Department 56 Village Display

Our thanks today to Mary C. of Desoto, Texas, for sharing photographs of her extensive Dept. 56 Village collection and display!  It must be a real joy and a labor of love for her to assemble such a detailed presentation for the holidays.  (I didn’t have a chance to speak with her myself, but I’m guessing this is a Christmas display, not out year round.)  We hope you enjoy these images.

I’m a particular fan of this last scene, and the blue stream flowing through the center of town!

We’d love to see your Village displays, too.  We have a place on the forum for your photos,, or you may share them with us on Facebook, or send them to me and I’ll post them here on the blog.  It’s fun to get ideas and compare collections with other collectors!

~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

How to have a good time at The Christmas Place

Pick a day of perfect weather – sunny, high in the 70s to low 80s.  Add several artists from well known companies like Ne’Qwa Art and Department 56.  Set up a tent in the courtyard for long-time collectors to bring out their favorite retired pieces.  Add a family of entertainers wandering the courtyard and store.  Serve up a taste of homemade fudge (all flavors!).  Top it all off with a basket full of treats delivered by a character in a puffy white Snowbaby suit, and everyone’s enjoying the party!

Trieste of Ne Qwa signing an ornament

Trieste of Ne Qwa signing an ornament

Kristi Jensen Pierro signing a Snowbaby

Kristi Jensen Pierro signing a SnowbabyEntertainment by Team Kirkwood

It was a beautiful day for a Secondary Market

It was a beautiful day for a Secondary Market

Department 56 collectors selling retired pieces

Department 56 collectors selling retired pieces

A portion of the proceeds from the sale was donated to Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Medical Clinic in Sevierville, Tennessee.

The pièce de résistance, Snowbaby on Santa's lap!
The pièce de résistance, Snowbaby on Santa-s knee
Okay, yes, there was a bit of competition as to who has the rounder belly, but Santa claims his is the only real one in the photo!  We just have to share a couple more photos with you.
Our Snowbaby handing out treats
Our Snowbaby handing out treats
Kristi Peirro with Christmas Place Staff

Kristi Pierro with Christmas Place Staff

It was a terrific day, thanks to all of you who came to the store and joined in the fun of having an ornament, Snowbaby or village house signed by one of the artists.  Pebbie Mott was on hand, too, signing her painted backgrounds for Department 56 villages.  She’s added quite a few for the new year, including a Snow Village Halloween backdrop.

Although the leaves are changing more slowly than I would like, the crisp mornings and evenings are so lovely in the mountains this time of year – arriving home around sunset one night last week, the wood fire smoke was hanging blue in the air, skimming the valley – a site that makes me very happy, and is not to be missed!  If you haven’t yet, come on down to the mountains and take in a little early fall for yourself.  It’s almost Wednesday!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

We have them dancing in the – well, the courtyard!

We weren’t quite dancing in the street, but we had several rousing rounds of The Chicken Dance in the courtyard today, along with a few Polkas ~ courtesy of John & Becky Lowery and friends who entertained the crowds on two German street organs and an accordion.

The hand-crank organ was custom-made in Germany, and the performers were even able to select the paintings that decorate the case.  The pipes in front are carved, and tunes are played by a punched-paper music roll run through rollers.  The sound is similar to a calliope or hurdy gurdy.

The crowd really enjoyed dancing along with the music!

Along with the two organs, one performer entertained on this beautiful accordion.

It was great fun to watch, sing, and dance along with the group ~ no lederhosen required! ~ and a great start to our very busy weekend.

We’ve packed Saturday’s schedule with artist signings and activities:

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pebbie Mott of Pebbie Art is signing her delightful Department 56 Village backdrop prints.
  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Trieste is in the store to demonstrate the Ne’Qwa technique of painting mouth-blown glass ornaments – on the INSIDE surface!
  • 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Kristi Pierro, the creator of Snowbabies, will be signing Department 56 Snowbabies and Village houses (and we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Snow Village Halloween collection).
  • Opening at 9 a.m., five vendors will be in a tent in our courtyard participating in the Department 56 Secondary Market, selling retired village houses and collectibles.  The Secondary Market continues on Sunday.
  • Team Kirkwood will be in the courtyard from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. entertaining with clowning and balloon animals.
  • Parrot Mountain will be here all day with a selection of exotic birds.
  • Singing Santa will be in concert several times during the day, as well as available for visits and photos.

I need to get some rest before all the fun begins in the morning ~ and I believe it’s scheduled to be another spectacular fall day in the SmokiesCome join us!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place