Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Traditions: Christmas Village

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! 

My family just settled in after dinner for some boiled peanuts, chocolate covered strawberries, Blue Bell, aaaaaand James Bond movies. 

So Katy settled in for some boiled peanuts, chocolate covered strawberries, Blue Bell, and my blog. Which will be shortly followed by my Christmas book. 

Last week I shared with you my "little North Pole" - as in, my Christmas decorations around my apartment - but today I wanted to share a little more about one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Last year I shared my tradition of holiday dishes, and this year I want to share behind the "heart" of my Christmas village. 

Which really is called the North Pole. 

<in the dark with lights on>

<with actual lights on>

So here's the thing about this village. I have been collecting this village since I was 13 years old. THIRTEEN. Most girls that age were focused on training bras and Lisa Frank stickers, but I was begging my mom for village pieces. 

I mean I might be part elf.

I wish I would have done this on all pieces, but on a lot of the pieces I actually included the date. This is the oldest one I could find...

Tilly's Tiny Cup Cafe - back in 2001. 

I grew up with my mom putting out her Charles Dickens village (the woman has like 30 pieces), and I always loved "playing" with it. I'm sure my mom loved me playing with her fragile porcelain pieces, but I loved moving the villagers around and having them "visit" all the various shops and houses. Tiny Tim was my favorite :) 

Then my sister (who was graduating from college) wanted to start her own village, too. And I remember thinking, "if I start my village now, I can have so many pieces by the time I'm older!" So my sister started the Snow Village (50s theme), and I started the North Pole (all the elves, reindeer, and Santa your heart could ever desire!). 

I would ask for a NP piece every year for Christmas, and often on my birthday. And I LOVED going into old little Christmas stores when we'd go on vacations and finding new pieces. This little village became my hobby. 

One of my favorites. Babes in Snowland!! Heehee - gets me every time. It's funny how much I remember about who gave me what. For instance, I remember back when my village was a mere 4ish pieces (my mom would always let me put it out at Christmas), and my dad came home from work one day with three peppermint "roads." Still one of my favorite accent pieces :)

Actually, a lot of my pieces look like this - with the date and who gave it to me. Now I'll always remember that my sweet Grandmama gave me "Custom Stitchers" when I was 15 (because all elves need a tailor of course...). 

The reindeer barn :) And don't worry - all reindeer are accounted for. I made sure before I purchased. 

I currently have a little over 20 pieces. My dad actually built me a new table this year over Thanksgiving, but it still wasn't big enough. Sadly though, my village might stop here. I've done some research on the Department 56 North Pole series now, and they've completely modernized all the pieces. 

So the pieces no longer have this "look." And quite frankly, I don't think they have the same charm. You can obviously find some pieces on ebay and such, so I may still grow it a bit, but it will never be the massive colony I once hoped (insert Jeff rejoicing here). 

This village just makes me happy. I love the colors, I love the detail that is put into each and every piece, and I love the fact that one of my pieces is a reindeer flight school that includes a reindeer "flying" in circles when you turn it on. This village brings out the kid in me. 

And it makes me think of the Santa Clause trilogy - which are by far some of my very favorite Christmas movies. #seriouslylovetimallen

It's also something I really hope my kids enjoy looking at and "playing" with. Just like I played with my mom's. :) 

And in the picture above you can see the flying reindeer! 

So yes, this village is filled with holiday memories for me. I love putting it out and looking at each and every piece. Yes, it gets a tad tedious, but it's oh-so special, just the same. 

I hope you are all having a WONDERFUL Christmas Eve Eve and that it continues through the weekend! I hope you have the merriest of Christmases, and I'll check back with you before the New Year :)

Until next time,


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