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.

Baking Cookies for Santa!

After today, there are only eight more Fridays before Christmas .. which means it’s past time to get started baking cookies to leave for Santa on Christmas eve, don’t you agree?!  We’re going to share a favorite cookie recipe each Friday until Christmas – and if you have a favorite you’d like to share, get in touch – we’ll be happy to let the world in on your holiday baking success secrets, too!

Yes, I am in the lucky position of sorting through sweet recipes and picking my favorites.  Do you think this is easy?  No.  Each week, I will be #479057 Possible Dreams Santa - Jelly Filledconsidering, contemplating, curating, copying, and collating thoughts about cookies for a day.  Maybe more than a day.  This is a hard, hard thing.  No, really.  Walk in my shoes.  You know, I really need some new shoes.  I think I’d better put that on my list for Santa right now.  Shoes.  And a new mixer.  A red KitchenAid® stand mixer.  Good start.  Now, what was I talking about??

Cookies!  I’m starting with a non-traditional cookie, so you’ll have time to bombard me with your best recipes for next week.  And I like easy in my repertoire, so this one will just get you thinking about sweet treats for Santa, without too much work.  (I literally have no idea how to make donuts, so this [Possible Dreams Santa – Jelly Filled] is for illustration purposes only.  Imagine cookies with me.)

Shared with me by a friend in Indiana many years ago, thank you, Melissa, you know who you are!

First, a quick housekeeping note, I like efficiency and shorthand in my recipes.  I always put oven temperature, pan size, and baking time at the top; for measurements, I use this shorthand:  C = Cup, T = Tablespoon, t = teaspoon.

Magic Cookie Bars

350° oven, 13″ x 9″ pan, 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C margarine/butter
  • 1-1/2 C Graham Cracker crumbs (don’t you love being able to get them pre-smashed these days?  Me, too!)
  • 1 C chopped nuts
  • 1 C shredded coconut
  • 1 C milk chocolate chips
  • 1 C butterscotch chips
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions:

Put margarine in baking pan and place in oven.  Turn oven on to heat.  When margarine has melted, remove from oven and sprinkle with Graham Cracker crumbs.  Spread evenly across bottom of pan as a crust.  Sprinkle crust with chocolate and butterscotch chips, nuts, and coconut (in any order).  Top with sweetened condensed milk.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, watching the sides for burning.  Cool completely and cut into squares.  (or eat straight from the pan, there’s no judgement here.)

You can also use a smaller pan for thicker cookies, and you can substitute crushed pretzels for a savory counterpoint to the sweet toppings.  You can use any topping you like, but keep the volume the same, about four cups of toppings.

Cookies for Santa plateThese cookie bars have never lasted long enough for me to be able to suggest an average shelf life of anything more than, oh, eight to ten hours, sorry.

When you put them out for Santa on Christmas eve, do you have a fun plate for Santa?  [Maybe one like this?]

Plesae don’t forget to leave a few apple slices and carrots for the reindeer, too!

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. Send us a recipe to share – e-mail it to santa@christmasplace.com, and use the message title “cookie recipe for blog.”  We’re looking forward to your creativity – and maybe some of your cookies will show up at the elves’ annual post-Christmas gathering, fingers crossed for it!

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

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 Thursday

Yes, I just changed the name of it .. because I kind of forgot on Tuesday!  Sorry!

Here are two of my favorite finds of the week.

Karen Didion, who designs Santas in every imaginable theme, still enjoys crafting one-of-a-kind pieces when she has the opportunity.  We have received four of the one-only pieces which she has personally created this year.  This one features antique wool and faux fur for Santa, and a delightful collection of antique toys Karen acquired in her travels around the country.  I particularly love the antique tree with glass ornaments, to which she has added mini lights.  It’s just a stunning piece, and one that a Didion collector will treasure and hand down to future generations.  As you can see in the photo, it is already signed and dated by Karen, and it is also numbered as one of her original creations.

Karen Didion Santa Exclusive

Karen will be at Christmas Place on Saturday, November 12th, 2016, for a signing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Even if you are unable to travel to the signing, you can purchase a piece now and we will hold it for signing and ship it to you afterwards.  [You can see Karen’s Santa collection here.]

And for fun, in our Toyland area, we have added the cutest collection of plush animals in Christmas scarves!  This brown bear with his oversize nose and corduroy paws has the sweetest expression!  I think he’s the kind of fellow you want to have around long before Christmas morning.

Plush Bear with Christmas scarf

I’ll show you the rest of this plush collection tomorrow – fun for a Friday, because FRIDAY, right?

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. Don’t forget – our incredible tent sale starts a week from tomorrow.  Friday, September 2nd through Sunday, September 18th.  If you don’t see the tent out in the courtyard, check around back – I’m not certain where it’s going to be, but I know it will be filled with goodies!

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

 

Memorial Weekend Tent Sale

But you can shop all week! The tent is staying up until June 5th, and you have 9 days to save 50% on all kinds of things for your Christmas celebrations – and other items, too. We’re liquidating some home decor and spring flower inventory. Come take a peek – we can’t list everything you’ll find in the tent, there’s just too much.

Charles Viancin silicone storage solutions:

Christmas Place tent sale Memorial week - housewares selection.

Pre-made bows and ribbon sampler collections:

Christmas Place Memorial week tent sale - ribbon bundles and bows

Lawn decorations – in need of a little loving care, but oh, so fun!

Christmas Place Memorial week tent sale - Exterior elf and reindeer figures

Lemax and Department 56 lighted houses – and I think I see a cookie jar or two in there, plus a Possible Dreams and a Jim Shore Santa?

Christmas Place Memorial week tent sale - Lemax and Department 56

Pre-made floral items in glass and metal containers:

Christmas Place Memorial week tent sale - pre-made floral arrangements

Unassembled floral arrangements (wink wink!):

Christmas Place Memorial week tent sale - floral stems and arrangements

Unbreakable ornaments and glass decorations:

Christmas Place Memorial week tent sale - unbreakable ornaments, glass Christmas decorations

Just for fun .. look who was on time to work this morning – Ms. Canada Goose with two of her goslings! They love the river behind the store for a morning swim. One of the mamas has 10 babies to herd, I’ve been told – I’m hoping to see her soon.

Canada goose with two goslings

As we always say – shop early for the best selection, and shop often for new sales merchandise being put out each day! Happy first-weekend-of-summer!

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. Even if you can’t make it to Pigeon Forge for Memorial Day, you can still order gifts in honor of your military service men and women – check our selection here.

Letters to Santa

Christmas is just 18 days away today – but there’s still time to get in a last-minute letter to Santa! Here are some recent letters to inspire your thinking for the holiday.
Vincent's first letter to Santa

 

Sierra's letter to Santa

And, lest you imagine otherwise, you’re never too old to write to Santa!  (Of course, we’ve changed the names so we don’t spoil the surprise!)

Comet's letter to Santa

~Janet @ Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. Just checking to make sure you have all your lights up for the neighbors to enjoy .. if not, please, for the sake of your neighbors, remedy the situation now! The best lights are all right here: http://www.christmasplace.com/landing/led-lights.cfm

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

Choices can be so hard, you know?

Every day, so many choices.  Coffee, tea?  White socks, red socks?  Banana nut muffin, cranberry orange scone?

Here are just a few of my hard choices…

Do I need a turquoise chair for my big blue vase, or a big blue vase for my turquoise chair?  (Both.)

White trim, black trim, or leopard trim?  (One of each, different occasions.)

Do I need a big, sparkly, mirrored urn or a bigger, sparkly, mirrored urn?  Or a pair?  (Things look better in threes.)

Rustic, burlap snowman or lighted, lantern snowman?  (There is more than one room in the house.)



Here’s a choice over which I did not wrestle – warm, toasty, soft, and pretty!  Turquoise with snowflakes, of course.


And this – a new Natures Winter Wonder Woodland Santa from Jim Shore.  I love the snowy white and soft pastels of this, as well as the cute animals.


I hope your choices are as easy as these!

~Janet @ Christmas Place

P.S.  Don’t miss our “favorite Christmas photo” giveaway on Intstagram – #christmasplace #christmasinjuly