For many years my family has set up a Christmas village. I remember growing up we used to play pranks with the village, adding things that didn't belong and my mom would act offended (at least I hope she was always acting). One of my favorite holiday trips would be to see train and village displays, checking out all the intricate details and creative arrangements.

When Matt and I married, my parents gave us a "Start a Tradition" set so we could begin our own village. We've added to it every year (except one year when we actually sold a few pieces, trying to make the village fit in this house). This year we (and by "we", I mean "Matt;" he busted out his old foam carving skills!) constructed a big display in our office so we can properly arrange the village.

Our village is the Department 56 Dickens' Village series. We love the old world look of nostalgic village life. I like to ponder the lives people might have lived back then, considering how very blessed we are with today's modern conveniences, yet how we can be reminded to simplify life.

One of my favorite scenes is the church district. The bride and groom coming out of the church are new to our village this year, commemorating our 10th anniversary. I also love the little girl donating apples and a basket of bread to the parson. I think he'll probably snack on one of those apples before he delivers them to the needy . . .
I call this the government district, since it has the castle and the stock exchange. I made the creek and pond out of satin and decorative river rocks. I think the king likes to sit on that bench while he ponders grave matters of state . . .
This year we decided to start a new tradition and involve the kids in the village, so we've added a North Pole to our village. As you can see, the North Pole Series from Department 56 has a very different look. With lots of colored lights, moving parts, candy, and even some licensed characters (the Mickey Mouse piece is beautiful!), it really draws the boys in. They even helped me make the candy trees in the background. Hopefully we've found a way to take one of our hobbies and begin making new memories for the entire family.
Our village will be up through the month of January. It's always the first thing we put up and the last thing we take downeach year. If you're local, please stop by to take a look!
2 Responses
  1. JDTapp Says:

    I think it's sad that the stock exchange is in the "government district." That speaks volumes.

  2. Jessica Says:

    Well, Justin, I guess I meant the "official" district. I couldn't place the stock exchange next to the fish shop or the mill.