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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #19: Christmas Village

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.

11 comments:

  1. You should see my mom's village. Its epic. Bitz can tell you if he saw it a few years back although she's expanded & reduced somewhat since then. She doesnt put out everything these days. My fav is the French Town she got at Target back in the 90s, its a bunch of taller buildings that go side by side in a long row but they are very detailed all the way around. Still hoping she'll give them to me :)

    >^,,^<

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  2. our mom has a nice one, and we have a small collection from her that as of right now we don't have anywhere to display (which will change for next year with the new Bay window)

    Also, not xmas related, but a house a few blocks away has a wicked train set that travels all through their yard and includes tunnels (through the fence from the backyard to the front), a waterfall, a river, and a little village.
    it's awesome

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  3. Anonymous: I thought a pre-lung-shot Sniper Wolf took out that village? Or was it just her wolves? I can't remember...it was a long time ago.

    Anyway, it's a good thing I'm too lazy and pragmatic to set up a Christmas village in my house or a certain white, odd-eyed grinch would have the entire village on the floor before the sun came up.

    I have a feeling very few people know what I'm talking about....oh well.

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  4. @Anonymous: My fav is the French Town she got at Target back in the 90s, its a bunch of taller buildings that go side by side in a long row but they are very detailed all the way around.

    That does sound pretty cool.

    @Anne: Also, not xmas related, but a house a few blocks away has a wicked train set that travels all through their yard and includes tunnels (through the fence from the backyard to the front), a waterfall, a river, and a little village.

    My father-in-law has a huge model train setup in his basement.

    I'm hot and cold on the subject. On the one hand, trains don't hold any particular interest for me. On the other, I do enjoy dioramas and can totally understand how someone could get into model trains.

    certain white, odd-eyed grinch would have the entire village on the floor before the sun came up.

    Ha! I know what you mean. The first year I had it up, I actually velcroed the figures and smaller pieces onto the board so a certain stubby-tailed grinch of my own wouldn't knock the pieces down (the buildings are too heavy for him).

    Thankfully, I've been able to forgo that practice in later years as he no longer seems as interested in wreaking havoc upon the village.

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  5. i'm kind of a stickler for villages though, and prefer the people to be in scale to the buildings. Those tiny people, though, are much harder to find

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  6. @Falen: i'm kind of a stickler for villages though, and prefer the people to be in scale to the buildings.

    It takes every ounce of my self control to not be bothered by that. Even as a kid, scale bugged me (GI Joes never hung out with He-Man, for example).

    As it is, I make a point to keep all my Christmas village people as much in the foreground as possible, so I can tell myself the buildings are smaller cuz they're further away...

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  7. I LOVE THIS!

    I don't have a village but man, do I ever want one. I am a Crazy Christmas Grandma. I don't know what's wrong with me, maybe I'm having a nervous breakdown - but I have gone off the deep-end this year. I love all of the embarrassing, cutesy pie, snowman and reindeer stuff.

    I bought a snowman table cloth for Christ's sake!

    And I *love* it.

    In fact, I am so into it and it's so out of character that I've actually made up a name for this Crazy Christmas Woman who lives in me. Her name is Shyanne. She is a substitute kindergarten teacher from South Carolina and she lives in the late 1980's. She has an affinity for large white sneakers and floor length skirts with sweaters and gold necklaces with little angel heads on them.
    I let her out for 6 weeks a year - she's quite a gal!

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  8. @Joan: Shyanne sounds like a real special lady.

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  9. I love villages. We've had one for years and every year we get my dad a new building or accessory for it. This year it was a forest ranger's tower. The scale thing bothers me too, but we lucked out a few years ago and found a bunch of the tiny people at the dollar store of all places. I always relegate the "fat" people to the far corner of the village where they are semi-hidden by the large potted plant that is next to the village

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  10. @Rebecca: The scale thing bothers me too, but we lucked out a few years ago and found a bunch of the tiny people at the dollar store of all places.

    Nicely done! I like it.

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