful butterfly coasters I discovered on sale in Santaland.  We also started a sale today in the breezeway – 40% off the lowest price – lots of great bargains there.

Elf Joyce offered to show off the new spring collection of patterns from Vera Bradley – did you know we carry the best selection in East Tennessee?  (shhhhh….right now, all the discontinued items and patterns are on sale for 40% off – don’t tell your friends until you’ve had a chance to check the selection yourself….)

The new summer colors are here too:

My favorite monkey bag (which I’ve shown here before) has shown up with this cute-cute-cute little fox this year – and look at the extremely stylish horse head version below.  So cool.

Fall has always been such a popular theme for us that we decided to add a year-round fall corner – you’ll be inspired to plan ahead when you find this niche in Santaland.

I can’t help but love the creativity of this last image – an old, distressed frame with fall finery attached – including those brilliant little mice! – beautifully highlighting a gorgeous fall wreath.

We’d love to find out what you’ve been doing since last Christmas.  Can you believe, we’re already almost a third of the way through 2014?  Is it time to start a shopping list for next Christmas?

The sun is shining on our corner of heaven this weekend – I hope you are looking forward to a wonderful weekend, too!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Store on April 11, 2014 – 5:41 pm | Comments (0)
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Letters to Santa

It’s not too late to get your letter in to Santa! Here’s a look at what he’s received recently…

Dear Santa,
My name is Maddie. I don’t need anything for Christmas. I have a family, food and love. I don’t need anything else this Christmas. I just want love and joy for all the kids who don’t have toys and food. I want you to give them my pressants (sic) this year.
Love, Maddie

Dear Santa,
I would like to have a pet cat for Christmas. I’ve been very good this year and donated my old toys to needy children. I have some issues with listening, but I am only 5. I promise to be good.
Love, Jayden
P.S. Merry Christmas

Dear Santa,
Ten years ago on this day on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean over Dana Point Harbor, California, we got engaged – and our lives changed forever. Two years ago while on vacation at The Inn at Christmas Place we submitted a “letter to Santa” for a new job and a new house – and you delivered! Now we’re in love and living in beautiful eastern Tennessee, happy and healthy. For Christmas, we want continued health and happiness, and a plan for successful retirement. Our best to you and Mrs. Claus and the elves. Merry Christmas!!!
Harry & Lauren

Hello Santa,
I want you to bring me a bow and arrows and a computer and a phone and a hunting set and God’s grateful love. Thank you.
Isabella

Dear Santa,
I really want a slushy magic because I want to enjoy having slushies with my family and for you to help Mallory and me stop fighting every day, but just fight every few days.
(anon.)

Dear Santa,
Here I am again at The Inn. I have been here 4 times now and it is as beautiful as always!! Each time I have left you a letter asking for only 1 thing for Christmas. That is to pray for my husband John that we have him another Christmas. I want to Thank You because he is here with me again. You see Santa, John is battling kidney cancer with his 1st diagnosis in Nov. of 2002. It has now returned in his liver & in May of 2010 he was given 6 to 9 months. Our children gave us our 1st stay here at The Inn for our anniversary in November of 2010. That was when I first asked you to keep him with us. I know it is all in God’s hands and know you must have a special connection with God! So today again I ask you to keep him with us through another Christmas.
Love,
Angie
Believe!!!

Dear Santa,
This is what I want for Christmas – some icing bags for icing cupcakes because I love making cupcakes and I’m pretty good at it, too! I also want some rolls of duck (sic) tape. Did you know you can make cool things with duck tape like wallets, and flowers! You can! I also want some clothes. By the way, what’s your favorite cookie? I like oatmeal raisin. Please reply!
Love,
Anna
P.S. I also want Peace on earth and love!!!!!

We hope you’ve sent in your letter, and know that Santa will do his best. We wish for you the best gift of all this Christmas – and every day – love!

Janet @ The Christmas Place

Posted in Letters to Santa on December 20, 2013 – 6:12 pm | Comments (0)
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Over at The Inn…

It really is the most wonderful time of the year for the Inn at Christmas Place!

Red and green are the colors of the season for us, and just take a look at how beautifully they invite you to come and warm your hands and hearts around our fireplaces.  We’ll start out on the corner first, though, with a choir leading off with Christmas tunes .. don’t they make you want to sing along?

The cloudy day has not dampened their enthusiasm!  Round the corner, and flanking rows of green candy canes, twinkling with lights and brightened with red-and-green bows, lead the way from the parking lot.

Richly-garlanded in red and green, our front doors are guarded by toy soldiers in sentry boxes.

Come in, take a seat by the fire, warm your hands and feet on a chilly afternoon!

Our lobby tree is dripping in more reds and greens – a magnificent sight!

Take a closer look at some of the ribbons and ornaments.

And of course, there must be sparkling presents around, calling the curious to wonder what treasures wait to be unwrapped on Christmas morning…

When you’re ready to venture down to the lower lobby, Santa will be waiting for you, high in the tree, reviewing letters from boys and girls around the world!

If you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll be visiting one night when we’re blanketed with snow.

We’ll keep the lights glowing and the cookies warm for you!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Posted in Inn on December 2, 2013 – 6:27 pm | Comments (0)
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The Elves Give Back

The elves here at Christmas Place really do have the spirit of Christmas year round!  Ask, and most will have a story about a special guest who has made an impression on their lives in one way or another.  We are touched and often inspired by those guests who share a bit of their story with us from time to time.  This makes the experience of working for Santa so much richer and more enjoyable for so many.

This year, we have been inspired to be more thoughtful and intentional in passing a bit of that spirit on to the community around us.  We have been adopting a cause each 30 days or so, and putting our resources and talents into giving back to our county.  We’ve even included pets in our efforts – they bring so much joy to the lives of many, so we raised donations of funds and supplies for an area shelter.

Last month, we raised funds for the Food for Kids program sponsored by Second Harvest Food Bank.  Let me quote information about the program we received from Sam Compton, Youth Programs Manager for East Tennessee.

“The Food for Kids program, in so many cases, provides the only food some children will have over an entire weekend, while for others it provides a meal that would otherwise have been skipped. It also offers kids in difficult situations the comfort that comes from knowing there are people out there that truly care about them—something most kids take for granted, but something not all children get to feel. In every school Second Harvest serves, reports of improved self-esteem, behavior, and concentration among Food for Kids participants are common.

“Thanks to coordinated truckload buys with other food banks, “opportunity buy” truckload purchases, and leveraging the buying power of Feeding America (our national affiliate representing 205 food banks across all 50 states) we are able to feed a child every week during the school year for only $60. We feel really good about the program’s impact and efficiency, but we need help to keep it going.

“The food cost alone to offer Food for Kids is $60 per child (with fuel, staff, warehousing, etc., adding additional cost to the food bank that we do not ask sponsors to cover).

“I am so thankful to you (and everyone else you’re working with) for your advocacy for these kids. Please know how invaluable your role is in this process, and that the results of your efforts extend much further than you may realize.”

Simply put, when school is not in session, many kids do not eat.

We are so happy to report that we were able to donate $3,000 – making us the sponsor for an elementary school here in Sevier County for the entire 2013-14 school year!  To know that we are making a real difference in the lives of underserved children who are our neighbors and friends is the best Christmas present we could have this year.

We were invited to visit the Second Harvest facility to present our sponsorship.  They were blessed by another company’s misfortune, and have been enjoying a state-of-the-art warehouse facility for the past two years.  There is even an office for each staff member – rather than having to double- and triple-up in a too-small space, as was the case with their previous location.  Here are pictures from our visit.

What does a ton of beans look like?  Each white “sack” is 2,000 lbs. of pinto beans.  These will be placed into 5-pound bags for redistribution.

Supplies being prepared for a weekend chili cook-off in Knoxville.

On the backpack food aisle – where they strive to provide healthier snacks, such as turkey sticks and whole-grain-based treats.  And chocolate pudding cups.  Chocolate is important for quality of life!

This is a freezer.  It really is.  There is a refrigerator the same size in the next room over.  How do they keep the floor from icing, that’s what we want to know!

 

The program provides a backpack filled with at least 8 food items for each child in need in each home – if they know about siblings, they will also send food for younger children who are not yet in school.

Here is the gang – Miles, Janet, Sam (from Second Harvest), Kelly, and Rhonda.

Second Harvest works with and provides food to other food banks, both in our area and around the nation.  Their purchasing power exponentially increases the impact of the donations they receive.  It was our privilege to tour the beautiful facility, and we look forward to renewing our partnership and commitment for the next school year, too.

Wishing you much joy this Christmas!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

 

Posted in The Spirit of Christmas on November 1, 2013 – 5:25 pm | Comments (0)
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Nightlights Light Up More Than Just The Night!

Here at Christmas Place, nightlights light up – Christmas trees, of course!  Can you spot them in this picture?

It’s rather amazing that our decorators were able to make the lighted figurines work in this slim-line, flocked tree.  The addition of multi-colored lights adds to the fun in this whimsical tree.

Here’s Rudolph:

And here’s Snoopy:

Now look again – you’ll easily spot these two bubble lights in the tree.  A good shake in the morning will keep the bubbles going for hours.

We just started a nightlight sale – buy 2, get a third for free.  In addition to offering safer night-time trips to the fridge, they make great gifts, and some folks even like to keep a bit of that holiday light working year round.  They come in plenty of sizes and styles.  Best of all, a really neat feature I just discovered last week, on most of our nightlights the plug prongs will rotate - to fit outlets that are oriented either horizontally or vertically!

Enjoy the glow!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Whats a little cardboard and styrofoam between friends?

Why, it’s a Labor Day tent sale at Christmas Place, of course!  We know you won’t mind a little of both – when we’re taking off another 40% at checkout!

As-is Christmas trees priced to move to your car!

It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year, when we fill the tent with lots of clearance goodies – and not just Christmas decorations, you’ll also find all-season décor, a few toys, and who knows what else.  We’re pulling more stuff out of the truck all week long, so the selection will continue to change.  If you’re a keen shopper, you’ll find some sweet gifts in the mix.

The cash register will automatically take an additional 40% off the price of your items!

The sale will continue through Sunday, September 8th, so there’s plenty of time if you’re near enough to come and shop.  If not, check out the Sale area at ChristmasPlace.com – through Saturday, August 31st, everything is an additional 25% off, plus we are offering free freight for orders over $75.

Funny story from Day 1 (being…today!) .. a couple of ladies spent some time going through the tent, and in the end they discovered they could not quite fit all their purchases into the SUV – the one with the luggage carrier on top and already fairly well packed.  These darling women came back to our tent with a donation for our staff - their supply of ice-cold water bottles!  They had to edit the contents of their vehicle, and then spend a bit of time shoving and pushing and rearranging until they managed to find a corner in the car for all that they had bought – but they were determined not to leave any new treasures behind.  Our elves were so very grateful for their generous contribution to the tent sale on this hot day.

Maybe you need a striking, irridescent tree in your foyer?

Yes, we tell that story as a challenge to the true shoppers out there!  Come and see what goodies you’ll find.

Something in pink or silver?

Don’t forget a browse through the other stores while you are here.  We’ve been putting out all sorts of new products and styles for next Christmas – and there’s a gorgeous fall display in our Floral Department – more on that next week.

A peachy-pink delight for the wee little ones?

Happy Labor Day!  We hope you are able to enjoy a little extra time off, perhaps with a barbeque or picnic, and even a few fireworks on the side.  We’ll be here, spreading Christmas cheer!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  If it’s a fine, new Christmas tree you’re after this year, we are still offering free shipping to continental U.S. destinations for a few more days…  And our “Buy 2, get a 3rd free” ribbon sale is continuing in the store.

Posted in Store Sale on August 30, 2013 – 5:33 pm | Comments (0)
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It’s Rush Week!

Are you rushing or being rushed this week?  We’re talking to college kids who are interested in Greek organizations, not you fanatics (like us) who are starting to panic upon the realization that it is only 19 WEEKS TIL CHRISTMAS! (LIKE US!)  WHAT?!  Does the thought of it leave you feeling something like this…..

Just think about it tomorrow, Cleopatra!

Anyway, back to school .. from Coton Colors, we have a really cute collection of ornaments for Greek organizations - including selections with mascots and flowers as well as just Greek letters.  These 4″ glass ornaments are decorated with a coordinating grosgrain ribbon on each, and packaged in matching boxes.

  They are a very classy way to show your pride at Christmas – and you will want to keep it on display all year.  You can easily personalize these with a Sharpie marker or paint pen.

 

Bright colors and clear, crisp lettering presented in a really fun way – take a look and see if we have your organization today!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  For a little SEC rivalry, search “Coton Colors” on our shopping site and check out our selection of college ornaments – we even have “House Divided” for Alabama and Florida!  (Well bless your heart, you’re not from the South, are you? Well, that stands for Southeastern Conference, just the best athletic league in the nation, IOHO.)

P.S.S. Cleopatra – you know, the queen of de-nial?!  Yeah, now you’re getting it!

Snowbabies!

It has been more than 25 years since Kristi Jensen Pierro first revived the Snowbabies collectible with her simple, sweet drawings and bisque figurines for Department 56.  In the tradition of figures dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, she draws inspiration from her own life experiences, photos, and stories expressed through designs reflecting the activities of small children.  Many years later, her designs continue to gain popularity as her themes have kept up with modern society – like “Spa Date” and “Zero Calorie Cupcake” – wouldn’t we love both of those in real life?!  Here are some photos from releases this year.  In addition to updated themes, Snowbabies now frequently come with colorful knit accessories and glittering accents.  The Snowbabies themselves are generally about 3″ to 4″ tall – don’t be fooled by these larger-than-life photographs.

"Flash Drive"

Wedding Snowbabies

Snowbabies celebrate a very classy Christmas!

A Very Deer Pair

SnowDreams - adding a little glitter for the holidays!

Animals are often featured in the Snowbabies collection – especially the polar variety!

This snowman is lit from within for a warm glow on a winter's night.

Snowbabies Baby - we can personalize many of these for a new wee addition to the family!

Snowbabies also come from many popular children’s stories and personalities, such as The Wizard of Oz, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Cinderella,  Winnie the Pooh, Kermit & Miss Piggy, Mickey & Minnie Mouse, and more.

The Tin Man

You will also find Snowbabies around at Easter time with decorated eggs and cute little bunnies.

"Somebunny Special"

Snowbabies are also made in a wide variety of ornaments (many of which we will personalize for you here in the store!).  The glittering shadow box series is new in red this year.

Shadow Box Ornaments

You’ll often find Snowbabies collections on display year round.  Made from porcelain bisque with hand-painted faces and hand-applied detailing, each is meticulously crafted – and very charming!  Those unique “snow crystals” are made by a process of forcing a clay mixture through a series of increasingly fine screens until the right shaving stage is achieved.  Each figure is then painted with a bisque slip and the shavings are carefully applied in the proper areas.
The variety of styles in both figurines and ornaments, including many angel-themed pieces, make Snowbabies a wonderful gift for so many occasions – new baby, girlfriend fun, family events, and, of course, at Christmas.  There are also several varieties of accessory trees in colors to compliment the Snowbabies series.  Take a closer look at these delightful babies and their friends – you just might meet a new friend yourself!
Keep it snowy!
~Janet @ The Christmas Place
P.S.  Don’t forget our Department 56 artist signing on Saturday, November 2nd, with Scott Enter.  Although he designs primarily for the village collection, as a representative of Department 56′s creative team, he will sign Snowbabies on request.  Details will be posted on our Event Calendar next week.

Boo!

Did I scare you?!  Well, Halloween is only 92 days away!

Yes, I know we are a Christmas store .. but some of the other holidays still sneak in on us, too.  One of our most popular displays is the Department 56 Snow Village Halloween – a dark little corner of our store upon which Elf Yvonne has lavished much loving care and attention.  Take a look.  (To see the full-size picture, click on the image two times.)

I know what you’re thinking – “if we could just get rid of that pesky desire to eat at a table/sit on a sofa from time to time, wouldn’t the dining/living room be just the perfect spot to create our permanent Halloween village?!  Best use of space.  EVER.”  Yeah, we get that a lot.

We can’t really help you with that, but we’ll keep showing you what could be!  There are several series within the Halloween Village, and here are the latest haunting additions.

Haunted Rails "Jack & His Lanterns", powered by the Engine in this collection.

 

Witch Hollow - Three Witches Cauldron Haunt - the cauldrons change color!

 

Trick-Or-Treat Lane - The Pumpkin House - lined with Jack-o-Lanterns.

Haunted Rails - Blood Creek Jailhouse - Population recently reduced to 13...

 And the Haunted Rails Grain Elevator, highlighted by a rat on the roof and more munching on the grain and generally enjoying the run of the place.  Ick.  Just ick.

Featuring the art work of Travis Louie, Dolly's World of Hypnosis

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Dolly, sister, you have got yourself some issues!

Now, for the sake of a certain elf who shall remain nameless (Penny) but who has a well-documented clown phobia (Penny), I am refraining from showing here The Clown House of Terror.  I’ll just say that it includes one scary-looking clown face (sorry, Penny)!

The Department 56 Halloween collection includes the most whimsical (if not some down right freaky) accessories, too!  Witches, skeletons, The Grim Reaper, The Headless Horseman, tombstones, crypts, and the versatile Foggy Point Platform that generates a ghostly mist – details like these will really bring your village of the dead .. to life.  Can I say it that way?

As the catalog says, here’s hoping you “Scare up a perfectly decorated Holiday” – with shivers of Halloween delight!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

 P.S.  It’s only 146 sleeps ’til Christmas!  If you’re shopping for a new Christmas tree this year, we’re offering FREE SHIPPING to U.S. continental destinations – but only for a limited time.

 

So Many Pictures, So Little Time!

Just about every week, our Department 56 elves are reporting the fun of helping families begin new Department 56 collections.  Parents are encouraging their kids to each select a village to collect – and with eight official “villages”, collections within villages, Winters Frost, and classic brands like Mickey’s Christmas, A Christmas Story, Peanuts, The Grinch, and the newest – Christmas Vacation and The Simpsons – there is quite a lot from which to choose… and I could go on.

Here are some of the beautiful collection photos taken by Department 56 for their 2013 releases – many of these houses and accessories are already here in the store, and the pieces that won’t be delivered till after September are available to order now.  You can even order from our online store and tell us to hold them for the artist signing on November 2nd – we added this new feature to the site just last month.  (More about the signing down below.)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Yes, I still own a strand of those big, super-hot Christmas bulbs!  And in homage to that infamous trip to pick out the tree….

Snow Village Harley Davidson - new Roadside Cabins

Coca-Cola Collection - love that classic Santa Claus!

This spectacular model of the famous Chrysler Building in New York City is one of the largest pieces Department 56 has ever made, at over 22″ tall.  Featuring chrome plating on the top spire and both interior and exterior LED lighting, you’ll keep this one on display year round.  The Chrysler Building, completed after a competitive race to build skyscrapers in 1930, still stands today as the world’s tallest brick building.

The Chrysler Building, Christmas In The City - staged on a mirror for added drama - ingenious.

 From the New England Village, The Dirty Owl tavern is wonderfully detailed and colorful, with a very warm glow about it.

New England Village

Dickens Village - love the blue pebble stream!

 There’s an ever-so-slightly-haunting subseries to the New England Village called “Salem Willows,” depicting some of the history of Salem, Massachusetts.  I kinda like these spooky-ish houses.

New England Gables

My favorite is next – this glittering collection is the easiest to display, as trees and accessories are all mounted together on one base – just plug in and enjoy.

Winters Frost - enough glitter to keep me happy!

What about the more whimsical collections, you ask?  North Pole Village has some of the cutest little pieces this year!

North Pole Village

Grinch Village

Disney Village

Don’t forget one of the most enduring classics of Christmas – Rudolph!

Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer - with Rudolph, Clarice, Sam, Bumble, Santa - but wait, where's Yukon Cornelius?!

And one of the more recent classics…

A Christmas Story - we have that lamp .. with a red shade!

Now, back to our fall artist signing event – on Saturday, November 2nd, designer Scott Enter will be here at Christmas Place from 12:30 until 3:00 p.m. to sign the houses that you purchase – and a few Snowbabies, if you like.  Scott is the creative force behind The Original Snow Village and many other pieces.  We will have so many pieces for him to sign that weekend that we must limit him to houses, not the smaller accessories (like people).  It’s always fun to talk with the designer about his inspiration and vision for the villages, and to swap ideas with other collectors as well.  You will also want to enter our drawings for door prizes each hour.

On both Saturday and Sunday, November 2nd and 3rd, we’ll host our annual Secondary Market Sale in the courtyard.  This is where collectors rent tables and sell retired pieces from their own collections – and it’s a great opportunity to hunt for those elusive pieces that will complete your own collection.  You collectors know how much fun it is to get together with those who share your interest in these beautiful lighted houses – and perhaps pick up some new display tips along the way.

If you would like to rent a table for the weekend, please contact Teresa Hughes at 1-800-445-3396, extension 148.  She has all the details about the Secondary Market sale.

So circle the first weekend in November as an important date to visit Christmas Place!  If an in-person visit is not possible, then shop on-line with us and you can still have your houses signed.  You can also give us a call at 1-800-445-3396; our Guest Services team would be happy to help you with a mail order.

Building a family collection and working together to set up a holiday (or year-round) display of your favorite pieces is a rewarding way to spend time forming those family traditions that will be treasured for a lifetime and beyond.  These beautiful houses are definitely to be shared from each generation to the next, and can be the foundation for many of your most treasured holiday memories.

Happy collecting!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  Tomorrow – the Halloween collection!