Live from Christmas Place

Well, as close to live as we can get – within 15 minutes of live??  Here are some pics of our guests working the tent sale – the bins in the middle are filled with floral items, and the side tables are piled with all kinds of treasures.  It’s a warm, sunny day and we have a couple of big fans going, so come on down and grab a bargain.  I spotted some silk geraniums that are possibly calling my name…

More goodies coming out from the stockroom throughout the day!

More goodies coming out from the stockroom throughout the day!

Hope you’re having a great weekend,

Calamity Janet

So, I don’t know how it’s going with you, but I’m now ready for this week to come to an end.  First, I dropped a 20 pound wooden box filled with spices – ON MY HEAD.  Crazy!  I have a big lump on top, and my neck is achy, and I’m a little dizzy when I lean my brain too far from vertical in any direction- but at least there was no bleeding.  Oh, I did manage to catch a grapefruit-sized bruise on my leg.  Yay.  Hey, the box did not get dented or smash to the floor!  The spices were saved! 

Then, a couple of days later…I locked myself out of the house.  No spare key.  No cell phone.  Like I would have any idea who to call.  Thank goodness I found one window unlocked.  After propping open the window with a convenient stick, I had to climb under a storm window and over a very pointy-ish aluminum frame.  With my dizzy head.  Yay again.

I think it will be a very good weekend to stay home, in one position.  After a trip to the hardware store for a spare key.  But not YOU – You need to come down to our sidewalk sale.  The tent is in place, and the skids, and they are loading in the merchandise – I hear that some items are priced so low we’re arming staff with super-soaker water guns in case the frenzy gets out of control!  The fire department does not want us using extinguishers after…well, they just don’t.  The sale starts at 9 a.m. tomorrow and goes right on through til 4 p.m. Monday.

Also, don’t forget about the book signing with Sevier County author Nita Fox and Christmas Place artist Andrea Wallace!  Captain Benjamin Dale would make a perfect stocking stuffer for any little readers on your Christmas list.

Be careful out there, people.  It’s a crazy mad wonderful world!  And it’s almost Monday!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place (the one carrying the extra big set of keys and concrete umbrella)

We’re having a book signing!

This Saturday, August 30th, Nita Fox will be in the store signing copies of her first book, Captain Benjamin Dale.  The illustrator for the volume, Christmas Place’s own Andrea Wallace, will also be on hand to sign books. 

Captain Benjamin Dale is the tale of a seafaring teddy bear who goes adventuring with his friend Emily in her dreams.  Emily is in a wheelchair during the day, but Captain Dale helps her imagine a life filled with possibilities!  This charming children’s volume is destined to be a classic.

Stop by the store between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. this Saturday to meet Nita and Andrea, learn more about how this story came to be, and have a volume personalized for someone special.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Food for Friday

Hey, it’s a long holiday weekend for many people, one usually featuring food (we are in America, after all), so here’s an easy-to-make (and store) salad.  I just realized I don’t have a name for it, it’s just written on a slip of paper – my cousins made this on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of my father’s 27th birthday, and we loved it and it disappeared in a day.

Ingredients:
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C raspberry vinegar
1/2 C olive oil
Raw peanuts, microwaved for 30 seconds at a time to the desired consistency
Ramen noodles, crushed – keep the seasoning packet to use another time
Shredded cabbage
Shredded carrots
Sliced green onions

Mix and eat.  See, I don’t even have volumes for everything, because you can so easily mix as little or as much as you want for your group.  You can expect that a little over 3/4 cup of dressing will go quite a long way, and it should keep well in the refrigerator. 

What shall we name this salad, though?  Please send me some suggestions!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Labor Day Weekend Sidewalk Sale

It’s here!  This weekend!  The Labor Day  Weekend Sidewalk Sale at The Incredible Christmas Place!  Is anyone else astonished that it’s Labor Day 2008 already!  Well, I sure am…this year is vanishing at an alarming pace! 

Anyhoo, the tents and tables filled with discounted treasurers will be awaiting your arrival at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.  Here are the sale hours:

  • Saturday, August 30th, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 31st, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Monday, September 1st, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Our staff has been going through all the bins (about 33,667) on all the shelves (about 27.8 miles) and scaring spiders in nooks and crannies from attic to basement to round up all sorts of wonderful things that we would love for you to take away from here for a nice, low price.  We have tons of Christmas goodies, but you know we also carry a lot of stuff that isn’t just for Christmas – home decor, collegiate souvenirs, garden accessories, plenty of assorted gift-y things – I’m sure there will be many surprises to sift through, and you’ll find some great bargains.

Each year we donate a portion of the proceeds of the Sidewalk Sale to a local charity.  This year we are pleased to be making a donation to Safe Space (865-453-9254), a shelter for at-risk women and children in Sevier County.

Happy shopping!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

As Tuesdays go, it’s been a really busy day.  I almost forgot to post today because I’ve been chained to the desk, but as I was dashing through the store two things caught my eye.  HUGE surprise, the first thing was really really sparkly!

One of my favorite words for the holiday is peace, and this would look great on one of the stone ledges above my fireplace.  We also have Noel and Joy, my two other favs.

Water globes are a classic, and I would love to give or receive this one ~ it would surely be one of those items that just says “Christmas is here, now” as soon as you unpacked it each year.  This is an animated, musical, lighted snow globe!

We have a large selection of beautiful collectibles from the Thomas Kinkade line, more than we are showing in our on-line catalog.

It’s been raining here all day, which has put everyone into a really good mood.  Really!  We are so in need of rain, these are definitely refreshing showers ~ aside from the humidity, it feels to me like a dip into a cool pool.  I’m not even worried about the grass growing…

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Start the weekend right!

When was the last time you enjoyed a fresh, hand-dipped, chocolate covered cherry?  I never knew they could taste so good – not too gooey and sticky sweet, but cherried, just-right-sweet, firm and chocolate-y.  Delicious work, Donna!

If cherries aren’t your thing, coast into the weekend on a raft of her hand-made English Toffee instead?

All this and more, waiting for you in Mrs. Claus’ Candy Kitchen!  Because I am required to safeguard all the food items which I photograph for the blog, I am afraid to take pictures all at one time of ALL the varieties of sweets Donna makes in the kitchen, like thin mints, turtles, coconut haystacks, maple walnut clusters, pralines, chocolate peanut clusters, everything clustering in chocolate and caramel and whirling and twirling around and around……………………  sorry, just feeling a bit light-headed for a minute there….

Just a reminder that Sunday is Strange Music Day – this encompasses any and all music that is strange to you, because, really, are you going to let complete strangers tell you what is strange?  I don’t think so.  That would be wierd.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Food for Friday

I found the recipe I promised a couple of weeks back ~ Plantation Crunch, first shared with me by my friend Melissa in Illinois.  This is soooooo scrumptious!

Ingredients:
1 pkg White or Chocolate Almond Bark (I have only used the white)
10 oz creamy peanut butter
12 oz dry roasted peanuts
2 C Rice Krispies
2 C mini marshmallows

Melt the almond bark and peanut butter together in a large, heavy saucepan.  Mix well. Stir in the remaining ingredients; add the marshmallows last and then work quickly so they don’t all melt away.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper to cool.  Makes about 65 pieces (depending on how much sampling occurs during the prep stage…).

I just love the easy, to-die-for sweets for the holidays.  The other to-die-for treat I like to make is a triple layer chocolate cheesecake, but it takes about two hours of work before you even put it into the oven…you only make this for the ones you REALLY love!

Have a sweet day,

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

To infinity…and beyond!

Have you ever wanted to go – or to send someone… – into outer space??  Well, you can send at least your name and your words there – NASA will take them for you.

Check out www.kepler.nasa.gov, and link to a form that will ask for your name and your thoughts on the importance of planetary exploration and the Kepler Mission, “NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size and smaller planets around other stars.”  All names and messages will be burned to a DVD and sent with the spacecraft when it leaves the planet in February of 2009.  Isn’t that cool?

If you want to send your face into orbit, try this:  MIT and Georgia Tech are sending names into space for a donation to the project – YNIS, Your Name Into Space.  Designed by students, a small unmaned research spacecraft will be launched in 2010.  (Nope, there’s no room to stuff in a professor or anyone else!)

The team is recruiting sponsors for name or logo placement on the spacecraft, and, depending on the spot you choose, your graphic will either be photographed in space or physically returned to you when the vehicle returns safely to earth.  No promises, as it is a student project, but they are trying their best.  They will put your family photo, slogan, signature or picture on the craft for this project.  Question:  what message do you want the world to see?  Check out the current sponsors page!

 So don’t limit yourself to our little blue ball – get up there into orbit or beyond – and have a great life!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

I have picked out a couple of very elegant reindeer poised to pull Santa’s sleigh this year.  Both of these gentlemen surely promise a smooth and speedy ride, wouldn’t you say?

Regal in gold and white or exceptionally distinguished in jewel-encrusted gold gilt.

These two graceful and stylish characters will add real glamour to your holidays!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place