I recently had the pleasure of visiting the South’s largest Christmas ornament store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Established 25 years ago, the Christmas Place is nestled near the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in the little east Tennessee town that celebrates Christmas year round, sporting streets lined with holiday lighting and Christmas decor. To call the Christmas Place a store doesn’t quite describe it though. It is really a Christmas village which boasts over 60 themed Christmas trees, ornaments from every designer, and a friendly staff to help you plan your holiday decorations. If you get a chance to visit, you will want to spend hours browsing the ornaments and if you don’t finish your shopping the first day, you can stay at the Christmas Place Inn across the street. This is serious Christmas ornament shopping.
When you first step in to this little village, it is kind of like a quick trip to the North Pole, with a charming Christmas train traveling on a track around the perimeter of the ceiling and Christmas trees and ornaments stretching out into several large rooms packed full and yet very organized by theme, color, manufacturer and designer. Next, your eyes are drawn to Santa and his reindeer lifting off into a starry sky. It is really a winter wonderland and all of the shoppers seemed wide eyed and a little child-like as they viewed this fascinating and unexpected display. I saw several shoppers who appeared really tickled to find so many unusual ornaments in one place.
Moving on in this ornament collector’s paradise, we are treated to the vineyard Christmas tree which was one of my favorites. The staff cleverly combined wine themed ornaments such as grape ornaments, wine barrel ornaments and wine glass ornaments with an assortment of wine and grape motif ribbons. Their designers really have a wonderful knack for using ribbons and bows as ornaments. This tree just sparkles!
There are more traditionally themed Christmas trees as well, including lots of red and green, but I want to share with you an image of the African themed tree. All of the ornaments and bows fit together in a safari type decor that doesn’t sound like Christmas, but the combination of the animal print ribbons, wooden animal ornaments and gold berries just works so well. From jungle animals to boots for a trek through the African veldt, the ornaments on this tree are fun for young and old alike and are very collectible.
You’ll be glad to know that even if you can’t make it to Tennessee to the Christmas Place, you can experience the village online and even take their virtual tour. While shopping online for ornaments and clearance items, be sure to sign up for their free newsletter and receive monthly designer tips for planning your 2013 Christmas tree.