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!

Santa’s On T.V.!

Coming Monday, January 9th, 7 PM, to your very own living room (or possibly your mobile viewing device of choice)!  Find the RFD Network (Charter Cable chanel 147, Dish Network channel 231) and the Shotgun Red Variety Show from Nashville, Tennessee.  Enjoy The Singing Santa’s guest appearance on the show.

Several months ago, Santa spent a day in Nashville, taping his segment for the show, and we’ve been waiting anxiously for the air date.  Christmas Place is happy to bring The Singing Santa to all our guests in the store and at the hotel, and now to your television!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Book Signing this Weekend!

Children’s author Timothy Penland, with 11 published titles, visits Christmas Place this Saturday, December 17th, to sign his book “The True Night Before Christmas.”

He wrote his poem in 1999, and dedicated it to his first granddaughter on the occasion of her first Christmas.  Several years later, that granddaughter, then nine-year-old Savannah, drew illustrations for the story when Timothy decided to publish it.  It is a retelling in poem form of the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus.

Timothy has been writing children’s stories and curriculum for over 20 years, and has worked as a teacher, small business owner, and on the staff of several churches in western North Carolina, where he lives with his family.

The signing will be in the store from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, and if you can’t be here, let us have one signed for you and ship it to you after the event – just order a copy online (click on the picture above) or call Guest Services.

We think this is a marvelous heirloom item to share with your children and grandchildren each Christmas, and pass down through the family.

Come this Saturday and meet the author – perhaps he’ll be persuaded to read the story for us while he is here!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. This weekend is also your last opportunity of the year to meet the fine art painter R.J. McDonald, and have him sign and personalize one of his famous Santa prints for you and your family!  He’ll be here from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Santa is here!

We’ve been getting lots of calls about Santa’s schedule before Christmas, so here’s the plan:

  • He is here Thursday, Sunday & Monday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • He is here Friday & Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • He is up north, tending to the workshop and the reindeer team on Tuesday & Wednesday.
  • Update:  On Christmas Eve, he’ll be here from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  As you know, it’s a busy night ahead for Santa!

We sure miss him when he takes is North Pole vacation every year!

Have you decided if you’re going with naughty or nice this year?  There may still be time to choose…

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Have you seen the Angel?

We’ve been blessed by visits from an angel this season, and I’d like to share some of her experiences with you, in her own words.

“October 24, 2011

-My first day as an angel…..Kristy, another employee and I are talking when I ‘feel’ someone staring at me. I turn and a lone woman sitting on a bench inside the store is watching me intently. I am drawn to her. “Excuse me,” I say to my companions and walk in her direction. 

Introducing myself, I ask if she’s been ‘touched by an angel recently.’ She takes my hand, almost gratefully, but seems to be having trouble speaking and has tears in her eyes. Another woman, her sister, appears and tells me that they have both just recently lost another beloved sister. They tell me that Christmas Place was the departed sister’s all-time favorite store to visit and that this third sister collected angels. They said that seeing me there was almost a sign, for them, that everything was all right….

I have a  Masters Degree in Educational Psychology and some experience in grief counseling but more importantly, I have the Holy Spirit.  I spoke quietly with the two women, who left smiling. I hope I helped….

 -One of my favorite things to do is talk to children. The littlest ones who might be somewhat afraid of Santa don’t seem to be afraid of me and many will eagerly approach me as they might a Disney princess. Some will break free of their parents to run and hug me. Some will stop dead in their tracks as they spot me. One little boy continued walking behind the adults but his eyes were glued to me. As the adults stopped, he failed to notice and ran into them. I suppressed a giggle and waved to him from my position on the landing.

Sometimes I’ll offer folks a fluffy, white feather and I’m often asked to pose for a picture with a child or children. At times, I’ll get down to their level and ask, wide-eyed, if they’re angels too. Some will absolutely assure me that they are indeed. Often a nearby parent will beg to differ.

I also enjoy the teens. The teen-age years are such a roller-coaster, often involving way more questions than answers. So many adopt a jaded and world-weary attitude at such a young age that I worry about them. But I have been able to ‘engage’ most, through humor, direct eye contact and of course, the miracle of Christmas itself. Christmas Place celebrates the joy of the season all year long and that spirit seems to permeate and penetrate even the most hardened souls.”

Have you seen our angel?  I don’t have a picture of her .. but I have more stories to tell.  Stay tuned!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

25 Days til Christmas – 25 Days of Giveaways!

We outta know – we’ve been counting down!  To celebrate, and to round off our 25th wonderful year of Christmas every day – we’re giving away $25 each day between now and Christmas to one lucky Sweepstakes winner!

We’re kicking off the celebration by giving away this fabulous pre-lit tree.  Click on the image to go right to the contest link.

Come back each day through December 5th to enter the tree drawing – we’re giving the tree away on Tuesday, December 6th, so we’ll have time to mail it to the winner in time for Christmas decorating.  Starting tomorrow (Friday), you can also enter to win our daily $25 on-line gift certificate – we’re determined to help make your Christmas a little bit jollier this year!

 ~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. And when are you going to start sharing pictures of your trees with us on Facebook?  I know some of you already have them up and decorated!

Elf of the Month

February 2011 – Melinda, our Stock Supervisor!  She conceived of a new way to look at inventory information and reorganized the warehouse to make order fulfillment even more efficient.  When we’re in the middle of a busy season, these improvements will make a huge difference to our operations.

Congratulations, Melinda!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. You’ll have to come by and get a look at some of the new stock we’re managing for 2011…

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

Dedication Day

It’s been a special day here at Christmas Place.  Early this morning, staff of Christmas Place, The Inn at Christmas Place, and The Partridge & Pear Restaurant gathered at our new fountain for a special dedication.

As you may know, we are a family-owned business.  In August this year, we suffered the very untimely death of our president, Keith Biggs.  Keith was a very creative and compassionate leader who daily shared with us his vision for the future of the company.  He encouraged every one of us to achieve our best, both for the company and personally.  We really miss Keith’s presence around here, but share wonderful memories of the too-short time he was with us.  More than just a boss, he was our friend. 

If you ever visited any of our properties, there is a very good chance you met Keith and he served you without your ever knowing he was our president.  Making the spirit of Christmas real for every guest was one of his passions.  To commemorate his role in our present success and his inspiration for our future growth as individuals and as a company, staff and his family decided to dedicate our new fountain courtyard to Keith’s memory.  The plaque is completed, and it will be mounted to a marble base with a permanent installation by the fountain.  We unveiled the plaque this morning, and want to share the message with you.

Keith lived every bit of that dash between his dates, and we feel blessed for having known him.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Merry Christmas to All!

The Incredible Christmas Place Family sends Christmas greetings out to all our guests, friends, and family members this Christmas eve!  We’ve had so much fun helping everyone prepare for The Big Day tomorrow, and we thank all those who have let us be a part of your celebration in some way ~ all year round.

In case you haven’t yet unearthed Clement C. Moore‘s famous poem, here’s a copy for you to share as you anticipate Santa’s arrival tonight.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
 
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
 
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
 
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave a luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
 
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
 
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
 
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.
 
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
 
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
 
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimple- how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
 
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
 
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
 
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
 
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Best wishes for a very Happy New Year, too!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place