Three (ish) for Thursday!

I only say (ish) because I can’t use just three pictures – there’s more – and even a video!

We’re putting together a new home décor section in the store, and it’s filled with a mix of country garden and, of course, Christmas goodies.  I immediately fell in love with the AquaFlame flameless, water fountain candles.  They are beautiful and relaxing, especially tucked in among some greenery and lighted flowers.  Here’s a little video that shows them in action.

Fill the wax cylinder with water, and it bubbles up the center making a flame look at the top, and runs back down the interior perimeter of the candle.  It can run on batteries or be plugged in to an outlet, and there’s a convenient, built-in 5-hour timer.

Do you love those distressed signs like I do?  I’m a big fan of the rustic look.  Here are a couple of other signs that caught my eye today.

And #3 – Santa says “USA All The Way!” Yes, he’s excited that the U.S. team has advanced in World Cup soccer from the Group of Death to the elimination round – the team’s still on the nice list for now!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. You do realize that Christmas is officially less than six months away now? I thought you did.

Santa is Good with Technology!

The only thing missing is a red hat with white fur trim, right?!

The next time you come to the store, here’s one more reason to check out Department 56 – look for the iPad, and find the latest information about products, video design tips, and store opportunities.  This is the first of several tablets we plan to use throughout the store to give you the opportunity to learn more about all your favorite collectibles.

We’ve designed it to be extremely user-friendly!  Although it won’t bring you a cup of coffee or rub your feet, it does have only four buttons to push – well, screen-touches – to get right to the information you want to see.

Here in Dept. 56, we offer a quick overview of each village collection – you may not have realized just how many there are, and we’ll tell you why each is unique.

One of the favorite links is to our Designer Tips – and we plan to add lots more tips during the year.  (You can also find these at our website Designer Tips link and on our YouTube channel.)

You get to choose which video you want to watch – or, feel free to watch them all!

You can also sign up to receive e-mails from Christmas Place – and you can choose what messages you want to receive from us – general store information, notice of promotions and sales, information about your favorite collectible items, etc.  We will never sell your e-mail address to any other entity, so you can be confident you won’t be receiving anything from us that you haven’t requested.  You can also ask us to remove your e-mail from the list at any time.

Lastly, you can sign up for our Christmas Rewards program – the more you shop, the more rewards you receive!  You can also receive rewards when you shop online, no minimum purchase is required, and every qualified order adds to your rewards balance.

Santa is very happy that we are now able to offer you so much more information on demand – I think I heard him exclaim that everyone who uses the iPad to look up information is automatically on the nice list this year!  ;)

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Department 56 is Now Under Construction

We’re already wrapping up day three four of our construction adventure, and the results so far are spectacular!

Jill Shlung, a designer who works with Department 56 on their showrooms and other special projects, is in the store through Saturday.  She’s rebuilding our Dickens’ Village and North Pole displays, and giving tips to guests all along the way.  We’re also drawing door prizes every day this week, and our already-reduced Department 56 merchandise is an additional 10% off through this Saturday only.

On Friday night and Saturday, June 6th and 7th, she will give three free seminars to our guests!  Friday from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. she’ll talk about “Waterfalls, Tunnels, Caves & More.”  Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon her topic will be “Creating a North Pole Village.”  Also on Saturday, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., she will share “Village Techniques.”   Late breaking update:  due to travel plans, the afternoon seminar will have to be cut a bit short, so come early so we can get plenty of info before Jill has to leave!

Come and learn more about creating displays with your own favorite collectibles.

Here’s a little photo gallery of our progress, from our staff gearing up for a week of construction to Jill’s results through early Thursday afternoon.

You are now entering the construction zone!

Monday morning, Dickens’ Village is nowhere in site.

The elves are appropriately attired for the construction zone in hard hats – but with a little elfin flair, of course!!

Clearance collectibles are ready to fly off the shelves!

And the reconstruction is well under way…start by gathering a few miles of Styrofoam and some knives for cutting, as well as some interesting props – notice the decorative suitcases stacked in the corner, to give height variations to the display.

Add a couple of days of labor, and look what you get – a glowing display of narrow streets lined with houses and people and all the architectural and landscaping details that depict life in Charles Dickens’ time. I happen to really like the streaky, atmospheric light effects on the trees…my colleague says I just need to clean the camera lens.  What does he know.

Take special note of the wreaths back-dropping the village – the clocks in each one are a new addition from Dept. 56 this year – the time on each one is set at 5 to 6, of course.

Later on, we’ll have detailed instructions and photos showing how the sparkling stream and waterfall were created – and I believe Jill will be sharing this technique on Friday night, too.

Now, on to the North Pole.

And a few more miles of Styrofoam.  Hey, who’s that paparazzi photo-bombing my shot??

Jill is always happy to take a moment to describe what she’s doing, so be sure to ask if you have any questions.

We’ll be video taping the seminars to share later, but if you have the chance, we know you’ll enjoy coming in person to watch, learn, and ask questions (and maybe we’ll pick your name for a prize).  If you can’t come, though, feel free to send us your questions via Facebook, Twitter, or even e-mail to santa@christmasplace.com – we’ll be sure to get answers for you!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  You’ll find more pictures of the event on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, so check them out – and we’d love to see YOUR pictures, too – just use #MyVillage or #ChristmasPlace – we would like to share them with our community.

P.P.S.  Remember, click twice on a picture to see the full size image.