Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Village: Vintage 1980s

Submitted by Linda
I've been waxing nostalgic about my Christmas decorations more than usual. I've always been one of those people who like to do a lot of holiday decorating, and who enjoy the process as well as the result. Lately I've been wondering about those who don't like to do it, and why I do enjoy it so much. My best guess is that I was lucky enough to grow up in a happy home, where Christmases were very merry. And as for decorating, some of my fondest childhood memories are of rushing home from school to spray fake snow on fresh greens that were cut from the backyard of our Oregon home. Even then, I loved pulling out the same decorations year after year.

Though I love to see what is new and different in the world of crafting and decorating, for Christmas you will find me putting up the favorite, traditional stuff rather than the stylish or trendy. Case in point: my Christmas village.
When Craig and I were newly married, (over 20 years ago), my mom and dad bought us this 'boxed set' village from the old BEST store, which I believe was in Montclair, CA. Does anyone else remember that store? You picked out what you want, and it would get delivered to the register via a conveyer belt! As for the village, I knew even then that if I started collecting a village with the prospect of adding pieces, I could go a little crazy and end up with a huge unmanageable collection. So I picked out this set with 6 small buildings and some accessories. You can see below the price. Seems kind of steep for the 80's!
Well, my plan to be unable to add pieces has worked well, until last year when a student gave me a single firehouse as a Christmas gift, complete with a cute red truck. Serendipitously, it fit the size and scale of my village, so I squeezed it into the town, and even managed to fit it into the box when it was time to clean up in late December.
So this year, I wonder (for a millisecond) if I should change up my decorations, but I immediately know that the village must again find it's home on my antique curio cabinet. First comes the snow.
Then I start arranging the buildings, adding in the firehouse. I've added small boxes under the snow to make some 'hills' and vary the heights of the buildings.
My set came with 2 churches, and I always put them on the boxes to elevate them a bit. It reminds my of the scripture in the book of Matthew, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden...let your light shine....." Craig was in Israel this past spring, and saw the actual city that supposedly inspired that verse, a city where the sunset caused the city to positively light up! I love the notion of letting our light shine.One of the best inventions that you all will want, is this little remote! It comes with 3 thingys that you plug into the wall, which you plug your village (or tree, or twinkle lights) into. Ta-Daa! You just click the remote, rather then bending over to the outlet every time you want to turn it on or off!
When I get it all set up, I click the button to make sure I'm happy with the result. Yep! I like it in the daytime.
But in the nighttime, I love, love, love the warm glow it gives to my entryway.
My village has been up for several days now, and I click it on as soon as I walk in the door each day after work. I'm enjoying it every day, because soon January will come, and then I will reluctantly put it back into the box. Until next Christmas.


kate wallace said...

It is now Christmas! I love those houses! I think my mom has a few!

Catharina said...

Tee hee... Your idea to keep your village from growing out of control was wise!!! I was almost a bit relieved when they "discontinued" making the houses for the little village I have.... "Little" now including 30 buildings and numerous accessories!!! (And Robbie only picked the "best" for me each year, not automatically purchasing them all!) I also always place my churches up on little "hills" and love that I will now think of it as "letting our light shine." Thanks for sharing!!