“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” ~ Harlan Miller
Department 56 Christmas Villages
The lights, the magic, the imagination are all things that make Christmas so exciting. Especially when it is dark and cold, and oh so dreary out. Christmas livens everything up, which is why I adore my Department 56 Christmas Village. It has all the joy and spirit that this season is about.
Department 56 is a company that is well known for their ceramic Christmas villages, home decor, as well as other seasonal decorations. It is their Snow Village that started it all in 1976 and they then expanded with Dickens, which is based on Christmas in Victorian England, Christmas in the City, The Alpine Village and my personal favorite, The North Pole. Both my Grandmother (Snow Village) and my Mom (Christmas in the City) began collecting pieces before I was even born. It was my Mom’s village that I think is partly to blame for my love of New York, my imagination, and obsession with Christmas. She use to put her village under her Christmas tree in her bedroom and I would stare at it when I was suppose to be asleep for hours imagining what the people were doing, and all their Christmas plans.
Every time I would stare at the village I could hear Silver Bells playing, because the people and buildings truly embodied that song. Now my Mom has almost two hundred or so pieces, she doesn’t put a tree in her bedroom anymore, and her village is spread out throughout the house, bringing Christmas cheer as the next generation of nephews and nieces stare in awe of the people and buildings. And now I also have my own village to collect.
The North Pole
While I loved Christmas in the City, and there are buildings that as a New Yorker, I recognized, and loves, I was always drawn to the whimsicalness of North Pole. It truly was Christmas with all its magic, glitter, and bright colors. Since I was fourteen, “Santa” has been bringing me a piece every year for Christmas. Over the last sixteen years, I have seen my beautiful little village grow and expand.
Living in New York, I left my village behind, because I not only had no room to store anything, but I also didn’t want to risk any of the buildings or people getting broken. After a couple years of putting it up just days before Christmas, much like my tree, I decided to keep it up year round.
I had a board built so it could hold my expanding village and every year when I get a new building I would rearrange it, before heading back to New York. I love the gentle glow it gives especially on those cold wintery nights.
While North Pole is whimsical with elves and Santa’s many of the buildings speak to my personality, from the skating rinks (of course, I had to have one!) to an elf coffee shop, to Mrs. Clause bakery, and little boutiques, the buildings and people have created a quaint little village you would find outside the North Pole. Of course I also have the fanciful with Santa’s And Cabin, a Tree Topper Shop, and the Reindeer Post Office for a few honorable mentions. Each piece is beautifully crafted and adds to that Christmas magic. In fact one of the things I have told my nephews so they do not touch it (and break pieces) is if they do touch it, it will loose it’s magic.
And it is magical. Even if the people don’t come alive at night like I use to think as a kid (or perhaps they do) it is still fun to imagine and to believe. I love seeing the looks of awe on my nephews and nieces faces, and hear the stories they tell of the different buildings and figurines as THEY let their imaginations run wild. After all this is the season for believing, even for adults.
Do you have a Christmas Village you put up?
If you missed it, here are the other Nautical Christmas Links:
Day 1 Blogmas
Day 2 Tips on Trimming the Tree
Day 3 Hallmark Graphic Tee
Day 4 Tips on Wrapping The Perfect Present
Day 5 2020 Christmas Skating Ornament
Day 6 Saint Nicholas Day
Day 7 A Christmas Graphic Sweatshirt
Day 8 Favorite Christmas Quotes