Around here ..

There’s some Christmas stuff happening .. and we’re having fun with it!

First up, a new Smoky Mountain mural is being painted in the breezeway, and we can’t wait to see the completed work.

Our artist, Andrea, also painted the ceiling surrounding Santa & his sleigh in the main store – so you know it’s really going to be special.

These car magnets are so cute!  What a fun way to share your love of the holidays with everyone on the road while trying to avoid those unfortunate parking space wars at the mall.  If a cheerful “Peace, Love, & Peppermint” doesn’t win you the right-of-way, maybe you need to “Raise Cane”.  I have mad love for the googly-eyed Rudolph, myself.

Now let’s really get personal.  It’s your year to celebrate the holidays at even your most private moments of the day.  Yes, we really mean it.  Even in the throne room, you can rejoice in the spirit of Christmas with .. Toilet Tattoos!  As the label says, this is “the only way to crown your throne.”  And you can buy these through our website – check out the selection of toilet seat decals. (Their pictures are a lot better than mine.)

But wait, you don’t think the Throne Room Celebration stops there, do you?  Au contraire, mes amis, it does not.  Coming soon to a room near you .. holiday toilet paper.  How festive!  How cheerful!  How unforgettable!  How convenient in case you run out of wrapping paper in the middle of the night!

But seriously, your open house guests will not soon forget the absolute commitment which you have demonstrated in making yours the most festive house on the holiday circuit this year.  Frolicking reindeer, Merry Christmas greetings – even Santa’s tush would appreciate a few spare squares of this holiday treat.  (Coming soon to our website.)  And remember, you don’t have to spend quite as much time pre-party cleaning if you slightly unscrew the light bulb and light a few candles instead.  Just a little tip from me to you.

Just a little fun for a hot holiday afternoon – in celebration of Christmas in July!  If you’re in town, bring the kids down for some fun – every Thursday through Sunday in July, we’ll have an inflated bounce slide for the kids to ride, an airplane game with free prizes, and t-shirt painting.  We’ve got a sidewalk toy sale going on, so you can get a little jump on Christmas shopping already.  Uncle Sam is visiting the store through this weekend, too.

Happy 4th of July to everyone from the elves at Christmas Place!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Don’t forget to enter our Christmas In July Getaway Giveaway – the prize package (for July 2013) is valued at $1,200 – 3 nights at the hotel for up to 4 people, dining at the restaurant, and shopping cards both for our website and while you’re in the store – and a whole lot more.  You can increase your chances of winning by entering once a day through July 31st, or come to one of our businesses and fill out an entry form.

Valentine Beauty

About 2 weeks ago, our floral designer Dori showed me this beautiful custom wreath she created for a guest for Valentines.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  White willow wreath decorated with velvet magnolias and heart ornaments, ribbon, and greenery.  What an elegant decoration for a home or business. 

If you’d like to give it a go yourself, we have the ornaments, flowers, wreath, & ribbons on our site:

All you need to add is the hot glue, hard work, and creativity!  Or, you could call Dori.  I think I’d call Dori.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Would you like to share a gourmet goody basket with your sweetie for Valentines?  The Inn at Christmas Place will have 2 baskets available for cash & carry after February 7th.  Here’s a picture of the larger basket:

The baskets will be filled with a variety of chocolates and treats, such as red raspberry hearts, chocolate covered pretzels, cheese straws, shortbread, heart-shaped truffles, and more, packaged in a red basket and tied up with beautiful Valentines bows.  Small – $40.00; large (pictured) – $60.00.  Just stop at the front desk of the hotel to pick up your basket – and remember to add a card .. and remember to sign the card ..

(We use nut-free products in our baskets.)

Our Paris Wreath

Let me show you one special wreath .. Prissy, one of our floral design team, created this custom wreath for a special benefit auction.  The theme of the event is “An Evening in Paris.” 

My own sister happened to be in Paris just before we had to present this wreath, so she brought back a small Eiffel Tower for Prissy to incorporate into her design.  Prissy did a fabulous job of showcasing the figurine on a red glass ornament in the center of the wreath, along with highlighting the fleur-de-lis form and using that wonderful black velvet and gold sequins harlequin-patterned ribbon.  Someone is going to have a gorgeous Christmas decoration in their home or office this year!

This is just one example of the creativity and beauty our design team displays with each arrangement they make – and they love custom work!  If you need something unique that will really be the highlight of your holidays, come by the store and let our floral team design a wreath, swag, centerpiece, or candle arrangement for you.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. On Saturdays at 1:00 pm, they are hosting demonstrations of how to design your own mesh box arrangement – good stuff to know!

Bow-Tying ~ You can do it, too!

We’re having bow-tying classes on Saturdays at 2 p.m., and sometimes on Fridays .. like today!  The great thing is, all ribbon in the store is 50% off on demonstration days.  Almost all of the ribbon we carry, in hundreds of colors and styles, is wired, making it even easier to work with.

So, pick out two bolts of ribbon that make you happy together – don’t cut off a length, just work from the bolt.  Both of these make me happy because they are so sparkly and glittery!

Then there is some complicated and tricky looping and pleating and scrunching .. I hope I’m not too technical for you here.  {I’m kidding!}  Our experts can teach anyone these simple techniques.

First Loop

Scrunch Tight


Add a chenille pipe cleaner and twist tight.

Twist - Twist - Twist!

With a little direction from our floral team, Ta-Da!  It’s a beautiful bow!

A Beautiful Creation

We attached our sample bow to one of our ever-popular mesh boxes – which look particularly spectacular when you fill the box with a strand of rice lights for a soft glow.

Our Floral pros Prissy, Betsy, Dori & Ginger are always happy to demonstrate a technique or help with floral and ribbon recommendations.

Today and tomorrow, all ribbon bolts in the store are 50% off.  We’re also running a weekday & Sunday special – buy two bolts, receive a third bolt free (of lesser or equal value).  We have so many to choose from, you’ll have a hard time deciding on your favorties!  Come on down to the store, or shop on-line for the best ribbon deals.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Take advantage of our sale and start planning your 2011 Christmas color scheme!


Vera Bradley Bag Giveaway!

In celebration of spring, or summer, or new Vera Bradley, or maybe just Thursday ~ we’ve got a sweepstakes going on!  Click here for the entry form, and enter once a day through April 29th.  We’ll select the winner of our free bag on Friday, April 30th.  The Saddle Up bag in Poppy Fields is a wonderful, bright choice for spring and summer!

We’ve got lots of new Vera bags and gifts in stock at Christmas Place.  Take a look at this sophisticated turquoise, tan, and black line – you can mix and match bags and accessories and ramp up your chic quotient.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (May 9th!), how about a beautiful floral apron packed in an equally beautiful recipe box for your favorite chef ~ or take-out order-er??  The new apron is wonderfully styled for comfort and functionality in the kitchen.

Are you headed to the beach or the pool this summer?  A mesh tote could be just the thing by the water, and these are extra-cute with their flower-power tags!  (We’ve stuffed them with tissue paper for display.)  The paisley bags on the left are colorful enough to go with just about any outfit.

Don’t forget to visit our Vera Bradley page and snag the 10% off promo code before you call to place your order – take advantage of the savings!

Hoping you’re having a colorful Friday Eve!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Spring is Bustin’ Out All Over!

Okay, my apologies to Rogers & Hammerstein, but I really want to rewrite that Carousel lyric!  Things don’t wait until June around here to start bustin’ out ~ try to stop a wildflower from blooming when the temperatures approach 80 degrees.  While we don’t have any wildflowers on property, we do have lots of these lovely trees …

… and a few happy pansies …

… and over in The Boutique, where staff is busy stocking up on spring Hatley apparel and a couple of new jewelry lines, we’ve also received the Vera Bradley spring colors …

I’m holding on until early May, when the color I want (Make Me Blush) is scheduled to be delivered in the style I want (Cha Cha Handbag).

I always try to keep up with what’s going on around the county, too.  Here’s a great calendar to bookmark for Pigeon Forge and Sevier County events.  Springfest starts today ~ and we’ll be bringing Santa to the Dolly parade as always.  Wildflower walks, trout fishing, classic car shows, and lots and lots of music – it’s great to be in East Tennessee as winter becomes a memory.  (I will say, though, that there is still plenty of white stuff visible on the far mountain peaks.  At least it’s there today.  I’ll check again tomorrow.)

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Calling All Department 56 Collectors!

It’s new 2010 collectibles release time for both Villages and Snowbabies from Department 56!  Although they won’t ship the merchandise to us until early summer, we’ve seen pictures, and there are a lot of great new buildings, accessories, and Snowbabies figurines on the way.

We have a special offer for Christmas Place customers – pre-order your 2010 pieces now, and we’ll include a free gift with your qualifying purchase.  In addition, we won’t bill your credit card until the merchandise is ready to ship from our store!

With a $100 Village order of 2010 items, we’ll include a bag of Fresh Fallen Snow, a 3-socket replacement, and a 3-pack of replacement bulbs.  With a $50 Snowbabies order of 2010 items, we’ll ship a 13″ pine tree in a gold urn and the newest copy of the Discovering Snowbabies collector’s handbook.  These free gifts are only available while quantities last, so get your order in today.

We’re also offering free freight on all orders over $100, another Christmas Place perk of which you’ll want to take advantage.

Here are a couple of highlights from among the new releases.  Check out “SVPD Precinct 76″ police station, keeping the peace in Original Snow Village style.

From the Winters Frost collection that was introduced last year, “Winter’s Light” features a rotating beacon light in the top of the lighthouse tower.


“Better Watch Out” Coal Mine in the North Pole Series ~ almost buried under an avalanche of snow!

Snowbabies offers about 40 new figurines, ornaments, and water globes this year, including “Trust Me – Wear This”, as Snowbaby helps a snowman attach his carrot nose.

Nativity collectors will appreciate the charm of the “Babies in Bethlehem” tableau.

New for 2010, Department 56 is introducing a porcelain village collection titled “A Place to Remember.”  The intricately detailed and painted buildings range in size from just under 4″ to as much as 11″ wide side-to-side, but are only about an inch thick, and mounted to bases that are between 2″ and 3″ deep – perfect for display on a narrow shelf, mantle, or ledge.  There are three series in the introduction:  An Evening in Paris, The Hills of Tuscany, and Carmel by the Sea.  Below is the large An Evening in Paris piece, and it measures 9.5″ wide by 8.5″ tall (all three buildings are in one piece).

 Snowbabies collectors will be interested to know that Department 56 has upgraded the product packaging this year to match that of Villages, with a printed sleeve wrap featuring a photo of the figurine inside.  The photos have been enhanced to highlight the building or figurine, making it stand out from the surrounding graphics.  You’ll easily be able to sort your stored pieces, and keep your collection up to date.

 Follow the links, and place your pre-order today.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

The Wisdom of Dove chocolates

I guess I’m a nerd.  I seem to be the only person I know who reads the messages on Dove® chocolates.  You really should take a look  next time you are “indulging yourself in an unforgettable Dove® chocolate experience” ~ they are little nuggets of encouragement and positivity.

Here are some messages I received from the few chocolates that, tragically, did not fit into the bottle of goodies I recently mailed to the favorite niece.  Did you know that the post office will mail a plastic water bottle filled with chocolates or just about anything non-hazardous, as long as they can stick a stamp on it?  But I digress…back to the wisdom of Dove®.

Believe the best in yourself.

Kick a bad habit today.

Think of someone who makes you smile.

Life is all about making memories.

Make someone feel good.

In chaos there lies opportunity.

Learn to say hello in another language.

Find little ways to make everyday a holiday.

See, aren’t those worth reading?    A chocolate that is uplifting both to the palate and the mind…more reasons to love the Dove®.

If I’ve inspired you to run out and buy a bag of chocolates, it is only right that I also suggest the dish in which to place them~


Star Plate Set

We use these dishes in our rooms at The Inn at Christmas Place, to hold bath soaps and wash clothes, but I’m picturing them piled high with caramel Dove squares.

Am I not brave, to have spent an hour this morning writing about chocolates and I don’t even have any to sample here at my desk!  Thank goodness it’s time for lunch now.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Last Two Weeks for 20% Off!

Just want to remind everyone that there are only two weeks remaining in our on-line sale ~ 20% off almost everything!

Plenty of people have been shopping early and getting some great deals on Christmas ornaments, trees, and all kinds of decorations.  My guess is that they are buying things now to pack up along with last year’s things, instead of having to find a place to store new stuff and remember where it is next December.  That’s what I’ve been doing, anyway.  That is, assuming I do get around to putting my stuff away.  Some of the bits and bobs that I’ve picked up this year I want to keep out year round!

Also, for our Department 56 collectors, we have just introduced free shipping on all orders over $100!  That’s a wonderful savings, especially if you’re buying a house or two and the accompanying accessories.  The 2009 new releases are up on our site for pre-ordering (the inventory doesn’t come in until late spring or early summer).

This is your chance to enjoy saving money on next Christmas!

Life is good – it’s a gorgeous, sunny day, a tad chilly, but something to celebrate nonetheless!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

The Christmas Nail

This year, I learned about the unique tradition of the Christmas Nail.

The Christmas Nail

The Christmas Nail

The Christmas Nail is a special ornament that is hung on the Christmas tree either by the head of the household or by the family together.  It is hung near the trunk, on a sturdy branch, and in a location that is not visible to casual guests who stop by to admire a beautiful tree.  It is hung with the thought that the Christmas tree foreshadows the Christ-tree, which only He could decorate for us, ornamented with nails like this.  It reminds us that, from birth, Christ’s mission was to die for sinners.  The nail hangs from a red ribbon, signifying His blood that flowed to save mankind.

It is a gentle reminder of the reason many of us celebrate at Christmas, and of the birth of the Savior.

Life is good!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place