For whatever reason, I've always been fascinated by Christmas villages, those dioramas of buildings and figures you'll see in fancy Christmas stores. My grandpa always setup a small one on an end table in the living room, and I think my interest stems from that (as well as the fact that, as a kid, I never just played with my action figures but set them up in elaborate diaroma-esque scenarios first).
Regardless, a few years ago I began assembling a Christmas village of my own. Because of A Christmas Carol, Christmas means Victorian England to me, so that's what I look for in my village pieces.
It's a little tricky because I'm assembling my village on the cheap (they are just fancy Christmas decorations, after all), via the stuff that Michael's carries, which is usually heavily discounted but something of a hodgepodge in terms of themes, as opposed to the specific styles of the spendy Department 56 pieces, but I can usually find some fairly Dickensian stuff each year to add to my setup.