Wreaths In The Christmas Tree? Yes!

Every year, our fabulous designers come up with something new – and always wonderful – for the Christmas tree!  This year, in a 9′ pencil slim tree, they put an amazing collection of vignettes, including Santa, forest creatures, and even a couple of nutcrackers, in a most creative way – attached within wreaths hung on the tree.  How do they dream up these ideas?

In the first example, two wreaths were wired back-to-back, and a two-piece set of Santa with a gift wagon was taken apart and placed on each side, along with some additional trees.  The effect simulates the idea of a snow globe.

Santa with gift wagon set, table top Christmas decoration, item 261510

Santa figure placed in wreath with mini trees, hung in Christmas tree.

Gift wagon set in a wreath, hung on the Christmas tree

A big red bow on top, snow-covered stems and branches, and plenty of lights woven throughout complete the spectacular display in the Christmas tree.  Here are some of the other vignettes and lights positioned in the tree – and as I said, it’s a 9′ pencil slim tree – you can do a lot in a skinny tree.

Bear, red mini oil lantern, and Christmas tree mounted in a wreath hung in the Christmas tree.

Second view of a bear figurine, mini Christmas tree, and mini red oil lantern set within a wreath placed on a Christmas tree.

Figurine of a deer and other woodland creatures with two white bottle brush trees set in a wreath, hung on a Christmas tree.

A pair of snowmen set in a small wreath, hung on a Christmas tree.

A 10" gold lighted mercury glass globe, glowing on a Christmas tree, with ribbons and red berry stems.

Nutcracker, Claire, and a mini tree set in a wreath, hung on a Christmas tree.

Nutcracker and Claire on the Christmas tree.

10" Red lighted mercury glass globe on a Christmas tree.

Store Elf posing beside the treeHey!  It’s an elf photo bomb!  Way to go, Elf!

Santa figurine, mini tree, and mini Santa ornament in a wreath, hung on a Christmas tree.

Santa, reindeer, mini train, and mini trees set on a wreath, hung in a Christmas tree.

Now that we’ve shown you our inspiration pieces, we know you can do it, too!  Talk to a designer when you come, they’ll tell you all the things you’ll need to create your own Christmas tree vignettes.

~Janet @ Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. We’re offering a 25% discount store-wide to welcome in spring, through April 15th. You can shop on line or in store for incredible savings to get your 2017 Christmas off to a great start!  Don’t miss it! www.christmasplace.com, or come to the store and see even more.

Cookies for Santa #3

Week 3 of our recipe helps for Christmas eve .. best cookies to leave for Santa:  iced cookies, but with a twist – instead of a basic sugar cookie, make it chocolate!  We know Santa loves chocolate as much as we do.

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies (Decorated)

350° oven, ungreased baking sheets, 6-8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 bars (8 oz. box) semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2-2/3 C all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 6 T butter, softened
  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • ½ C light or dark corn syrup
  • ¼ C water
  • Decorator icing (colored icing in tubes work well), sugar sprinkles, and candy decorations of your choice.

Instructions:

  1. Microwave baking bars in medium-size bowl on high for 1 minute; stir.  Microwave for additional 10 to 20 second intervals, stirring until smooth; cool to room temperature.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a second medium-size bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in small mixer bowl until creamy; beat in syrup and chocolate.  Alternately beat in flour mixture and water.  Divide and shape into 2 round discs; wrap in plastic wrap; chill just until firm.
  3. Roll each disc 10 1/4-inch thickness between sheets of waxed paper; cut with [cookie cutters (may we suggest something like this)]; place on ungreased baking sheets.  Chill again if dough becomes too soft while you’re rolling and cutting.
  4. Bake for six to eight minutes or until set; let stand for two minutes before removing to wire racks to completely cool.
  5. Decorate with colored icing and candy sprinkles as desired.

C = Cup; T = Tablespoon; t = teaspoon

I don’t think I’ve ever been served a decorated chocolate cookie – and seeing how simple this recipe is, I really wonder why?  Personally, I would flavor my icing – orange, raspberry, peppermint – or sprinkle the icing with crushed candy canes!  Yeah, that would be great!  If you decide to try this one, send us your results – and suggestions for personal flavor flair.  Santa will love them any way you bake them.  Oh – and how about serving them on an awesome Santa plates – it looks .. Scandinavian to me, don’t you agree?  I think it will hold all three dozen cookies you’ve just baked.

Santa Serving Platter

You’ll call 1-800-445-3396, ext. 192, to order this platter – #335-333, $29.99.

Keep the yummy spirit of Christmas alive in the kitchen with us this holiday season!  Back with another cookie recipe soon.

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. We’re approaching one of our busiest weekends here at the store – this Saturday, we have FOUR signing events – details to come – but we’re looking forward to seeing Ralph McDonald, Karen Didion, Anja from The Christmas Wish storybooks, and the creators of Ginger Cottages.  Do you have plans for November 19th?  We can help…

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 – Christmas Decorations

I’m thinking it’s a beauty and a cutie, both on one tree in the Christmas Gallery.  Every tree needs both large and small decorations, as well as sizes in between, for balance and a pleasing aspect.

This distressed-finish [red lantern] is a foot tall (without the handle), and can be used indoors or out.  We’ve added a flameless [burgundy Luminara candle] (not included), and a [plaid ribbon] around the top for a splash of polish and elegance.  I’m also kind of mad for [this cardinal ribbon with greetings] and [this cardinal ribbon] in the picture, too!

Red Lantern

Just love this tiny little winter scene of a brown budgie perched outside his snow covered bird house.  A second bird is hidden behind the tree branch, and a heavy winter frost coats the entire ornament. There is a second style for this ornament; [see them both here.]

Bird & Bird House Ornament

Your Christmas tree will be more interesting and pleasing to view if you include ornaments and decorations in multiple sizes – start with the largest items first (three to five as focal points around the tree at different heights), and add more ornaments as you go down in size with each layer of decorations.  That’s how a 12″ lantern and a 3″ birdhouse work in concert to make beautiful music on your tree!  Okay, I don’t know why I went musical just then, but you get the analogy, right?!  It all works harmoniously together.

We hope you’ll share some of your favorite design ideas and elements with us, either by e-mailing santa@christmasplace.com, or come on over and visit [our Facebook page] and share some pictures with us there.

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. Coming up this weekend, a signing with the creators of the collectible dog breed ornaments, [Joy to the World Collectibles].  If your best friend is an unique breed, come and take a look at these gorgeous glass ornaments – something outstanding for your Christmas tree!

Joy to the World Collectible Dog Breed Ornaments Signing

A Christmas Sleigh in Four Easy Steps

Here at Christmas Place, we are always ready to offer holiday tips to help you create memorable moments to cherish with family and friends.  It’s what we live for!  Here’s a super-simple project – a beautiful candle-and-poinsettia-in-red-sleigh centerpiece for your Christmas table, in just a few easy steps.  I’ll include all the elements, most (but not all*) of them available at the store.

Christmas Sleigh Centerpiece

1.  Assemble your base:

  • Red sleigh (so new, it hasn’t even come over from the warehouse yet, give us a few days)
  • Red candle(s)*
  • Green foam*
  • Green moss*

Mini red sleigh with candles and grass

2:  Next, add:

3.  Mix with:

  • One talented floral designer*
  • Hot glue gun*
  • Wire and chenille stems*

4.  Leave everything alone together for about two hours.  When you return, voilà!

Mini red sleigh with candles and Christmas floral

The perfect centerpiece for Christmas dinner – besides the turkey, the ham, and Mom’s sweet potato casserole (with pecans and marshmallows).

Mini Red Sleigh and Candles Christmas Floral Arrangement

I told you it was super simple!  You will find lots of ideas in our [on-line floral selection at ChristmasPlace.com] to help you create a Christmas masterpiece – or just come by the store, and let us do the work for you.  (We’ll let you take the credit, we don’t mind.)

Come back for more quick and easy holiday projects to help you prepare for the best Christmas 2016 ever!

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S.  While you’re planning your trip to pick up supplies for your super-simple centerpiece project, why not come on an event day, meet an artist or author, and take home a signed piece?  It’s a great tradition for those ornaments and collectibles you’d like to hand down for Christmases to come.

List of artist signings and events for oct-nov-dec 2016

Christmas Lights

As we are preparing to install new Christmas lights for Winterfest 2016, we thought a look back at 2015 might be fun!  Wow, thousands of lights adorning every tree and shrub at the store and hotel – it took many thousand man-hours to put everything up .. but we think it was worth it.

The Incredible Christmas Place

 

The Inn at Christmas Place

 

Most of the lights we used are available for purchase at the store, or online at www.christmasplace.com.

The 27th annual Pigeon Forge Winterfest celebration starts with an official lighting ceremony in Patriot Park on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016.  The light displays placed throughout the city will be illuminated at dark; for those who haven’t been before, it’s a beautiful display of lighted Christmas characters lights lining the parkway.  The light show actually begins in Sevierville (lighting on Monday night) and continues all the way to Gatlinburg (lighting on Wednesday night), a wonderful driving trip to make on an early winter’s evening – with a big thermos of hot chocolate to fuel the journey, of course.  The lights will remain on through February 28th, 2017, so you have lots of time to plan a visit to the area.

First comes fall, then comes Winterfest .. and finally it will be time for Christmas!  It’s only 96 days away – that’s 13 Saturdays to go.  Yippee!

Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

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

Woodland Christmas Tree 2016

Another new Christmas tree was completed this week – our Woodland theme tree.  Take a little tour of our Woodland tree and enjoy the natural colors and textures of the forest for your Christmas tree.  A large deer in front, a burlap and natural fiber cabin, and whimsical forest gnomes provide visual focal points amid an overall scheme of forest birds and wildlife, also in natural fibers.  We think you’ll enjoy adding some natural touches to your own holiday displays – and be sure you see the wreaths our floral team created to complement the theme!

Some of the items featured in the tree may be found here:

[Bristle Woodland Animals]     [Bristle Twig Owl]

[Natural Sisal Owl]     [Burlap Bristle Owl]

[Mini Fur Raccoon]     [Deer-Fawn Ornament]

[Reindeer Ornament]     [Vintage Star Ornament]

[Pinecone Branch Ribbon]     [Woodland Theme Collection]

Second Look

Here are a couple of the photos from the video for a closer look.

Burlap cabin and natural fiber owl

Deer carving and Woodland Gnome

Woodland Wreath

We have more trees to go in our annual decorating re-do, so stay tuned and come back for more!

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S.  Our Labor Day tent sale is still going strong – new merchandise is being put out every day, as we have room to display – so come on back to the parking lot and see what bargains might be just right for your Christmas decorating dreams!

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.

Two for Tuesday

My two picks of the week (a.k.a. the two picks I made that are on the website.  Y’all, this is so much harder than you might think, because we have 10,000 items on our website but we have 30,000+ items in the store!  You’re just going to have to come and see for yourself; I have so many favorites that you can call to order but haven’t yet been added to www.christmasplace.com.  It can be quite maddening, especially if you love Christmas like I do.):

Christmas Collectors

Even if you aren’t a collector, this gazebo would be a great addition to your holiday decorations.  In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Department 56, they have released a special gazebo for the Dickens Village, Snow Village, and North Pole Village.  This is the [North Pole edition gazebo], with Santa and Mrs. Claus offering a toast to all the residents of the Pole as they celebrate the completion of another successful Christmas Eve delivery.  (They do each have a glass raised in celebration, trust me, it’s just hard (impossible) to get into the photograph.)

Department 56 40th Anniversary North Pole Gazebo - Christmas decoration

Stocking Stuffers

Yes, this is where the line begins to try out for the [Reindeer Games]!  Who can resist these crazy reindeer in their knit sweaters and scarves with over-sized noses and booted feet?  Not Santa!  These fellows would look so cute leaping out of a stocking on Christmas morning…

Whimsical Reindeer - Christmas decoration

It’s 116 days to Christmas.  That’s 17 Saturdays.  Yes, you can officially start to get excited about Christmas, please.  We’re here for you!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  Our Labor Day Tent sale starts this Friday – but remember, we’ve moved the tent to a location behind the store, not in the courtyard.  It’s definitely happening, even if can’t see the red-and-white stripes from the parkway.  Come on in and find the bargains you’re looking for to get your holiday decorating underway.

P.P.S.  I almost forgot – National Tailgating Day this Saturday!  For all you North Americans, you know what this means – school colors, a grill, preferably some unhealthy-type food groups.  More to come, but Santa will be tailgating in our courtyard starting at 10 a.m., and the first 500 guests will receive a Santa-autographed football.