Two for Tuesday

My two finds of the week from around the store.  Could you have more fun than sorting through everything at Christmas Place?  I really don’t think so!

Christmas Ornament

I love the ombré look of this mercury glass ornament – although our website photo brings out more blue color than I found in it on the sales floor.  [Item 272129]

Mercury Glass Ball Ornament

Northwoods Santa

If a woodland theme appeals to you for Christmas, this Santa should be part of your collection!  He’s clearly comfortable in the forest, warmly dressed for a winter in the back country.  [Item 261092]

Northwoods Santa

Have you started planning your 2016 Christmas – well, those of you who find the will time to take down your tree after the holidays, of course!?

Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

The Christmas Pickle Ornament

On the list of Christmas traditions, the Christmas pickle ornament is one of the more colorful ones.  First of all, because…pickle??  At least it’s in the green family!

Old World Christmas glass pickle ornament

Some say the pickle in the Christmas tree began in Germany, but ask a German and they’ll probably think you’re pickled.

Glass pickle ornament with face, Santa hat & scarf.

In the 1880s, Woolworth stores sold glass ornaments made in Germany in the shapes of fruits and vegetables.  It’s our theory that the pickle was not the most popular ornament in the collection, and so an enterprising and creative salesman invented the story of the hidden Christmas pickle to move his last remaining inventory.

Glass pickle ornament stored in a jar.

And so, today, we offer the Christmas pickle as a holiday tradition – hide a pickle ornament in your tree, and the first member of the household to find it is rewarded with a small present.  Anything for more presents, right?!  (Personally, I wouldn’t mind unwrapping a jar of bread-and-butter chips.)

Have a favorite Christmas tradition that just makes the holidays for you?  We’d like to know about it!  Tell us your story – family traditions enrich the holidays and create memories that traverse generations.  To this day, we’re all likely to find one present under the tree for each person with a tag reading “From Santa Clause.”  Nor would it be Christmas without Mom’s green pea, asparagus, and water chestnut casserole, and a heaping helping of jellied cucumber salad.

More Christmas traditions to come, in case you’re looking for something new this year.

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S.  Keep an eye on our events calendar – we are almost ready to start scheduling artist signings for this fall – a signed Christmas ornament or collectible is a great tradition to share with future generations.

Two for Tuesday (almost made it!)

Getting back into the swing of things, and sharing anything that particularly catches my eye! This week, two very different ornaments.

Adorable Hedgehog! I added a bunch of these to my décor for Christmas, and I’m loath to pack them away – there’s sooooo cute!  I think they’ll just be my winter décor buddies.

Hedgehog

Take a look at this unique, 2-D image ornament – I hope you’ll be able to see the effect on your screen – in your hand, you have the sensation of being able to walk into the snowy forest…well, if you can miniaturize yourself to about 2″ tall, of course.

3D-ornament

Is everything being packed up at your house, or are you keeping anything out year round just for the love and beauty of Christmas?

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Our buyers are out this week finding lots of lovely new Christmas for 2015 – can’t wait to see what they find!  We’ll be closed on Tuesday, January 13th, to take inventory – busy elf day at the workshop, you could say.  Stay warm out there!

It’s Rush Week!

Are you rushing or being rushed this week?  We’re talking to college kids who are interested in Greek organizations, not you fanatics (like us) who are starting to panic upon the realization that it is only 19 WEEKS TIL CHRISTMAS! (LIKE US!)  WHAT?!  Does the thought of it leave you feeling something like this…..

Just think about it tomorrow, Cleopatra!

Anyway, back to school .. from Coton Colors, we have a really cute collection of ornaments for Greek organizations – including selections with mascots and flowers as well as just Greek letters.  These 4″ glass ornaments are decorated with a coordinating grosgrain ribbon on each, and packaged in matching boxes.

  They are a very classy way to show your pride at Christmas – and you will want to keep it on display all year.  You can easily personalize these with a Sharpie marker or paint pen.

 

Bright colors and clear, crisp lettering presented in a really fun way – take a look and see if we have your organization today!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  For a little SEC rivalry, search “Coton Colors” on our shopping site and check out our selection of college ornaments – we even have “House Divided” for Alabama and Florida!  (Well bless your heart, you’re not from the South, are you? Well, that stands for Southeastern Conference, just the best athletic league in the nation, IOHO.)

P.S.S. Cleopatra – you know, the queen of de-nial?!  Yeah, now you’re getting it!

“Sunday in the South” Book Signing & More

This Saturday, October 29th, from 1 to 4 pm, Christmas Place hosts author and chef Ginny McCormack for a signing of her book, Sunday in the South.

274000

More than just a cookbook, although it is filled with delectable recipes, Ginny’s book includes 350 photographs of  food, gorgeous table decor, and beautiful Southern imagery.  Complete dinner menus; quotes, stories, and humorous anecdotes; and tips and techniques fill each chapter, making this much more than a simple cookbook – it’s a story about incorporating food into the best times of our lives with Southern  grace, hospitality, and congeniality.

Chapter topics and recipes cover a range from “A Formal Sunday Feast” to “A Comfort Food Family Dinner,” “A Seafood Lunch on the Porch,” “A Hearty Outdoor Dinner,” and “Ten Southern Classics,” and include breakfast and other meals.  I’m going to check out her recipe for Southern Key Lime Pie – it’s my personal favorite, and I’ve been gathering ideas for making the best!  In the mean time, can I interest anyone in Southern Home Style Meatloaf with Sweet Chili Glaze,  Creamy Corn Pudding, and White Cheddar Cornbread, finished with Peach Bread Pudding?  (I would just choose today to write about this, when I left my lunch sitting on the kitchen counter at home!!)

Ginny is a cooking instructor, speaker, author, food columnist, editor of an online magazine, and host of GinnyMcCormackCooks.com.  She has appeared regularly as a T.V. chef.  She lives with her family in Marietta, Georgia, and enjoys writing and teaching about the art of Southern hospitality and new Southern cuisine.

This is Ginny’s first visit to Christmas Place, and we are looking forward to meeting her.  Her book would make a fabulous Christmas or special occasion gift!

Also at 1 o’clock on Saturday, our Floral Department will be demonstrating  how to assemble and decorate the mesh boxes that are such a favorite for holiday decor – and especially since they can be themed for any occasion, not just Christmas.

We’ll see you Saturday!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  Two more signings on Saturday – you can take care of all your Christmas at one time! – Ne’Qwa Inside Art Ornaments, painted on the inside of glass ornaments – Trieste will be here once again demonstrating her amazing painting technique – sometimes she brings brushes you can buy to try it yourself.  I have painted on glass – it’s a very mental challenge, because you have to think about the image in reverse order from traditional surface painting.  (This iconic snowman & cardinal image is my personal choice – I got mine signed when it was first released in 2008.)

R. J. McDonald is back with us for the weekend to sign his wonderful Santa prints and giclees – some of which can be personalized by adding your family names to Santa’s “nice” list!

Come see us!

Hope Black Bear Ornament

We learned over the weekend that customers are snapping up this black bear ornament in honor of Hope, a black bear that was part of a research study on the bear population in Minnesota.  Hope traveled with her mother, Lily, and another cub named Faith – but always managed to get out of her tracking collar.  She was legally shot by a hunter sometime last month.    Read more about the story here.

We enjoy a sizeable black bear population here in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area, too.  According to The Park’s website, this is “one of the few places remaining in the eastern United States where black bears can live in wild, natural surroundings.”  Our bears have been very active this year, and it is awesome – and fearsome – to see them enjoying the land.  A mama and cub sighting is the best, but can be the most dangerous, too.

When you visit Pigeon Forge & Christmas Place, be sure to schedule time for a drive or a hike in our national park – leaf season is coming on, and it’s going to be a beautiful fall!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Fall Sweepstakes Time

Admittedly, we prefer selling things, but we do enjoy giving things away from time to time, too!  Check out our two current sweepstakes:

Just for fun and creepiness – a Department 56 Halloween house, the Retching Pumpkin Diner!  I don’t know about you, but it’s awfully wretched-looking to me.  Please, someone, win it and take it home with you.  Enter once a day through Friday, September 30th, and we’ll award it to one lucky creep winner on the first of October.

If something on the sparkly side is more your style, be sure to enter our 25th Anniversary giveaway, celebrating both Christmas Place and Snowbabies turning 25 this year!  The happy winner will receive a “Joy for You and Me” SnowDreams figurine from their glittering anniversary collection and a beautiful, red Christmas Place 25th anniversary t-shirt.

Any time we are having a giveaway, you’ll find it in the “What’s New” column on our home page.

Also going on right now, a 20% off sale on almost 3,000 ornaments – both in the store and online – including lots of your favorite styles for personalization.  Remember, ornament personalization is free.  We carry a broad selection of family ornaments, for personalization of up to 15 names!

Just to get you excited, let me remind you that Christmas is less than 100 days away!  Yippee!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. More newly-decorated Christmas trees coming next week!

I Mulched!

Longtime readers know that I was not one born to a life of yard work, and have only come lately to the management of the green green grass of home.  With winter ending rather early here in the south, I’m actually going to have to mow the lawn before the end of March this year.  Crazy, I know!

I have some cleaning to do first – my maple trees tend to shed limbs every time the boy down the street whistles a happy tune .. thankfully, they don’t fall on the roof .. and don’t get me started on the Magnolia.  I would like to find the person who thought the lowest branches should be severely pruned, exposing all the fallen seed heads.  I really want to thank that person for leaving me with the task of picking them all up.

Dogwood Bloom

Look how close we are to dogwood blooms in my valley ~ this little guy must have popped open just hours before I got home yesterday.  We’re having a beautiful spring.

But the thing that is making me the most potentially-less-stressed (can’t bring myself to quite say ‘happy’) about yard work this summer is that I finally realized – – – MULCH.  Why didn’t you ever tell me to try mulch before?  I’m prepared to forgive, but really, I could have been mulching two years ago and saving myself so much time.

I have mulched!

There’s a large-ish patch at the end of the front porch that was at one time covered with black plastic, with a couple of bushes coming up through and a line of decorative grass along the edge.  Til yesterday, it was a battleground where dandelions, strawberry vines, and assorted flowering weeds struggled to maintain an encampment,against my random, periodic attacks of pulling everything up.  Mostly, I just tried to keep everything short enough that the neighbors below could not see the jungle.  This morning, it is a tranquil oasis of mulch.   Victory for me!

Similar enclaves scattered around the yard have no doubt heard about my triumph by now, and are trembling in anticipation of their own impending annihilation.  I have more bags of mulch, and I am not afraid to use them! 

My plan is to mulch everything I can’t reach with the mower.  I’m sure I’ll still have to deploy the weed whacker in a few areas, but ultimate yard domination is now within my grasp.  I have even earned the right to hang this ornament on my Christmas tree this year, as I posses and have used at least three of the items it includes – I bought new, BIGGER pruning shears this month.  Watch out, forsythia, I’m coming for you next.

Now let’s talk about the goats for the grass……

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

 

Two for Tuesday

We’re gearing up for spring break around here .. although we don’t have much to offer in the way of beach front property.  Maybe you’re headed to a sunny, sandy shore.  Here are a pair of new ornaments to remind you of vacation days!

Let me tell you, our associates know their stuff so well that even out of the many thousands of ornaments we have around here, when I asked what was new this week, they pointed me right to these two.  I am amazed!  These will be available on the web site by the end of the week.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

My coworker Laura saw me wandering around with the camera today, looking for my (belated) Two, and she suggested The. Greatest. Idea.  Take a look at this wonderful cookie platter (it should be on the site shortly):

The back of this plate is white, with lots of smooth surface.  Laura’s Greatest. Idea. is that you would purchase the plate and write your name and the date on the back in indelible ink, serve guests with it at your fabo Christmas party, then pass it along to a friend or family member.  They would add their name and the date to the back after using it at a party, and continue passing it on.  When all the space on the back has been used, return the plate to the person who started the chain.  What a great collection of memories will come back to you with this gift!  You see why I say it’s The. Greatest. Idea.

Now, another quick Two for ..

Super Bowl’s coming up .. anyone up for some Colts victory??  I searched our NFL collection, and found a Colts nutcracker, Christmas tree skirt, scoreboard clock, wreath, nightlight helmet, and snowman ornament, along with this animated Colts player looking awfully fierce up in here!

For the New Orleans Saints?  Well, I found this cute little ornament.

Eh.  Not so much.  Who knew we were such fans of the AFC here?!  As I’ve said before, I say again, Go Blue!

And have a great day out there!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place