Free Shipping!

Hey, everybody, um, just thought I’d mention that, uh, we just dropped our shipping rates to, oh, NOTHING … for orders totaling $75 or more!  Yeah – just today!  Who knew we were going to be able to offer such a deal in October?  If you’ve been working on your wish list, now might be the time to place your order (can I say you might be crazy not to order now??) – and remember the free gifts we’re including with your qualified orders, too.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

I recently noticed some very fun and funny carved ornaments and figurines, a more light-hearted approach to Santa and his Christmas pals.  Santa rides on the back of an irreverent polar bear in this crazy piece that comes in at about 9 inches tall.  If you take a more casual approach to decorating for the holidays, this collection might be just right for you!

Carved Santa on Polar Bear

I also discovered a very special ornament collection depicting the events surrounding the birth of Jesus in a beautiful and delicate carved interpretation.  I love the message of the cross and heart woven into the design of this ornament depicting a shepherd and sheep looking across to the manger in Bethlehem.  This ornament would look grand on an ornament hanger as an unique decoration in your home.

Bethlehem carved ornament

I hope you’re getting excited about Christmas!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place 

Food for Friday

It’s pumpkin time!  Whether you’re carving scary faces, painting grins with little ones, or seeking out a non-perishable variety for the front steps, how about a delicious pumpkin dinner to go along with the merriment?  I’m happy to share another treat from the recipe files of Chef Aaron Ward!

Sweet Potato Ravioli

Ingredients
1-1/2 lbs red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
2 T packed golden brown sugar
1/2 t ground nutmeg
48 square prepared wonton wrappers
2 large egg whites, beaten until foamy
Brown Butter Sauce
3/4 C butter (1-1/2 sticks)
1-1/2 T balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 T chopped fresh thyme

Chopped toasted pecans, optional

Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork.  Cook in a microwave on high until soft throughout, about 6 minutes per side.  Cool slightly.  Cut the potatoes in half; scoop 2 packed cups of potato flesh into a large bowl.  Mix in brown sugar and nutmeg.  Season the sweet potato filling with salt and pepper to taste.

Line a large baking sheet with plastic wrap.  Place 1 wonton wrapper on your work surface.  Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the wrapper with beaten egg whites.  Place 1 tablespoon of sweet potato fillin in the center of the wrapper.  Top with another wrapper.  Press the edges together all around to seal.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with your remaining wrappers and filling.  You can complete this step up to 4 hours ahead of time if you cover and keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to cook.

To make the brown butter sauce, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Cook until the butter begins to brown, about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat; carefully mix in the vinegar and thyme.

Meanwhile, working in batches, cook the ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes.  Using a large slotted spoon, carefully transfer the ravioli to the hot butter sauce; spoon the sauce over to coat the ravioli.  Transfer to plates, sprinkle with pecans if you like, and serve immediately.

Working with prepared dough makes this a fairly easy dish to prepare, and with sweet potatoes in season, a delicious choice for a chilly fall evening.  Happy Haunting in the kitchen!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

Looks yu-u-umy, but no licking, puh-lease!  These are only for show, a part of our delicious Peppermint theme.  Covered in just a dusting of sparkling glitter, they’ll be a fun conversation piece on the kitchen counter.

Peppermint Tree

Keeping it in the kitchen, although this lovely banner would look grand in others rooms, too, a linen banner helps to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.  The banner is attached to its own wood and black metal hanger, and is silk screened in a soft print and highlighted by stitched pine cones and branches.

Joy banner

These are just a couple of the gifts in our Christmas Gallery, one of my favorite areas in the store.

Okay, just one more, if you insist – a cute pair of soft, whimsical gingerbread folks, just hanging about on a shelf.  Like you, I absolutely cannot resist those infectious grins!

Gingerbread Shelfsitters

Hope this leaves you with a smile on your face today!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Snowman Giveaway!

Snowman Giveaway

I want to get in on some of the fun this month!  The shopping site shouldn’t be having it all, with its many promotions and giveaways.

You know I have a real weakness for snowmen…I have six of these cuties to give away.  Click the picture to be taken to the sweepstakes entry site.

#Snowmen-Sled-Giveaway#

I’ll pick the winners next Friday, October 16th, and will announce the names here.  As with our other contests, you may enter once each day and increase your chances of winning.

Let’s have a warm Christmas!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Weekly Promotions at Christmasplace.com!

We announced the start of our gift-with-purchase promotion last week, and now we’re offering weekly specials, exclusively on the web site, through Christmas eve!  Many of you will see the message in your E-mail in-box, but if you don’t, just click below to navigate to our Deals page.

102-108 weeklyspecials

In addition to giving one lucky participant a new Christmas tree, in the coming weeks we’re also giving away coordinating decorations, including sets of novelty lights, ribbon, floral stems (a must-have for any of our trees!), Christmas stockings, and a starter collection of ornaments.  You can enter on the web site once each day for the duration of each giveaway ~ you have plenty of opportunities to enter to win.

Let the Christmas fun begin!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Food for Friday

Hey, did you ever get your hands on a copy of “Being Dead is No Excuse”, the original compendium on Southern hospitality in the face of loss?  I just discovered a new volume from the same authors, released in 2009:  Some Day You’ll Thank Me For This, The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Being a “Perfect” Mother, by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays.

The book jacket sets the tone of the volume with this introduction:  “Southern society is arranged along matriarchal lines, since the Southern matriarch is a far more formidable being than the much nicer Southern male.  She has to be this way; she was put on this earth with a sacred mission:  to drum good manners and the proper religion – ancestor worship – into the next generation.”

More fun!  The back cover of the book jacket lists a few

“Signs that you are the daughter of a Southern mother:
You never leave home without making your bed.
You speak to everybody, even tacky people.
You believe some undeserving Yankee family is still using the silver that their ancestors stole from yours.”

285031 Some Day You'll Thank Me For ThisThe book opens with a section entitled “You might be a Southern mother if…” including such hints as “You think ‘cheerleading’ is an honorable major for your daughter at the University of Mississippi, though you feel a double major in M.R.S. is best” and “You run into a friend and the first words out of your mouth are ‘How’s yo mo-thuh?'”

Here’s an easy Southern dish from the Stained Glass Manor, a B and B in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Stained Glass Manor Curried Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:
1 big apple (or 2 little apples), cubed
1 big onion, diced
Several tablespoons curry powder
1 stick butter
Rice
3 chicken breasts, cubed

Mix all but the chicken and the rice together and sauté in the butter.  While sautéing, stir-fry the cubed chicken until it is completely done.  Then combine the chicken and mixture in one big pan and cook for a few minutes over low heat.  Serve over rice.

This being a Southern dish, measurements are made by tasting, not by numbers!  Experiment, and enjoy.  Some day you’ll thank us!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place