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.

Is it time?

It’s a beautiful, sunny day here in the Smokies, nearing the end of February, and I just passed a car that is still sporting its red Rudolf nose – no, wait .. is it “still” .. or is the driver already anticipating Christmas 2013, as we are here at Christmas Place?!  Hmmmm….

For those of you who simply insist on putting the tree away for at least a couple of months each year, and since we have made it past Valentines, Gumdrop, and Presidents days, now might be the time to take down the Christmas tree.

Think about it for a moment, though.  Do you really want to struggle with making it all fit back into the original box, adding a 5th .. 6th .. 7th .. layer of tape, and then having to drag the big, unwieldy box through the house, wedging it through doorways and around end tables and furry family members who have no concept of what you are trying to accomplish without their assistance, thank you very much, and finally into a storage area (probably up or down stairs, or even outside)?

No, you don’t!

Look no further, sweat and struggle no more.  We are pleased to tell you that we have the perfect solution for you right here.  You must get one of these marvelous tree storage bags – not just a bag, but a bag with wheels.  How fabulous is that?

Christmas tree storage bag, with wheels, for 7 or 9 foot tree

Portable, lightweight, flexible, stuffable, handles for easy transport .. where’s the cup holder on this thing??  Room to store your power strip and extension cord(s) right in the bag, so you don’t have to hunt them down next year.  I don’t know if there’s a Facebook fan page for it yet – but it seems like there ought to be!

You also need bags for your wreaths, to keep them free of dust and other potential off-season mishaps.

There, the last part of Christmas 2012, taken care of in a most convenient way.  Now you can sit back and wait for the new trends and styles in Christmas decor to form themselves into your perfect decorating scheme for 2013.  We’ll be right here to help with that, too.  Don’t you just have a wonderful feeling of peace and calm and preparedness for next Christmas, you lucky thing.

Good for you, because, well, Christmas is only 309 days away.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  Speaking of next Christmas, the new Snowbabies and Department 56 pieces are available for pre-ordering already!  If you’re a fan of the National Lampoon movie “Christmas Vacation”, this is the year for you – remember Cousin Eddie’s RVIt’s here! 

Department 56 Signing {Updated}

It’s happening tomorrow, November 3rd!

Scott Enter, building designer, will be in the store from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. to sign Department 56 houses and collectibles.  We’ll also have a village display expert, Jill Schlung, on hand with expert tips for setting up your perfect village.

Dickens' Christening Holiday Gift Set

Door Prizes!

Both Saturday & Sunday, we’ll be drawing for {hourly} door prizes, too.

Secondary Market Tent Sale

Private collectors will be in our courtyard with their own collections of retired houses, selling to the public.  Have you been looking for some older houses to add to your collection?  Now is the time to shop – none of these items are in production with Department 56, they are only available through private sales like this.

Come and meet the designers and fellow collectors, take photos and gather ideas for your village or Snowbabies collection, and maybe you’ll be one of the winners going home with a door prize, too!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. All our Department 56 displays have been refreshed this year – I am personally a fan of the Winters Frost collection, and you’ll love our gorgeous display!  There is a signed Cottagewood Bungalow in my near future…

P.P.S. – This entry has been corrected – I mistakenly listed yesterday that you have to make a purchase to enter the door prize drawing – but you don’t.

What’s going on at Christmas Place today?

Glad you asked!  Train rides, cookie decorating, popcorn & hot apple cider & hot cocoa.  A brand new tree lot – shipping is free for all trees 7′ and taller!  Love the scent of the wood fire in the courtyard.  And then, a visit from two Snowbabies, helping us celebrate their 25th anniversary with some special store promotions.

Hey, you haven’t missed it yet!  Come back on Saturday – we promise to do it all again – and maybe add a few more surprises!  (Rudolph in the house!)

Our 15″ Guage Live Steam Engine Train

(Free cup of cocoa for kids 10 & under if they will decorate their own cup!)

(Free bow when you purchase a Christmas tree!)

This litte Snowbaby has wings!

And this little Snowbaby has a backpack!

~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!

What’s New? A Lot!

When you come to the store for you next visit, you may not recognize us – except for all the beauty, of course!  We’ve got that and are adding more every day .. but the elves have been so busy this winter & spring rearranging, it’s like a new store!

Just a teaser of a couple of pictures to start things off .. here’s my new favorite tree in its “naked” state:

Have you ever seen one this white and lush?  When you come, it will be transformed into an undersea vision of Christmas!

Over in Department 56, we’re getting in lots of new products as well.  Here’s one tiny peek into how the process begins when we rebuild a display from the ground up.

Lots of possibilities.  Does it fill you with anticipation to see the finished display??  I think this is the new home of North Pole Village.

Here’s another favorite of mine – the Winters Frost collection.

Look at how our designer, Kristy, has amplified the cool factor by filling a crackled glass urn with icy white lights and using it as the base for a house.  She did it again in this scene for the new Snowbabies “SnowDream” collection – Snowbabies highlighted with vintage silver glitter.  A  mirror framed in silver and used as a table top reflects the sparkle and brilliance of these figurines, and two votive candle holders turned on end display a couple of charming Snowbabies at different heights so each is a standout – copy this trick at home!

Here are a few more SnowDream pieces displayed on glass bricks (hmmm, we just pulled several of these bricks from a house- now I know why we need to keep them around!).  I love the Dream Glitter House, Barn, & Church accessory sets – each set includes a building, one tree, and an accessory figurine.

I’d better not show much more until the designers are finished with their handiwork – the final displays will be brilliant, though, I predict!  Next week I’ll show some pictures of Santa’s newly redecorated performance stage, including the animated reindeer flying overhead.  The kids will be enchanted!

Happy Collecting!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Snowbaby Giveaway!

Are you a Snowbabies fan?  This charming colletion of porcelain bisque figurines representing the innocence of childhood fun in a gentle, wintery style has been around for almost 20 years.  In themes from Animals, Christmas and Hobbies to Love & Friendship and more,  they are perfect for sharing memories of special times, whether given as gifts or collected for yourself.

We’re giving away a grand Snowbaby figurine on August 15th!  Click here to enter our sweepstakes.  You may enter once a day during the sweepstakes period, and the winner will be notified by e-mail.

Good luck!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

Okay, I’ll just tell you how it is .. we have bits of snow still hanging around on the ground even after a day of sunshine followed by a day of rain .. and the truth is we are all wishing for more snow!  Not to keep us inside against our wills, but because it’s so pretty and it’s been so long since we had a good, snowy winter.  We were rooting for that groundhog to see his shadow, and our wish came true, but we’re holding out for the serious white stuff now.  When it comes, here’s what we plan to do:

Cherish the Moment

We can find a couple of evergreens and a hammock around here, not to worry!

Need I remind you that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner?  Here’s a very cute little guy who’d be happy to deliver a heartfelt message to your sweetie for you!

We’ll wish you sunny skies if you’ll wish us another round of white flakes ..

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Calling All Department 56 Collectors!

It’s new 2010 collectibles release time for both Villages and Snowbabies from Department 56!  Although they won’t ship the merchandise to us until early summer, we’ve seen pictures, and there are a lot of great new buildings, accessories, and Snowbabies figurines on the way.

We have a special offer for Christmas Place customers – pre-order your 2010 pieces now, and we’ll include a free gift with your qualifying purchase.  In addition, we won’t bill your credit card until the merchandise is ready to ship from our store!

With a $100 Village order of 2010 items, we’ll include a bag of Fresh Fallen Snow, a 3-socket replacement, and a 3-pack of replacement bulbs.  With a $50 Snowbabies order of 2010 items, we’ll ship a 13″ pine tree in a gold urn and the newest copy of the Discovering Snowbabies collector’s handbook.  These free gifts are only available while quantities last, so get your order in today.

We’re also offering free freight on all orders over $100, another Christmas Place perk of which you’ll want to take advantage.

Here are a couple of highlights from among the new releases.  Check out “SVPD Precinct 76″ police station, keeping the peace in Original Snow Village style.

From the Winters Frost collection that was introduced last year, “Winter’s Light” features a rotating beacon light in the top of the lighthouse tower.

 

“Better Watch Out” Coal Mine in the North Pole Series ~ almost buried under an avalanche of snow!

Snowbabies offers about 40 new figurines, ornaments, and water globes this year, including “Trust Me – Wear This”, as Snowbaby helps a snowman attach his carrot nose.

Nativity collectors will appreciate the charm of the “Babies in Bethlehem” tableau.

New for 2010, Department 56 is introducing a porcelain village collection titled “A Place to Remember.”  The intricately detailed and painted buildings range in size from just under 4″ to as much as 11″ wide side-to-side, but are only about an inch thick, and mounted to bases that are between 2″ and 3″ deep – perfect for display on a narrow shelf, mantle, or ledge.  There are three series in the introduction:  An Evening in Paris, The Hills of Tuscany, and Carmel by the Sea.  Below is the large An Evening in Paris piece, and it measures 9.5″ wide by 8.5″ tall (all three buildings are in one piece).

 Snowbabies collectors will be interested to know that Department 56 has upgraded the product packaging this year to match that of Villages, with a printed sleeve wrap featuring a photo of the figurine inside.  The photos have been enhanced to highlight the building or figurine, making it stand out from the surrounding graphics.  You’ll easily be able to sort your stored pieces, and keep your collection up to date.

 Follow the links, and place your pre-order today.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Weekly Deals at ChristmasPlace.com

LED Lights ~ time to stock up!  Through this Friday only, buy 2 strands and get a third strand of the same lights free.  That’s a great deal for these long-lasting, economical decorations.  Check out all the colors and styles available this year.

"In a Spin"

Snowbabies “In a Spin” figurine – 50% off – what a cutie, Snowbaby in a real knit cap, spinning with a penguin pal on a snow disc.  To complement your Snowbabies ornament collection, how about a  13″ tree from Department 56 specially designed to display them to best advantage?  It’s well-priced this week at only  $6.98!

Also, be sure to check out the “Christmas in a Box” gift sets for the troops ~ we still have some available, and time to ship them out before the holidays.

So many things going on of which you can take advantage – hop over to the site and register for the Week 2 Gingerbread Giveaway – ornaments, ribbon, and stems this week! 

And don’t forget, free shipping on all orders over $100, and free gift with your online purchase, either an ornament or an angel. 

* 47 Days! *

~ Janet @ The Christmas Place