A very busy weekend to start October!

We’re filling the schedule for the first weekend in October – here is a list so you can plan your day.

DEPARTMENT 56 SNOWBABIES AND VILLAGE SIGNING

Department 56 Snowbabies designer Kristi Jensen Pierro will be at The Incredible Christmas Place on Saturday, October 4th, 2008, for an exclusive signing of Snowbabies and Village collectibles*!

Order today and we’ll hold your items for the signing and ship them to you the following week.  The deadline for preorders is the end of the day on Thursday, October 2nd, 2008.  Click here to begin shopping!

Come by the store to meet Kristi and enter drawings for door prizes and complimentary memberships in the Christmas Place Department 56 Collector’s Club.  Club members receive exclusive benefits including free catalogs, priority access to certain limited edition pieces, free shipping on orders over $200, and gift cards valued at ten percent of purchases that may be redeemed at the store or at The Inn at Christmas Place.  You may also purchase club memberships online.

Kristi has been drawing and creating Snowbabies for over 20 years, in designs inspired by childhood memories and friendships through the years.  This year, she introduced the “Babies Got New Clothes” line, looking quite cozy in their hand-knit stocking hats, scarves, and mittens of red or green.  As a representative of Department 56, Kristi will be signing Village houses* as well. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the creator of the delightful Snowbabies collectibles and have your treasured pieces* signed by Kristi Jensen Pierro!

 SECONDARY MARKET FOR DEPARTMENT 56
COLLECTOR’S CLUB MEMBERS 

On Saturday and Sunday, October 4th and 5th, 2008, we’ll be hosting our annual Secondary Market for Christmas Place Collector’s Club members.  Members may rent a table for two days (tented outside area, overnight security is included) for only $145, to sell retired Village and Snowbabies collectibles.  Here is a great opportunity to purchase that exclusive – and elusive – house or figurine that you missed when it was first released!  Vendors at the Secondary Market will be able to authorize some pieces* for signing by Kristi on Saturday in the store. 

Only a few tables remain to be rented for the Secondary Market, so call 1-800-445-3396, extension 110, today to reserve your table with Teresa Hughes.  If it’s a local call for you, dial 865-453-0415. 

*Kristi will not be able to sign accessory pieces. 

PEBBIE ART CHRISTMAS VILLAGE BACKGROUNDS SIGNING 

Many collectors have completed their Department 56 village displays with one or more of the colorful and detailed paintings of town and country village backgrounds by Pebbie Art.  Pebbie Mott will be in the store from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, October 4th, 2008, to sign her backgrounds. 

Printed on heavy, durable paper, Pebbie’s backdrops are designed to compliment Department 56 village houses, and can be easily trimmed to fit a book or display case.  Halloween backdrops have been very popular this year.

If you’d like to add a truly professional finishing touch to your scenes, purchase an original creation by Pebbie Art, and have your backdrops signed by the artist in our store.  While you’re here, be sure to register for the door prize drawings we’re holding that day.

Ne’Qwa Art Signing

Trieste of Ne’Qwa Art will be in the store from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, October 4th, 2008, for an exclusive painting demonstration and signing of their hand-painted glass ornaments.  Utilizing the centuries-old Chinese art technique of reverse painting on the inside surface of mouth-blown glass ornaments, only a handful of artists have the skills to bring Ne’Qwa art objects to life.  More than 25 artists are featured on Ne’Qwa glass.

This special ornament featuring the charming image of Santa communing with a reindeer is the highlighted ornament for this year’s signing event.  Purchase this or any other ornament in advance and we will hold them for signing and shipment directly to you after October 4, 2008!

 Due to the popularity of this line, we ask that you bring no more than four ornaments (purchased at The Christmas Place) through the signing line.

In addition to the signings and tent sale, local artists Team Kirkwood will be here to entertain our guests with costumes, balloon characters, and performances.

After visiting each of our signers, take a leisurely tour of the store and enjoy all the trees that have just been completely redecorated, and end the day with an ice cream and candy treat from Mrs. Claus’ Candy Kitchen.  It’s going to be a spectacular weekend to kick off October!

Have a great one, and don’t forget that it’s almost Monday…heh heh heh!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

You takes your picture with Santa, and you puts it in your pillow, and then you puts the picture in your scrapbook, and next year you takes a new picture, and you puts it in your pillow, and you repeats and repeats and repeats!

Cute as cute can be, put up a charming Christmas tree shower curtain just for the month – especially if you’re having guests – knock their socks off before they jump in the shower!

Have a great day – it’s almost time to start saying “Have a Merry Christmas!”

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

September – it’s a great month!

Are you as excited as I am that it is September now?  Thanks to already-shorter days, leaves on some of the deciduous trees here in the Smokies are starting to give up cholorphyll production!  (I needed to get in a few big words there for you-know-who-you-are).  The brilliant reds and golds of fall will soon be appearing all around us.  This is my favorite season of the year, with winter coming in a close second.  I am just NOT about heat and humidity ~ give me a crisp fall day or even a chilly winter eve.  My sister in Pennsylvania said she has already plugged in her electric blanket!  No fair, considering it was still 91 degrees here yesterday.

A lot of folks have also noted that cool September mornings take them back to the pleasant nostalgia of back-to-school days, the remembrance of new pencils and notebooks and clothes for school.  I know that many classrooms no longer have actual chalkboards, but wasn’t that a fun time, too – fresh long sticks of white to scratch across a clean board.  Doesn’t every generation remember their childhood as a simpler time?  I’m okay with that.

You know I like to do the old calendar check at the beginning of the month:  it’s both Shameless Pomotion and Update Your Resume month -just remember that “People” do check these things.  It’s also National Rice, Potato, Chicken, Mushroom, and Honey Month, along with Organic Harvest Month.  Wouldn’t you just know it, I missed “be late for something day” on Friday.  Maybe this will count??

Consider participating in National Baby Safety, Mold Awarness, College Savings, and Library Card Sign-Up Month, and even International People Skills, Self Awareness, and Strategic Thinking Month.  These are all very good things, but I do wonder – are we not supposed to worry about them for the rest of the year?  It’s not like they are things that will ever be, you know, resolved!

Hey, today is Wonderful Wierdos Day!  Them’s my peeps!!  Give it up for the Wierdos!  Tomorrow is Swap Ideas day,  then it’s Bald Is Beautiful on Saturday and International Sing Out Day on Monday.  Is that enough to get you started?  (When was “make up your own holiday” day?)

So, all this is kind of appropo of nothing, but I hope you have a splendid September and do something special for the first day of autumn on the 22nd (also Dear Diary, Elephant Appreciation, Hobbit, and White Chocolate day).  And I hope I’ve used enough big words for you!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Christmas Tree Tops

Santa may have been up on the rooftop, but look at what we have up on the Christmas Tree Top!

A vine acorn filled with harvest lights, accompanied by a flock of brilliant orange birdies!

A vine acorn filled with harvest lights, accompanied by a flock of brilliant orange birdies!

Blue birds and chickadees perched on pine boughs and wild flowers!

Blue birds and chickadees perched on pine boughs and wild flowers!

Giant peppermints and lollipops and colorful candies!

Giant peppermints and lollipops and colorful candies!

Brilliant cardinals perched on a lodge pole standing amid the snow-covered tree branches!

Brilliant cardinals perched on a lodge pole standing amid the snow-covered tree branches!

Three wooden crosses, one bearing a crown of thorns.

Three wooden crosses, one bearing a crown of thorns.

Fireworks and Sparklers!

Fireworks and Sparklers!

Golden butterflies and poinsettias accented with pheasent feathers!

Golden butterflies and poinsettias accented with pheasent feathers!

Sparkling green fern and calla lilies, white poinsettias, and a lighted golden cone!

Sparkling green fern and calla lilies, white poinsettias, and lighted golden cones!

A fire hydrant surrounded by angelic dogs and cats!

A fire hydrant surrounded by angelic dogs and cats!

The marshall's pony and tin star!

A pony and a tin star!

A penguin, newly-arrived at the actual North Pole!

A penguin, newly-arrived at the actual North Pole!

Can you find the rooster hidden in the top of the tree?

Can you find the rooster hidden in the top of the tree?

This giant snowman actually occupies the whole face of the tree!

This giant snowman actually occupies the whole face of the tree!

Ah, the ever-popular Squirrel and Racoon, sittin in a tree!

Ah, the ever-popular Squirrel and Racoon, sittin in a tree!

A storybook and a gingerbread doll, surrounded by cookie cutters and the tools of the baking trade!

A storybook and a gingerbread doll, surrounded by cookie cutters and the tools of the baking trade!

A Victorian doll house!

A Victorian doll house!

I hope these ideas from our designers will spark your own creativity this holiday.  Come in and view the rest of these and all our trees, we’d love to help you design your own unique theme!  These represent just a sampling of all that we have going on in the store right now.

Have a great weekend, and keep thinking beautiful Christmas thoughts! 

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Food for Friday

Still working my way through a big plastic tub filled with scraps of paper on which, over the years, I have written out recipes ~ I sure wish I had dated and better identified each one, because it would be fun to remember the first occasions associated with my favorites!  (I now date all the CDs and books I purchase, because I just don’t remember years passing by…yeah, it’s not because I buy so many of both throughout the year, no, not at all.)

Here’s one I believe I copied down from a radio program while on a road trip ~ a very easy truffle recipe – they only taste like they required a lot of construction and secret ingredients and candy thermometers and double boilers and elfin magic.

Chocolate Truffles

12 oz bittersweet chocolate
3/4 C heavy cream
4 T butter, softened
1/4 C flavored liqueur of your choice; you can substitute other food flavoring products but be sure to add a little more cream to keep the liquids in balance
Finely chopped nuts of choice or unsweetened cocoa powder

Line an 8 inch square pan with plastic wrap.  In a food processor, process the chocolate until finely ground.  In a heavy sauce pan, heat the cream over high heat to a rolling boil.  Add the cream, butter, and liqueur or flavoring to the food processor.  Mix together until very smooth.  Pour into the lined pan and cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Turn the firm mixture out onto a cool surface.  Cut into 1 inch blocks, and roll each block in finely chopped nuts or unsweetened cocoa powder.  Store in the refrigerator.  Eat really fast and don’t leave any chocolate fingerprint evidence behind…….

Easy and delectable – another great gift idea, wrapped in a holiday printed bag, tied with a personalized Christmas ornament, packaged with a bag of White Christmas Coffee – guests drink gallons of that stuff over at The Inn every day!

If you’re a bit of a “bah, humbug” and don’t like to bake at the holidays, pick up a bag of Coal Candy instead.  Someone tells me it has a delicious Black Cherry flavor, and it is sure to elicit a giggle or two when found in the bottom of a stocking on Christmas morning.

Have a delicious day!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

C = Cup, T = Tablespoon

It’s almost Friday

Time – I need more…  I started putting together the centerpieces and treetoppers you need to see, and realized that I want to do more than I can put together in one day – will you give me until Friday?  Please??  How about this kind of time…

Time for Christmas

Time for Christmas

Ifn ya’ don’t like it, I’ll have ta sic the Marshall’s pony on ya’!

This pony means business!

This pony means business!

Stay tuned…

Two for Tuesday

From the “Ho Ho Ho” tree, take a look at Santa’s beautiful blue eyes and soft white beard!  This over sized ornament has been a shoppers’ favorite.  The tree in which it is displayed is really cute – there are reindeer on ladders and playing in the tree, helping with decorations…

And again, her she goes with the green!  A very whimsical bobble, bright green glass on top, trailing a wispy collection of feathers and ribbon.

 Today, I took pictures of all the completed Christmas trees around the store.  Tomorrow I will list some of the centerpiece items of those trees ~ have you yet considered using a fire hydrant in the top of your tree?  Well why not??  Of the fifty trees we decorate each year, there are only about four left to be completed.  I’m in glitter heaven!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. It’s only 114 days til Christmas – how are you coming on getting your list together and beginning your shopping?  It’s not too early to plan a party – be the first on everyone’s calendar this year.