Two for Tuesday

Christmas ornaments, how much variety there is at Incredible Christmas Place!  We could never limit ourselves to only traditional colors and styles, that would be no fun for you or for us.  We’re always going to show what’s new, different, and fun for your Christmas tree.

My first favorite today is a [taupe fur poinsettia] with gold glitter balls and a touch of gold glitter on the petals.  (I know, the glitter is a surprise…not.  It’s me.)  It’s mounted on a spring with a clip at the end, so easy to clip into your tree for a subtle sparkle.

Taupe Fur & Glitter Poinsettia

In our never-ending quest to offer every [bird ornament] that was ever conceived by a Christmas designer, here’s a cutie!  [Iced white cardinal], sort of bristle-y but with tail feathers, and such a sweet look.  Warning: he’s just a little bit shed-y on everything.  He’s also on a clip, so you can attach him to the perfect branch with ease and convenience.

Iced Cardinal

Here’s a peak at the tree on which we used that taupe poinsettia, our 2016 Misty Lake theme.  I have more pictures coming, because we have the most beautiful ornaments working on this tree, too, along with that amazing, 4′ strand of 480 lights.  You remember that gorgeous bunny, too – see him right there in the middle?  There’s a deer head at the top, if you can distinguish it.  So much going on with this tree!  Do you like a natural look for your Christmas tree?

2016 Christmas Tree - Misty Lake

Take a moment and find two things to love about your Tuesday, too!

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S.  Exciting weekend!  It’s finally here, our [Department 56] artist signing weekend.  Saturday, November 5th, from 2 to 5 p.m., both an artist and a village designer will be here, so come and claim your signed house, and take home some new design ideas for your own 2016 village display.

Two for Tuesday

I don’t know why I started this with only two –  I complain about that a lot, don’t I?  Well, I’m sorry.  But if you were here in the store with me every day, you’d find it just as hard.

I don’t remember if I’ve yet shared a photo of Santa Claus this year – we just celebrated National Tailgating Day on Saturday, and Santa was in his football jersey, autographing mini footballs for his fans. We may be “All Vols” here at Christmas Place – but we sure wouldn’t turn away any other SEC team fans – or any football fans.  Sports fans, we just love all sports fans.  And spectators.  We love you, too!  Anyway, not the point, Santa is here Thursday from 1 to 8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  It’s a great time to come and meet him and get a head start on your Christmas card photo session for 2016.  [But if you, too, are All Vol, click here for some UT items!]

Santa tailgating in the courtyard

I hesitate to share this next one, because I know it might inspire a lot of un-Christmas-like envy in some of you .. but here goes.  Yes, if this is your idea of heaven for a workplace, you may have a future on the Christmas Place floral team!  Here, in a secret location in the store, is found a veritable wonderland of design resources.  And yes, I could only enter this room in a pocket-less jumpsuit with booties over my shoes.  True story.  [Click here if you’re immediately inspired to stock up on your holiday ribbons!]

Floral Area Work Station

Okay, yes, I was kidding about the booties!  Wouldn’t you love to have all these design riches at your fingertips each day?  Come to think of it, we probably have some very similar ribbon bolts and floral stems on sale (70% off) in our tent right now.  Hmmm.  Of course, all of this will work in your Christmas tree as well as your garland, wreaths, swags, and other arrangements.

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S.  Our Labor Day tent sale continues through Sunday, September 18th – if we don’t run out of goodies before then!  Shop early, and shop often – we’re putting out new things every day, as we have room for them.  You’ll find the tent behind the store.

Christmas Trees 2016 – “Christmas Cabin”

Our newest Christmas tree theme in the store is already a favorite with elves and guests alike.  The Christmas Cabin theme has a very vintage feel, with classic images of Santa, reindeer ornaments, and snowmen.  We’ve paired a crazy steer made from recycled parts to the mix, along with a classic wooden sled and lots of lights.  This tree has more lights than any similarly-sized tree we’ve ever offered – and it’s quite a show-stopper!

Complimenting the tree decorations is a new collection of dishes, mugs, and flour-sack towels that everyone who loves snowmen will have to have – four different works of snowman art are featured on the two sizes of plates, oversized mugs, and towels.  There’s also a plush snowman wearing a holly wreath necklace and warm ear muffs who’ll keep you company all winter.

Did you notice that we used a tin wash tub on legs as the stand for this tree?  Lots of room underneath for plenty of presents to be dreamed about on Christmas eve.

We hope you enjoy this little Christmas tree tour.  More tree videos will soon be posted, as we have 25 trees to cover this year.

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

 

What’s Been Going On Around Here, You Ask?

You know we take our winters very seriously here at Christmas Place – no, we don’t get to go on vacation along with Santa!  It’s one of the busiest times of the year for the elves, when we get to work play in the store, making everything new and different and fun and better for your next visit!  We’ve taken out old carpet, put a lot of fresh paint on the walls (and even the ceilings), moved the stairs, moved trees, moved shelves, moved … more things than we can count.

Knowing you, you really don’t want to have to wait until you’re here to see the results, do you??  Lucky day – I’ve been taking lots of pictures around the store, and … here we go.  Incredible Christmas Place Store Tour 2015, Part A.  (There are so many more photos to show, I’m going to have to add more parts than I thought. And, no, we’re not even finished yet, I have more photographs to take, too.)

Spring

Spring Garden Shoppe – yes, this is a repeat, but it’s right inside the front door so I thought I would start here!

Floor11

Floor2

Floor10

Floor12

Floor20

Floor13

Floor14

Floor3

Floor4

Floor5

Floor23

Floor16

Floor15

Floor22

Floor37

Floor21

It’s as if we have all the ornaments on the tree, and now we need to add garlands and ribbons and fluff.  There is so much more to come – we’re moving the tree forest, moving the lights .. you name it, we’re figuring out how/where/when to move it.  Hmmm.  You might want to plan some extra time for you next visit, because as we used to say in my house growing up, “don’t sit down in a dark room because the furniture’s been moved!”  (Thanks, Dad.)

~Janet @ Incredible Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday (no, really! well, maybe…)

Okay, yes, I know it’s Friday!  Such a busy week with inventory counting of everything in our warehouses and on the sales floor and in my office, working on projects, and going to the elves’ Christmas party.  So I didn’t get my two pictures up on Tuesday.

As a reward for your patience in waiting for a post, I’m sharing “Five for Friday” — but I won’t give the post that title, because then you’ll probably want more.  Again.  Like, next week, and the week after that, and the week after that!  :o  So enjoy this one-week bonus, please.

Let’s start with plenty of glitter – a show-stopper IMHO, the glitter-scape of Santa, trees, and village outline is also lighted with twinkling LEDs that give the layers sparkling definition.  Battery operated, this can easily become a Christmas focal point anywhere you’re feeling bold enough to embrace your inner glitter-fan.

Glitter scape2

It’s the stars of Christmas, Santa and Frosty.  Love the vintage design style, and the over-the-top glittering snow coating this ornament and figurine.

Santa&Frosty

 Give me more!  Here’s a turn to glittering gold for the holidays, with these ivory-colored holly leaves edged and sprinkled in gold glitter with clusters of gold berries on the stem.

Gold-Cream maple leaf

Had enough?  Okay…how about some silly Christmas fun.  We agree ‘staches are in fashion these days – and even Santa has a good one.  Found this darling mug in the Christmas Gallery – there are a couple of other styles in the collection, but they’re not on line, in-store only, call 1-800-445-3396 to order.

Mustache mug

Have you added an ugly sweater to your Christmas tree yet?  Department 56 put together a great collection this year, including Grinch sweaters.  I’m partial to the Christmas tree with the lovely faux-fur cuffs – and I really don’t want to call it ugly, okay?  It’s cute!

Ugly sweaterslr

Just a few of the things I love this week.  I’ll be back on schedule next week.  If you see something on line and would like to see more pictures or see it “in use,” don’t be shy, just ask!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  Deconstruction and reconstruction continue at the store – we elves can’t wait to see the final result!

remodeling

Snowbabies!

It has been more than 25 years since Kristi Jensen Pierro first revived the Snowbabies collectible with her simple, sweet drawings and bisque figurines for Department 56.  In the tradition of figures dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, she draws inspiration from her own life experiences, photos, and stories expressed through designs reflecting the activities of small children.  Many years later, her designs continue to gain popularity as her themes have kept up with modern society – like “Spa Date” and “Zero Calorie Cupcake” – wouldn’t we love both of those in real life?!  Here are some photos from releases this year.  In addition to updated themes, Snowbabies now frequently come with colorful knit accessories and glittering accents.  The Snowbabies themselves are generally about 3″ to 4″ tall – don’t be fooled by these larger-than-life photographs.

"Flash Drive"

Wedding Snowbabies

Snowbabies celebrate a very classy Christmas!

A Very Deer Pair

SnowDreams - adding a little glitter for the holidays!

Animals are often featured in the Snowbabies collection – especially the polar variety!

This snowman is lit from within for a warm glow on a winter's night.

Snowbabies Baby - we can personalize many of these for a new wee addition to the family!

Snowbabies also come from many popular children’s stories and personalities, such as The Wizard of Oz, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Cinderella,  Winnie the Pooh, Kermit & Miss Piggy, Mickey & Minnie Mouse, and more.

The Tin Man

You will also find Snowbabies around at Easter time with decorated eggs and cute little bunnies.

"Somebunny Special"

Snowbabies are also made in a wide variety of ornaments (many of which we will personalize for you here in the store!).  The glittering shadow box series is new in red this year.

Shadow Box Ornaments

You’ll often find Snowbabies collections on display year round.  Made from porcelain bisque with hand-painted faces and hand-applied detailing, each is meticulously crafted – and very charming!  Those unique “snow crystals” are made by a process of forcing a clay mixture through a series of increasingly fine screens until the right shaving stage is achieved.  Each figure is then painted with a bisque slip and the shavings are carefully applied in the proper areas.
The variety of styles in both figurines and ornaments, including many angel-themed pieces, make Snowbabies a wonderful gift for so many occasions – new baby, girlfriend fun, family events, and, of course, at Christmas.  There are also several varieties of accessory trees in colors to compliment the Snowbabies series.  Take a closer look at these delightful babies and their friends – you just might meet a new friend yourself!
Keep it snowy!
~Janet @ The Christmas Place
P.S.  Don’t forget our Department 56 artist signing on Saturday, November 2nd, with Scott Enter.  Although he designs primarily for the village collection, as a representative of Department 56’s creative team, he will sign Snowbabies on request.  Details will be posted on our Event Calendar next week.

Summer Pastimes

Now that it is officially summer, and the weekend is coming up, and just maybe you’ve carved some time out of your busy schedule for a few days of vacation – what do you like to do with that time?  Since we live in the mountains here, many of us head to the beach for a few days of sand everywhere we don’t want it, sun burning in our eyes and heating up every un-shaded surface, and seafood hey it may be costing an arm and a leg but I don’t have to cook or clean up after.  Sure it’s just as humid as home, but the sunrises over the ocean….wait, I don’t do sunrises…

Yes, I guess I’ve let a little subtext show there … not a beach person myself, although I find I quite enjoy it when accidentally I find myself near extremely large bodies of water.  I think the largest bodies of water are best viewed from 35,000 feet – on your way to somewhere you may not be able to read the menus, but it’s definitely cool-ish and un-sandy.

Me, I’d rather stay home and read books .. every day.  That’s my vacation paradise.  Show me a book review, and chances are good there will be a slip of paper somewhere nearby with the title scribbled down, for further research and possible acquisition.  Is anyone surprised to hear that I still prefer paper?  Anyway, I especially love to grab titles suggested by people I know who read a lot – such as this selection of “under the radar” reads from Nancy Pearl.  Nancy has included a wide variety of genres, for readers of all ages, among her suggestions over the years; this list includes one that she says will appeal to Jane Austen fans as well – you know who you are.

I love to spend time lost in the words of a true storyteller, the kind of story where, when you have to interrupt your reading time, you must shake your head a little to bring yourself back to the present.  That’s just the best experience in the world to me, when I come across a good book.  Every day can be a vacation day, in a book.

Whether you prefer all the active stuff we have around here, like putt-putt, race cars, rides – did you know that we can now boast about our giant Ferris wheel here in Pigeon Forge? – or hiking in the Smokies, or you also appreciate the quieter pastimes as I do, I sure hope you save a little time each day to let your brain escape into imagination, history, biography – and if you come across something really good, don’t forget to send me the title.

I hope you have the vacation of your dreams this summer!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  If making it to the beach is just an unattainable dream for you this summer, I recommend that you make yourself a little living room beach escape – put up a mini palm tree, add some beach ornaments, string some summer lights, pour yourself a fruity beverage, and cover the couches with beach towels.  Put on your swim suits, dab a little coconut lotion behind your ears, and relax.  Just think, NO SAND!  NO BURNING!  NO hours in the car driving home, filled with regret for that last 3-scoop ice cream cone!

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!

Saddle Up! Time in Pigeon Forge

Have you discovered Saddle Up! yet?  It’s a Winterfest Event in its 13th year, a long weekend of cowboy fun, food, and entertainment.  Events range from musical performances and storytelling, private concerts and free food tastings, to a Saturday Buckaroo Roundup at Clabough’s Campground and evening Cowboy Dance, wrapping up with a chuck wagon breakfast and Cowboy Church at Stages West on Sunday morning.

Guests at The Inn at Christmas Place will have exclusive access to a private evening of food and entertainment on Wednesday, February 20th, when Kent Rollins and T. Scot Wilburn team up to offer a sampling of chuck wagon cooking, storytelling, and music in our own parking lot!

T. Scot Wilburn was born with western music in his blood.  The Montana native’s father and uncle, Harold and Vernon Wilburn, were members of the legendary Snake River Outlaws, one of the hottest cowboy bands in the Northwest during the late ‘40s and early ‘50s.  Scot, a talented musician who can play anything with strings, toured more than a decade with Wylie & the Wild West.  He produces Saddle Up’s “Stories & Strings” concert and this year performs with his own band, the Shut Up -N- Playboys.  Follow this link to an interview and performance during “Stories & Strings” at Saddle Up! 2012.

T Scot Wilburn plays fiddle

T. Scot Wilburn

Kent Rollins is the epitome of what a cowboy should be; he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk each and every day.  And he’s a darned good cook.  Just ask the folks at The Food Network, where Kent recently appeared on “Throwdown! With Bobby Flay” and “Chopped: Grill Masters.”  Kent, his 1876 Studebaker chuck wagon, stove “Bertha” and wife Shannon travel across the country to cook and entertain and make new friends.  He’s been cooking and telling stories at Saddle Up for years and has helped grow the event during its 13 seasons.  (He also comes with a supply of his own killer mix called Red River Ranch Seasonings – I’ve used this on everything from scrambled eggs and green salad to steak, and it makes anything taste better!)  Learn more about Kent here.

Kent Rollins with his chuck wagon at Saddle Up Pigeon Forge

Kent Rollins

There’s still time to reserve your nights at The Inn before the cowboys hit the trail again ~ just be sure to pack your boots!  (Check out the selection at Stages West if you need a new pair.)

Not all the events require tickets, but for those that do, you can purchase them online at www.mypigeonfore.com/saddleup, or on-site during the event.  Saturday’s Buckaroo Roundup at Clabough’s Campground in Wear’s Valley (no admission charge) offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family, including branding and roping demonstrations, pony rides, and a chuck wagon cook-off between seven wagons.  It’s a truly a great way to bust out some plaid and spend a day with the family!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  We’ve got to get in on the fun here at the store, too ~ we’ll be offering 15% off all our Western ornaments and decor here at Christmas Place throughout Saddle Up!

P.P.S.  NO NO NO, I categorically refuse to try the mechanical bull.  So don’t even try to change my mind about it.  Now, how are my hair and lipstick??

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.