RJ McDonald Signing This Weekend

Renowned wildlife and Santa Claus painter R.J. McDonald, a resident of Tennessee, will be at Christmas Place for a 2-day signing event this weekend, Saturday & Sunday, November 21st & 22nd, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

 Mr. McDonald’s beautifully detailed style gives careful attention to the themes of Christmas, highlighting your favorite images of the holiday.  He’ll add your name to his most popular print, “The List” – you know Santa’s checking it twice! 

You can preview a few of his prints here, and we have more in the store.  You’ll also see that many of his wonderful works of art have been reproduced in boxed greeting cards.  (Cards are not included in the signing.) 

We hope you’ll come to meet Mr. McDonald and leave with a signed print that will be a real heirloom for your family for many Christmases to come.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Christmas Light Shows

The annual Winterfest celebration is well under way here in Sevier County, with myriads of lights illuminating businesses and land along the parkway in a holiday glow from Sevierville to Gatlinburg.  The creativity and color are really something to see!  Now’s the time to pile everyone in the car and take an evening drive.

If you’d like to add some music and synchronization to your holiday light viewing pleasure, head up to the Smokies Baseball park (I-40 at exit 407) for the Christmas Wonderland music and light show extravaganza.  The show itself includes 6 songs performed over about 25 minutes, and it is a drive-through or drive-through-and-pull-over event, no getting out of the car.  There is a cost per car for the tour.  A couple of the staff here at Christmas Place have been through, and they highly recommend it.

Okay, so there are two good reasons not to complain so much about the ending of daylight savings time!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

I took a slow walk around the store this morning, and discovered all sorts of new things that have come in since I last took my time on a tour.  We seem to have added items in every corner ~ and since I tend to race around most days, I sure have missed a lot!

Look at this beautiful glass jar candle holder.  The luminous finish and elegant design are quite grand.  If you have a gift exchange at your office, this would make a welcome present, I’m sure.

This plaque has fooled all the guests – it looks like cast pewter (also comes in a dark golden bronze color) – but is the lightest-weight molded plastic with metallic tinsel trim.  The first time someone placed one on the counter I expected it to weigh 3 pounds, but it is light as a feather and perfect to place on your tree or hang inside with your holiday decorations.  (I’m mad to find some of that skinny, antique-looking tinsel to use on a project at home ~ let me know if you see some anywhere, please!)

Merry Christmas Plaque

Merry Christmas Plaque

 Thanksgiving is next week already!  I’m looking forward to putting up a tree this year ~ well, actually, I picked up one of the small pink foil trees for myself this year … which really makes no sense, especially since I’ve been collecting Tiffany blue ornaments for a couple of years now … but I’m just a pink girl, and I waited a year to get that tree, so I’m going to fill it with mini white ornaments and enjoy!  What’s your color scheme ~ the one you dream about … and then the one you actually put up?  Just be sure to have fun with it, no matter what.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Christmas Place Weekly Specials & Gingerbread Giveaway

Are you clicking the Deals link every week to check out our web-site-only sales and specials?  Don’t forget!  These deals aren’t offered to guests in the store.

This week:

435358_l Snowman glass ornament

Congratulations go out to Doug E. from Duluth, MN, winner of Week 2 of the Gingerbread giveaway!  Be sure to enter daily through Friday for a chance to win the Week 3  package, which includes stockings, figurines, and tabletop accessories.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Ornament Signing Tomorrow!

We are so excited to be hosting Mario Taré, the first on-staff Christmas Ornament Designer to join the Christopher Radko company, in the store from noon to 3 PM tomorrow, November 14th.  A native of Chile and a life-long artist, Mario helped to revitalize the Radko line and, in 2001,  collaborated in bringing back the vintage 1940s-themed Shiny-Brite™ collection.


If you love these colorful, nostalgic ornaments ~ such careful attention is given to the details on each piece ~ you’ll want to stop in and get the designer’s autograph on your favorite ornament.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Food for Friday

So, here’s my question, do JoAnn & Vickie really know absolutely every great cook in the country?  Do they?  Because how else could they continue to bring us so many delightful recipe collections?

Well, I’m just glad they do keep publishing!  This week, let’s peek into Christmas In the Country, from 2007.  “Family recipes, merry gifts from the kitchen and sweet holiday memories to celebrate the simple joys of the season.”  Breakfast, lunch, Dinner at Grandma’s, Old-Fashioned Sweets, food gift ideas, and a collection of holiday memories from authors around the country round out this delightful publication.  What will they come up with next?

722008 Christmas In the Country

How long has it been since you used your Bundt® pan?  (Does anyone remember the difficulty the mother of the bride had trying to pronounce that word in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”??)  Here’s a super easy and delicious-sounding recipe from Nichole Martelli, Alvin, Texas.

Southern Praline Pecan Cake

18-1/4 oz pkg butter pecan cake mix
16 oz container coconut pecan frosting
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 C oil
1 C water
1 C chopped pecans, divided

Combine all ingredients except pecans in a large bowl; mix until combined.  Stir in half the pecans.  Sprinkle remaining pecans in a lightly-greased 10″ Bundt® pan; pour batter over pecans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Serves 8 to 10.  (C = Cup)

Now, do you pronounce that pe-cahn, or pe-kan?  It might make a difference!  Also, isn’t the center of this baking pan a hole?  Well, I guess they mean to test in the middle of the cake ring.  I’m just funnin’ with y’all!

The sun finally came out today, and we’re expecting a fantastic weekend ~ hope you go out and enjoy the days!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Christmas Book Signing Today In the Store

Donald Henkel, the author of “A Legend of Santa and His Brother Fred,” is at Christmas Place today signing copies of his book.


The producers of the movie “Fred Claus” loosely based their story around Mr. Henkel’s book.  An autographed copy would make a great stocking stuffer for some lucky person, or a wonderful family heirloom to take off the shelf and read together each Christmas!  As I looked on yesterday, he told the story to our guests, glancing down just to turn the pages in time with the tale.

Don Henkel author

If you’re in town this morning, pop in to meet Mr. Henkel and pick up a really unique Christmas keepsake item for the holidays.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

I like a nostalgic look at Christmas, and these two ornaments have really captured my attention- they are molded plastic filled with snow pellets inside, and styled with an antique look.  They look great hanging on the tree.

Santa oval ornament

Santa round ornament

They’re kitschy, they’re plastic, they have rhinestones and glitter, and I love them both!

Ladies, if you have been searching for the perfect bag to carry from now until December 25th that just screams “I Love Christmas!” – you need look no further – we have it here at Christmas Place.  Check this out:

379011_l Santa purse

This is one of the cutest things in the store – do you see that it even comes with its own cell phone mini-tote?  This is the best thing you can take with you to Thanksgiving lunch, even better than the green bean casserole with the onions on top, because all the other girls there will have mad envy of you and have to have their own, and you can bask in the limelight of their admiration at your clever shopping!  (I think we’ve sold out of these twice already, so you’d better order quickly.)

It was supposed to get sunny here this afternoon, but instead it started raining even more and the temperature has gone down.  Mr. Weatherman, you have some explaining to do!  Hope it’s a nicer fall day where you are.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Have you thanked a veteran today??  I thanked an active duty military person, but I haven’t found a veteran yet today.  I still remember, about 20 years, having the privilege, though I did not know it at the time, of being the first person ever to thank a particular Vietnam veteran that I know … the thought that he had to wait about 15 years for that honor still makes me sad and humble ~ and so glad that I thought to say it that day in the hallway.  I’ll never forget that moment and that honor.   Thanks again, Michael!  Don’t miss your chance to say “thank you” today!

Food for Friday

Okay, yes, I know it’s Monday… I had the cook book picked out, and the recipe, and I took the picture on Friday … and then was completely sidetracked by Saturday’s events.  So, it’s Food for Friday on Monday.  It’ll still be tasty!

The Lady & Sons, Too!, Paula H. Deen

Since we’re well into fall and thinking about sweet potato casseroles for Thanksgiving (or is it just me who’s already thinking about turkey day?), I’d like to try these biscuits – with a little cinnamon-spiced cream cheese and a cup of spiced tea – a delicious fall treat.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
3/4 C mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/4 C milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1-1/4 C all-purpose flour
4 t baking powder
2 heaping T sugar
1/2 t salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, milk, and butter.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the potato mixture and combined to make a soft dough.  Turn the dough onto a floured board and toss lightly until the outside of the dough looks smooth.  Roll out to one-half-inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter.  Place the biscuits on a greased pan and bake for about 15 minutes.  Watch your oven; if they brown too fast, lower the temperature.
I think you could also serve these with a really hearty, savory beef or chicken stew as a nice counterpoint to the meal.  She’s included “The Lady & Sons Beef Vegetable Soup,” but I think you’d need four chefs to prepare all the ingredients for that one (you’d have about six each…).
Enjoy – and let me know what’s on your menu for Thanksgiving this year.  I just spotted a recipe for Pumpkin Flan that I must try…
~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Weekly Deals at ChristmasPlace.com

LED Lights ~ time to stock up!  Through this Friday only, buy 2 strands and get a third strand of the same lights free.  That’s a great deal for these long-lasting, economical decorations.  Check out all the colors and styles available this year.

"In a Spin"

Snowbabies “In a Spin” figurine – 50% off – what a cutie, Snowbaby in a real knit cap, spinning with a penguin pal on a snow disc.  To complement your Snowbabies ornament collection, how about a  13″ tree from Department 56 specially designed to display them to best advantage?  It’s well-priced this week at only  $6.98!

Also, be sure to check out the “Christmas in a Box” gift sets for the troops ~ we still have some available, and time to ship them out before the holidays.

So many things going on of which you can take advantage – hop over to the site and register for the Week 2 Gingerbread Giveaway – ornaments, ribbon, and stems this week! 

And don’t forget, free shipping on all orders over $100, and free gift with your online purchase, either an ornament or an angel. 

* 47 Days! *

~ Janet @ The Christmas Place