Two for Tuesday – are we still in the Christmas store???

Although I can hear the chimes in the bell tower ringing out “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” as I type this, my screen is filled with visions of Halloween…and my mind is wondering when we started carrying road kill??  This is just too, too crazy – look at this Scaredy Cat – I would call it a Scarey Cat, myself!  (Does anyone else remember “Smelly Cat”…?)

Perhaps a shiny glass eyeball or two is more to your decorating style?

Maybe a little too gruesome?  Here’s a friendly Jack O’ Lantern to keep you company on the witching night.

Don’t forget to dress up your Department 56 village collection in spook-tastic style – a haunted mansion will bring on a few shivers and howls ~ Dr. Lunatic’s Laboratory will do the trick….

Of course, the scariest thing of all is that it is LESS THAN 100 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!  Get out there and get to work on your Christmas lists!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

The designers have created an adorable Christmas tree that is loaded with Delft ornaments, the blue and white style associated with Delft in the Netherlands – our tree is filled with bunches of white tulips, is sporting a windmill in the top, and is adorned with dozens of charming ornaments you can see here.  Near the tree I found a collection of amazing angel musical figurines reminiscent of the Delft style, including this lovely lady with a Christmas wreath on her arm.  There are several musical and non-musical figurines in this collection.  Notice the exquisite detail work in the banding on her gown and the image lining her coat.

I haven’t shown a snowman in awhile, so I’m sneaking in this cute little pillow that just came in – we have a big selection of styles and sizes of pillows, even some collegiate logo versions.  This one would be so welcoming tucked into a chair next to the fireplace.

Have a cozy evening!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

I love Autumn!

Autumn arrived at 11:44:18 this morning, when the Sun crossed the equator headed south for the winter,  ushering in what many consider to be the most beautiful season in the Smoky Mountains.  Soon, leaves will begin to flame, transforming from the luxuriant greens of summer into vibrant red and russet, vivid orange, copper, golden yellow and rich ochre, abandoning tree branches to dance with the cool winds of fall ~ almost overnight.  Crisp mornings still give way to warm afternoons for now, but before you know it you’ll find yourself wishing for a steaming mug of hot chocolate -or hot cider- before an crackling fire.  I cannot wait! 

If you can’t either, come on over to Pigeon Forge.  Our landscaping team has decorated the courtyard and the gardens at The Inn for the annual Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, and you can join in the many activities taking place here and in Sevierville and Gatlinburg.  If you’re an avid tree-watcher like me, call the Fall Color Hotline at 1-800-697-4200 to keep on top of the progress of the changing leaves.

Enjoy a few quotes about this lovely season.

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting 
and autumn a mosaic of them all.”
~Stanley Horowitz

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. 
~Elizabeth Lawrence

falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly
~John Bailey, “Autumn,” A Haiku Year

 Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot

 No Spring nor Summer Beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face.
~John Donne

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.
~Emily Bronte

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

“I love the fall.  I love it because of the smells that you speak of; and also because things are dying,
things that you don’t have to take care of anymore, and the grass stops growing.”
~Mark Van Doren

“Come little leaves,” said the wind one day.
“Come over the meadow with me and play.
Put on your dresses of read and gold
For summer is gone and the nights grow cold.”

“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.
~Faith Baldwin

Can you guess which is my favorite amoung these quotes?  Um hm.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place


Food for Friday

Today, we say “let them eat pie”  with an easy and slightly unusual recipe for apple pie ~ baked inside a paper bag.  A friend in Indiana shared this one with me last summer ~ I haven’t yet had time to try it, though.  There are several great apple orchards here in the area, including The Apple Barn and Cider Mill just up the road in Sevierville, and my family’s favorite, Carver Kyle Orchards in Cosby, Tennessee – they serve the best apple cider and hot apple fritters with every meal!  It’s almost apple-picking time in this corner of the state.

Jake’s Brown Bag Apple Pie (if I remember correctly, it’s really Jake’s Grandmother’s Brown Bag Apple Pie) 

Approximately 375 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, 1 brown paper bag, 1 cookie sheet

2-4 large apples (Granny Smiths are best)
1 C sugar
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 C lemon juice
1/2 C butter
1 prepared pie shell

C = Cup; T = Tablespoon; t = teaspoon

Slice the apples thinly, skins and all.  Dip each slice into lemon juice and set aside in a large bowl.  Mix together 1/2 C sugar, 2 T flour, and 1/2 t nutmeg, and toss with the apple slices.  Spoon the seasoned apples into the pie shell, and feel free to heap them.  Place the remaining flour and sugar into a bowl; cut in the butter and cinnamon.  Mix thoroughly and layer on top of the apples in the pie shell.

Place the pie pan into the brown paper bag – remember to use a bag with no ink imprints.  Seal the bag closed with metal (another important thing) paper clips and place (right side up) on a baking tray.   Place the tray in a preheated oven at 375 degrees (this can vary from 350 to 400 degrees without harm), and bake until the crust browns on top and the apples have caramelized, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Remember when checking on the pie that the paper clips are as hot as the oven!

Allow the pie to cool, and serve with ice cream or Cool-Whip.  I wonder if it would also be good served warm with a piece of cheese inbetween the crust and the ice cream……..

Doesn’t this sound easy, interesting, and delicious – and perfect for fall?  Hope you’re beginning to experience apple-picking weather where ever you happen to be!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Ahoy! Important Reminder

Avast, ye beauties and bilge rats, aye and ye’ve already marked yer calendars, but afore it slips under yer keel, Friday is Talk Like a Pirate Day 2008!   This annual event is celebrated internationally, so ye know it’s real…ye will even find tips to help ye talk like a pirate in Mandarin Chinese, too – somethin’ I’d like to hear, fer sure.

We’ve pirate ornaments and gifts to help ye and yer scurvy crew celebrate the day.


Have ye need of a first mate, Cap’n?  He comes with his own earring and bandana.

Thar’s even a flock o’ parrots, tucan, and cockatiel from which to pick yerseln’ a Polly.

Arr, but I’ve found no peg leg in the store fer ye.  So, ye lubbers, get smartly over t’the site, drop anchor, and commence preparin’ for Talk Like a Pirate Day – grog’s on ye, aye!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

Just tell me how you can say no to that face.  You can’t, can you?  He is from an adorable collection called Hot Diggity Dogs, and there’s a whole herd of them.  Take a look…

The gal in the pink poodle skirt is blowing a big bubble; there’s a fireman, and a fellow in a cow outfit, a cowboy, a guy traveling with a grand piano on his back, and more.  Here is a closeup of the wedding pair:

If a different kind of sophistication is more your style, this figurine from the Painted Pony collection is an outstanding choice.   He’s decorated with buffalo in a rugged landscape.  This is one of the newest styles, and the base plate is highlighted with a steer skull and collection of cactus.

Here’s an elegant horse that’s been out on a frosty morning.

For the member of your household with an eye for elegance and a love of horses, you won’t go wrong starting them out with one or two pieces from the Painted Pony assortment.  You will surely want to explore the whole collection.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Our First Blog Giveaway!

Welcome to the first Christmas Place Blog Giveaway!

I’m very excited!  I’ve been anxious to do something fun for my readers, and now I get to give something away!  I plan to do this again from time to time, so be sure to keep reading.

On my desk right now I have three Maxim Moose plush animals – these guys are about 15 inches tall sitting down, and are reeeaally reeeaally soft and squooshy.  I’ll send them out to three randomly selected readers who enter the giveaway between now and Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 ~ and my desk will be a lonely place again….)=

How we operate a sweepstakes or giveaway:

  • One entry per e-mail address, please. Santa will be keeping track.
  • We never sell or publish e-mail addresses. We do keep them for ourselves.
  • We will never print your first and last name or your e-mail address. Your privacy is very important.
  • The sweepstakes is open to anyone age 18 or older.
  • By entering the sweepstakes you agree to believe in the magic of Santa Claus and to celebrate the spirit of Christmas every day!
  • Winners are chosen at random from among all entries by a higher force, and the decision is final. By higher force, we mean a mysterious piece of software which we are unable to influence with cookies and milk, reindeer dust or snowman sprinkles.
  • If you are the winner, I will send you an e-mail to let you know, and you should reply with your mailing address.
  • Sorry, but employees and relatives of Christmas Place and Inn at Christmas Place are not eligible to win.  We’ll make you a really good deal on a Maxim of your own, though!

 Click here to enter the drawing.

Good luck!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place