Wreaths In The Christmas Tree? Yes!

Every year, our fabulous designers come up with something new – and always wonderful – for the Christmas tree!  This year, in a 9′ pencil slim tree, they put an amazing collection of vignettes, including Santa, forest creatures, and even a couple of nutcrackers, in a most creative way – attached within wreaths hung on the tree.  How do they dream up these ideas?

In the first example, two wreaths were wired back-to-back, and a two-piece set of Santa with a gift wagon was taken apart and placed on each side, along with some additional trees.  The effect simulates the idea of a snow globe.

Santa with gift wagon set, table top Christmas decoration, item 261510

Santa figure placed in wreath with mini trees, hung in Christmas tree.

Gift wagon set in a wreath, hung on the Christmas tree

A big red bow on top, snow-covered stems and branches, and plenty of lights woven throughout complete the spectacular display in the Christmas tree.  Here are some of the other vignettes and lights positioned in the tree – and as I said, it’s a 9′ pencil slim tree – you can do a lot in a skinny tree.

Bear, red mini oil lantern, and Christmas tree mounted in a wreath hung in the Christmas tree.

Second view of a bear figurine, mini Christmas tree, and mini red oil lantern set within a wreath placed on a Christmas tree.

Figurine of a deer and other woodland creatures with two white bottle brush trees set in a wreath, hung on a Christmas tree.

A pair of snowmen set in a small wreath, hung on a Christmas tree.

A 10" gold lighted mercury glass globe, glowing on a Christmas tree, with ribbons and red berry stems.

Nutcracker, Claire, and a mini tree set in a wreath, hung on a Christmas tree.

Nutcracker and Claire on the Christmas tree.

10" Red lighted mercury glass globe on a Christmas tree.

Store Elf posing beside the treeHey!  It’s an elf photo bomb!  Way to go, Elf!

Santa figurine, mini tree, and mini Santa ornament in a wreath, hung on a Christmas tree.

Santa, reindeer, mini train, and mini trees set on a wreath, hung in a Christmas tree.

Now that we’ve shown you our inspiration pieces, we know you can do it, too!  Talk to a designer when you come, they’ll tell you all the things you’ll need to create your own Christmas tree vignettes.

~Janet @ Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. We’re offering a 25% discount store-wide to welcome in spring, through April 15th. You can shop on line or in store for incredible savings to get your 2017 Christmas off to a great start!  Don’t miss it! www.christmasplace.com, or come to the store and see even more.

A Christmas Sleigh in Four Easy Steps

Here at Christmas Place, we are always ready to offer holiday tips to help you create memorable moments to cherish with family and friends.  It’s what we live for!  Here’s a super-simple project – a beautiful candle-and-poinsettia-in-red-sleigh centerpiece for your Christmas table, in just a few easy steps.  I’ll include all the elements, most (but not all*) of them available at the store.

Christmas Sleigh Centerpiece

1.  Assemble your base:

  • Red sleigh (so new, it hasn’t even come over from the warehouse yet, give us a few days)
  • Red candle(s)*
  • Green foam*
  • Green moss*

Mini red sleigh with candles and grass

2:  Next, add:

3.  Mix with:

  • One talented floral designer*
  • Hot glue gun*
  • Wire and chenille stems*

4.  Leave everything alone together for about two hours.  When you return, voilà!

Mini red sleigh with candles and Christmas floral

The perfect centerpiece for Christmas dinner – besides the turkey, the ham, and Mom’s sweet potato casserole (with pecans and marshmallows).

Mini Red Sleigh and Candles Christmas Floral Arrangement

I told you it was super simple!  You will find lots of ideas in our [on-line floral selection at ChristmasPlace.com] to help you create a Christmas masterpiece – or just come by the store, and let us do the work for you.  (We’ll let you take the credit, we don’t mind.)

Come back for more quick and easy holiday projects to help you prepare for the best Christmas 2016 ever!

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S.  While you’re planning your trip to pick up supplies for your super-simple centerpiece project, why not come on an event day, meet an artist or author, and take home a signed piece?  It’s a great tradition for those ornaments and collectibles you’d like to hand down for Christmases to come.

List of artist signings and events for oct-nov-dec 2016

Christmas Lights

As we are preparing to install new Christmas lights for Winterfest 2016, we thought a look back at 2015 might be fun!  Wow, thousands of lights adorning every tree and shrub at the store and hotel – it took many thousand man-hours to put everything up .. but we think it was worth it.

The Incredible Christmas Place

 

The Inn at Christmas Place

 

Most of the lights we used are available for purchase at the store, or online at www.christmasplace.com.

The 27th annual Pigeon Forge Winterfest celebration starts with an official lighting ceremony in Patriot Park on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016.  The light displays placed throughout the city will be illuminated at dark; for those who haven’t been before, it’s a beautiful display of lighted Christmas characters lights lining the parkway.  The light show actually begins in Sevierville (lighting on Monday night) and continues all the way to Gatlinburg (lighting on Wednesday night), a wonderful driving trip to make on an early winter’s evening – with a big thermos of hot chocolate to fuel the journey, of course.  The lights will remain on through February 28th, 2017, so you have lots of time to plan a visit to the area.

First comes fall, then comes Winterfest .. and finally it will be time for Christmas!  It’s only 96 days away – that’s 13 Saturdays to go.  Yippee!

Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

5 Steps for Safely Storing Your Artificial Christmas Tree

Rudolph shows off a new, color-changing tree

Rudolph is showing you our new tree that can change from multicolored to all-white lights!

We know that most of you, like the elves here at Christmas Place, plan to keep your Christmas trees up all year round. ;)  For those of you out there who DO happen to take your trees down sometime after Christmas (we don’t judge!), here are 5 simple steps you can follow to keep your tree looking fresh and new every time you release it from confinement display and decorate it for the enjoyment of all who enter your home.

Artificial Christmas trees are durable by design, and depending on the model you choose, can be quite an investment.  Taking the time to properly store away your tree each year will help to retain its original shape, style, and luster, and achieve the long life you expect from your Christmas tree.

After you have removed all the decorations, but before you unplug the lights, follow these 5 easy steps to ensure the maximum lifetime value of your tree.

General Hints:

  • A pair of lightweight gloves will save wear and tear on your hands.
  • Use brightly-colored tape or string to mark non-working lights for repair or replacement.
  • A Light Keeper Pro gun will be a help with non-working bulbs.
  • Strong twine or cloth-covered bungee cords (non-rubber) will help save storage space.

1.  Replace Broken or Burned-Out Bulbs

How long?  About 15-20 minutes for a 7.5′ foot Christmas tree.

What?  The goal is to identify and replace any burned-out bulbs.  Turn on the tree lights.  Starting at the top, trace the light strand and make sure each bulb is functioning.  If you find a non-working bulb, replace it bulb.  If you run out of replacement bulbs, mark the non-working bulb with brightly color string or tape for replacement when you get more bulbs.

A handy tool to try before replacing bulbs or light strands is the Light Keeper Pro.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to see if you can re-boot or repair any non-working bulbs or strands before you start replacing them on the tree.  This could save you a lot of time and money.

Why?  It is important to the life of your light strands to quickly locate and repair/replace bulbs which are not working. The more bulbs not working on a light strand, the more electricity the working bulbs will consume and output.  For example, if you have a 50 light set, each bulb consumes 1/50th of the electricity in the string.  If 10 bulbs are not working, the 40 bulbs which are working are forced to take 20% more electricity.  If this continues for a long period of time, the light strand may be permanently damaged.  The lights will stop working, and the individual bulbs may take on a brown tinge from over-use.  This type of damage is not typically covered under a tree warranty.

2.  Un-Fluff Your Tree

How Long?  About 10-15 minutes for a 7.5′ Christmas tree.

What?  Some of today’s modern tree manufacturing styles do not require compression.  For those that do, the manufacturer’s information should include “fluffing” instructions, and if the tree must be fluffed for display, then it can be “un-fluffed.”  The goal is to compress the branches of the tree in an orderly fashion to preserve the lights, needles and branches.  Starting at the outer-most, top branch layer of the tree, carefully fold the smallest branches in and up towards each other and the central trunk.  Work your way around the top layer, moving down through each row of branches in similar fashion, one section at a time, until the entire tree is compressed.

Why?  Trying to put the tree back into its storage box or bag without un-fluffing or compressing the tree will be almost impossible.  Folding the individual branches and layers into the trunk compresses the tree much more efficiently, allowing a better fit into a smaller space; and the needles, branches, and lights are much less likely to be damaged while in transit and storage.

3.  Disassemble Your Tree

How Long?  About 10-15 minutes for a 7.5′ Christmas tree.

What?  Starting from the top, remove each section of the tree, one at a time.  As you work, gently continue to press the branches toward the center trunk.  Lay each section aside, waiting to box/bag the sections until all are separated.  Remove the tree stand from the last section, and carefully secure all its parts together for next use!

It’s a good idea to wrap the sections with twine or bungee cord as you go, both to further compress the tree and to preserve the branches from any extra stress during handling.  Take care not to bind the sections too tightly, however.

Caution:  Make sure that, as you fold up any hinged branches, light bulbs or wires do not get caught or pinched in the hinges.  If any branches do not easily fold up, go over them manually to safely move away any parts that may be interfering with the hinge mechanism.

4.  Place Your Tree in a Bag and/or Box

Place the tree in a box or Christmas tree storage bag for off-season storage.  Should you keep your tree in the original box or in a storage bag?  The best answer is…both!  Place your tree in a storage bag, then put the bag in the original tree box.  The tree box is generally easy to identify and transport to storage, while the tree bag inside will provide additional protection against humidity, dust, and temperature fluctuations.

How Long?  About 10-15 minutes for a 7.5′ Christmas tree.

What?  Place the bottom tree section into the bag first.  Position this section so the sharp end of the trunk, if it has one, is in the middle of the bag, and the non-pointed end is at one end of the bag.  Position the middle section so that the widest part of the section is at the other end of the bag.  Position all other sections and the tree stand in the middle of the bag, evenly distributing the volume and weight as much as possible.

5.  Storing Your Tree

Safe storage depends to varying degrees on the style of tree.  A typical green artificial tree will not be affected by average swings in temperature or humidity levels, though extremes should always be avoided.  Temperatures between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit are generally considered safe for most average trees.  Low humidity is always best, too.  If your tree has extra embellishments such as cones or berries, be sure to give attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines for temperature and humidity.

Frosted, flocked or white Christmas trees are particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures and humidity.  These types of trees quickly discolor in hot and humid storage conditions.  Give extra thought and care when handling such trees; they will survive best and give you the longest life when stored in a controlled environment.

Secure your tree from potential animal intrusions – birds and rodents love to make their homes in artificial Christmas trees.

We know you want to protect the investment you have made in the Christmas tree that is the focal point of your holiday decorating and celebrations.  Following these 5 steps for securing and storing your artificial tree between uses will give your tree the best chance for a long and beautiful life.  We hope you’ll be making cherished memories to share at Christmas and throughout the year – for many years to come!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  Our decorators have already selected the tree themes we’ll be displaying for Christmas 2015, and we can’t wait to show them to you as the decorations start to come in next year!  Stay tuned for more pictures and information!

Nightlights Light Up More Than Just The Night!

Here at Christmas Place, nightlights light up – Christmas trees, of course!  Can you spot them in this picture?

It’s rather amazing that our decorators were able to make the lighted figurines work in this slim-line, flocked tree.  The addition of multi-colored lights adds to the fun in this whimsical tree.

Here’s Rudolph:

And here’s Snoopy:

Now look again – you’ll easily spot these two bubble lights in the tree.  A good shake in the morning will keep the bubbles going for hours.

We just started a nightlight sale – buy 2, get a third for free.  In addition to offering safer night-time trips to the fridge, they make great gifts, and some folks even like to keep a bit of that holiday light working year round.  They come in plenty of sizes and styles.  Best of all, a really neat feature I just discovered last week, on most of our nightlights the plug prongs will rotate – to fit outlets that are oriented either horizontally or vertically!

Enjoy the glow!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

It’s a Vintage Christmas!

Somebody knows how to hook me for Christmas – I love vintage styles, especially with bits of tinsel and glitter.  We just received a whole new collection of vintage ornaments and decorations .. be still, my beating Christmas heart!

Snowman Bubble Light

There are a few other ornaments that I haven’t yet photographed – I love the style and detail on display in each piece.  The collection includes some charming accessories as well – fuzzy red string for garland or tying packages, mini vintage glass ornaments, crystal snowflakes, and there may be more to come.

Do you have a favorite era for Christmas decorations?  I remember the silver tinsel tree (with color wheel, of course) from my childhood in a part of the world where the typical North American Christmas tree is not available – that’s probably when I acquired my love of things sparkly.  We used our oversized cardboard toy bricks to build a fireplace every December, hanging stockings from it and keeping the air conditioner on maximum cold to survive the heat of the tropics.  My father would make me leave my glasses on the nightstand when I insisted he take me to the kitchen for a drink of water in the middle of Christmas Eve night – no glasses meant I couldn’t see the treasures laid out for us for the morning!

I hope you have good memories of childhood Christmas celebrations – and are looking forward to making some new ones this December.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  It’s less than 200 days to Christmas – are you thinking about it while you’re splashing in the pool this summer? We’re celebrating Christmas in June at the Smokies baseball game next Tuesday, June 25 – exactly 6 months til Christmas, so come and see Santa and Mrs. Claus at the game.  Santa likes to sing for the fans!

2012 Trees – Snowy Woodland Bear Tree

I love making up my own names for the trees in the store.  Here’s a 12′ tree, flocked and filled with woodland kinds of ornaments, black bears, and beautiful red accents.  It starts with two almost-life-sized bears, dressed to keep warm for the winter.  I couldn’t stop taking pictures of this one, so forgive me if I’m repetetive here – I have {mad love} for the decor on this tree!  You’ll find many of the items on this tree in our Woodland Theme collection, and you might want to mix in some Cabin Theme, too (We have put together 132 themes on our website this year.)

 

Smoky Bear on skis!

 

I love those red-red-red pine cones!  They have just a touch of glitter, and look great with a little snow on top.

 

 As always, you should be able to click twice on the pictures to see them full sized (not a double click, but click again on the next screen) – I like to make them as large as possible, so you can see more of the details.

 What theme are you working on this year?  I have more to show you!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Don’t forget our two artist signings this weekend (November 17th & 18th, 2012) – Mario Tare, the Christopher Radko Company designer on Saturday from noon until 2 p.m.; and R.J. McDonald with his Santa pictures on both Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Come and see all the new lights we’ve added to our courtyard & buildings this year – it’s quite beautiful!

Have you put up your Christmas lights yet?

On the road I travel each day, there is a house that has been displaying Christmas lights since early October.  I say, two thumbs up!  It’s such a pick-me-up to enjoy those colorful lights on a night when I’ve been at the office later than planned…

Well, we’ve done the same here at Christmas Place – this has been a week of lighting up the courtyard for Christmas!  I don’t have any after-dark photos yet, but here are some just-at-dusk pictures I caught yesterday.

Look at this handsome rig we have added below the clock.

Santa & Reindeer all a-glow!

You’ll also see some new elf friends alongside our reindeer.

I'm not sure he's feeling all that merry today, what do you think?

 Now check out our lights.  Okay, you may have to squint a little for this picture – the wreaths & the garland are lighted, as well as all the rooflines.

I mean, don’t we all have our own cherry-pickers so we can light up the house and yard??  Hope you come down to see our lights, as well as the Winterfest lights that are on display all the way from Sevierville through Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. May I share one more photo?  I had the priviledge of attending a Salute to Veterans luncheon at the Dixie Stampede today, and was even seated next to the guest of honor, Sgt. Ed Douglas from just up the road in Morristown.  His battalion cleared 2,500 miles of roads in Afghanistan last year, without any loss of life, even though they were bombed many, many times.  (They also got to enjoy 8″ of snow for Thanksgiving, which we did not.)  This Sunday is Veterans Day, and we hope that you will thank a veteran when you have the opportunity.  Sgt. Douglas said that it is not a burden, but an honor to serve the U.S.  The burden is in being away from family and friends.  Thank you, Sgt. Douglas and all veterans!  (Dad, two uncles, my sister, two brothers-in-law, and many personal friends – and now children of my friends – thank you!)

Sgt. Ed Douglas

Around here…

A few things that have caught my eye around the store….white Christmas trees hanging on the ceiling:

Tartan plaid & velvet poinsettias:

Velvet poinsettias with mesh petals, sequins & beads:

Glittering green leaves:

Hmmm….everything involves rather a lot of sparkle.  Go figure.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Our personalized ornament sale started this weekend – buy 3, get a 4th for free – online or in the store!

Have a Gumdrop Christmas!

Here’s one of our favorite and most colorful trees at Christmas Place – the Gumdrop Tree!  Candy colors and whimsical elves on a heavily flocked tree cook up a delicious Christmas theme that will tickle the fancy – and the taste buds – of all your holiday hordes.  You may have to post some “No Snacking” signs around this one.  Find all the elements of inspiration for this theme when you click here.

Gumdrop Christmas Tree

 What is this naughty elf digging for in the tree?  A bigger cupcake than the one right by his hand??

He’s found the best lollipop – it will take him all of December to finish this one!  Notice that the tree itself is actually secured to and standing on top of a small white wrought iron table, matching this accessory chair – leaving plenty of room for piling presents all around.

Candy ropes and ribbon candies, grosgrain and satin ribbon, iced cookies, cup cakes, ice cream cones, snowflakes, butterflies, silk flowers and snow-flocked branches, hard candy garland and giant sugar-coated gumdrops – this jaunty elf is at home in the midst of it all.  (Santa clearly offers a really good dental plan.)

Look at this sweet little house perched high in the branches of the tree.

Is this the Gumdrop King?!

 

 Found it!  Found the best one of all!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Details are starting to come in for our artist signings for the fall.  Watch the calendar for updates on who is coming this year.