Elves Behind the Scenes: Picnic Time!

If you’ve been to the store or the hotel, you surely know how hard the elves work every day to make everything special for you.  Each August, our “owners & outlaws” (as we call them) host the elves at a pre-season kick-off picnic – it’s one of our favorite days – after Christmas, of course.  Our Elf on the Shelf, Chrissy, sent out the invitations a few weeks ago.

What other tent color would Santa have but red and white?

The food was a special treat – Chef Manolo Diaz flew in from Puerto Rico to cook for us – and who else but a chef would fly in with a GIANORMOUS paella pan – big enough to feed everyone at the North Pole.  Finally, we can answer that nagging question that so often wakes you up in the middle of the night.  Just how big a pan do I need to cook a meal for 200 elves all at one time?

THIS BIG!

How many airplane seats do you suppose that thing took??

Also hiding underneath all the *shiny* foil (you know I love shiny!) was tender, garlic-marinated pork.

Even the most responsible elf sometimes can’t resist a quick sampling before dinner gets to the table….

It’s the owners and outlaws turn to serve the elves, and we get to thank them for all they do for us throughout the year.

Chrissy loved the red peppers and green olives in the Christmas – make that chicken – paella.

Now here’s how you really dig in, elf-style!  Go for it!

Ho, hum. No milk bone treats for me? Sorry, Latina, hopefully we’ll remember next year.

Can’t have pork and paella without brownies. BIG brownies. PLENTY of BIG brownies.

Because, BROWNIES.  (Oh, Chrissy.)

Chrissy encouraged the elves to share a little instant praise with each other, too, for the great teamwork that keeps us all on the mark each day.

It’s a great time for the elves from both sides of the parkway to relax together and enjoy conversation over a good meal.

More dessert, Chrissy? Can we teach you about the elf way of sharing, dear?

Now it’s time to get down to the good stuff – to finish decorating all our Christmas trees, throw a bunch of new lights up on the roof, fill the racks with new ornaments and gifts and goodies, and keep singing loud for all to hear – so you’ll all join in the Christmas cheer! We’re sure looking forward to seeing you at the store between now and Christmas.

~Janet @ Christmas Place

P.S. If a trip to Tennessee is not in your stocking, just join us at www.christmasplace.com – we’ll be adding new goodies every day until Christmas.

What have we been up to?

Lots of good things!  I thought I’d better share some of our current events and promotions with our blog readers ~ I know you want to keep up with store and hotel activities – and especially the sales.

It’s a big courtyard tent sale this weekend at Christmas Place – the tent will be filled with the best markdowns, and there are sales going on inside the stores, too!

If you prefer shopping from home, our Web Team has joined in with some terrific reductions on favorite items – plus, be sure to check out Department 56’s new “The Simpsons” houses and figurines – they are pretty crazy!

Our closeout on retired Vera Bradley bags and patterns continues – we can’t picture them on our website, but you can call us with the style and pattern and we’ll arrangement shipment, if we have the bag in stock.

Continuing for about another week, our pre-season Christmas tree sale is still on – don’t let this one get past you, if you need a new tree this year.

Hotel guests, we released our Christmas in July activities schedule today!  When are you coming??  (Click on the calendar image two times to see it full size, if you can’t quite read the details.)

That’s it for this week…more to come soon.

Have a great Memorial Day, everyone!  We’re looking forward to a sunny weekend, highs in the 70s, beautiful East Tennessee days perfect for shopping, enjoying the attractions around town, or having a picnic in the park.  However you choose to fill your holidays, we hope you’ll be creating unforgettable memories with family and friends.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Christmas In July!

It’s Christmas In July all over the place – including Monday night at the Tennessee Smokies baseball  game, where Santa & Mrs. Claus were invited to come out to the game and help the Smokies fans celebrate!

The Singing Santa & Mrs. Claus

 After a late afternoon storm blew through, the temperature dropped, the Smokies staff squeegeed the field, and The Singing Santa entertained the crowd before game time with a sentimental performance of “Tender Tennessee Christmas” – what else??  Later, he sang the National Anthem to start the game – fantastic as always.

 

Lots of young people stopped by to meet and talk with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and to show off their elf tatoos (check the backs of their hands).  Don’t you like Santa’s new summer shirt?  We think it’s pretty spiffy.

 

 

 

It's never too early to remind Santa how good you've been so far this year!

 
Here they sit, waiting for the gates to open – no doubt Santa is thinking about all the wonderful toys he’ll be bringing to girls and boys this year – and whether the elves are on schedule to have everything ready by Christmas Eve.
 

 

 Even the Smokies’ mascot, Slugger, wanted to get a photo with the Big Guy!

If you get a chance, take in a Smokies baseball game this summer – on Monday night, they beat the Southern League North’s leader, the Chattanooga Lookouts.  There’s a lot of fun to be had at the game, for a very affordable price.  And you never know, you just may spot Santa at the game…

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Check out our end-of-July special at The Inn at Christmas Place – there is still plenty of time to join our daily celebration at the hotel before the end of the month.  Ask for the “Christmas in July Special” that starts on July 15th.

P.P.S. Also, don’t forget to enter our Christmas In July Getaway Giveaway – for a Christmas vacation in July 2013!

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.)

Just in time for Christmas!

Gift cards!  Did we yet  tell you that you can now purchase gift cards from us on-line?  We offer them in denominations to fit every budget – click the image below to see all your choices.

When you’re not sure exactly what to get, a gift card is a great choice – as long as you wrap it very nicely, please!  With the selection and variety Christmas Place and Christmasplace.com have to offer, I’m sure there is someone on your list who would love to get creative with us.

AND – you can also buy gift cards for a visit to our hotel – the ultimate gift for a really special holiday – or get-away any time of the year.  Learn all about us here.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Merry Christmas!

We had the joy of waking up to what I will call an incoming white Christmas this year – snow began falling at about 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and continued through the weekend – some of our associates report up to 15″ at their homes this Monday morning!  Here are a couple of pictures from our courtyard and looking across the parkway to the hotel.  We haven’t enjoyed this much snow in quite a while, and we’re all kids again today here at Christmas Place!

Hurray for the glimpses of blue sky!

Nothing is prettier than snow on evergreens!

One frosty slide ride today!

Did you get enough of “A Christmas Story”, wrapping & bows, leftovers, and smiles and hugs and laughter this Christmas??  Tell us about it! 

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Think Cool Thoughts

It’s the first week of August, and we’re hitting temperatures in the 90s for the first time since June.  Sounds to me like the right time to come inside where the air is cool and images of winter (snow, frost, ice, all forms of solid H2O) surround you.  If you’re too far to come to the store today, spend a few cooling moments in three Mark Roberts’ winter fairy-lands.

Jack Frost Fairy

Jack Frost Fairy Collection

Froster Elf

Froster Elf

Winter Wonderland Fairy

Winter Wonderland Fairy

Are you feeling the chill now?  Time for a snow cone!  Mark is visiting Christmas Place for the second time, on Saturday, November 7th.  We can’t wait to welcome him back to the store – maybe he’ll stay at The Inn with us, too.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Christmas at Smokies Baseball

Just a few pictures of the fun we had at the Tennessee Smokies baseball game last night ~ since the team lost, I think we had a little more fun than they did…but it was a marvelous night for a ballgame.  The staff of the Smokies are a delight to work with – and the fact that they really enjoy bringing baseball to East Tennessee shows in their service style.  The stadium is situated high above the highway, convenient but with a good view of the mountains, and I hear the fireworks are spectacular on Friday nights.

Our beautiful Christmas Place & Inn at Christmas Place banner

Our beautiful Christmas Place & Inn at Christmas Place banner

Christmas wreaths adorning the entrance gates

Christmas wreaths adorning the entrance gates

Letters to Santa Mailbox

Letters to Santa Mailbox

(Yes, we do read all the letters – several people at the park mentioned that they love the name Bob.  Hmmm.  Not sure what Santa is expected to do with that.)

Pre-game interviews with Santa and elf Dwight

Pre-game interview with Santa and elf Dwight from The Inn Santa throws out the first pitch

There's always a line to see Santa!

There's always a line to see Santa!

Santa gives autographs

Santa gives autographs

Santa enjoys a Christmas cookie on the big screen

Santa enjoys a Christmas cookie on the big screen

Armchair Viewing

Armchair Viewing

Two lucky winners enjoy watching the game from a pair of lounge chairs!  This pair won a couple of Singing Santa Cds and a batch of homemade Christmas cookies from Mrs. Claus’ Candy Kitchen.

In addition to the decorations we provided at the stadium, the field games were all Christmas contests, like a wreath toss and a wrap-a-package race.  Winners received fudge from our kitchen, a gift card to the store, and a stuffed teddy bear.   The grand prize winner will get to experience a stay at The Inn at Christmas Place, including a night on our Sleep In Heavenly Peace mattresses and pillows and a hot breakfast in the morning.

One of our team, Cody Myers, also got to throw a pitch at the game, but it happened so fast I didn’t get to focus – he’s got a lightening arm, I tell you, too fast for my camera.  Congrats on a great job, Cody!

I’m just saying, that Chicken Man is the stuff of nightmares – shudder.  I would not chase that thing around the field, no way, no how.  Well, maybe in a really big car.  With one of those big cattle guards mounted to the front.  (Why do SUVs in East Tennessee bolt on cattle guards, when it’s clear they are nowhere near any herds of water buffalo, rampaging or otherwise?)  No offense, but men should be men and chicken should be chicken (preferably boneless and skinless), and let’s leave it the way nature did it first.

Hey, sure hope you can join us the next time we do Christmas In July – at the Smokies, or at The Inn, or anywhere else.  It’s a fun thing to do in the middle of summer!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Dolly Parade this Friday in Pigeon Forge

We just know the skies are going to clear in time for the Dolly Parade this Friday, May 8, when Santa will lead his sleigh and a team of reindeer along the parkway in celebration of Pigeon Forge and summertime.  Come on out and share a Merry Christmas greeting with Santa and his elf escorts from Christmas Place and The Inn at Christmas Place.  It’s the ~ second ~ most wonderful time of the year.

2008 Christmas Place Santa Float

2008 Christmas Place Santa Float

There’s nothing quite like the joy and delight on the faces of children ~ and adults ~ when Santa waves to the crowd!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Singing Santa

Have I ever told you about our Singing Santa?  I know I have mentioned him before, but I don’t think I’ve even shared a photograph! 

Singing Santa is a Grammy-award-winning artist who sings and plays guitar, and has performed with several national country and gospel groups and in theatres.  He has been entertaining kids and adults both at the store and at The Inn for the past eleven years.  Santa has recorded several CDs of Christmas, sacred, and patriotic music.  From Memorial Day through Christmas, he entertains store patrons with concerts five days a week, and greets and performs for Inn guests as well.  He is appearing every weekend at the hotel now – there has been no long winter’s nap for our Santa! 

A generation of children is growing up with our Singing Santa as their go-to guy for Christmas.  Santa enjoys hearing children’s wishes here at the store, and posing for photographs with children, adults, families, family pets – you name it, he’s happy to be in the picture!  His beard is real, as is his round little belly.

On Tuesday, we filmed a concert at the Inn, and we’ll soon be sharing the footage with our readers.  Here’s a still image from the show.

santa-concert-021709

Singing Santa in concert at The Inn at Christmas Place

We invited our Christmas Place employees to bring their children to this special concert, and I think the parents shot as much footage as I did.  To protect the innocent parents, we will not be identifying the children in any scenes…  They always have a great time with Santa, and enjoy helping him sing Jingle Bells.  One little girl stood right beside Santa with her hand lightly resting on his knee for the rest of the show that night.  Santa is assisted by his elf, Buttons.

Santa monkeys around!

Santa monkey-s around!

NO, this is not one of the kids from the concert!

Be watching for the video – I don’t think you can hear my vocal accompaniment on the tape – I really hope not!

If you haven’t yet met Singing Santa, we hope you’ll come by the store later this year and take in a concert and have your picture made with him.  He has a beautiful voice, and a winning way with children and adults ~ he is a living embodiment of the spirit of Christmas.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place