24 November 2006
One of the recent blog challenges posted on 2Peas was to share a bit about your Christmas traditions. I spent most of the afternoon today working with one: my Dickens Village.
My parents started this collection for me over 10 years ago, and now I have 28 buildings, including cottages and businesses, plus an abundance of trees, people, coaches, and other accessories.
I'm fortunate that we have a really nice place to display the village in this house: two large eye-level spaces on either side of the fireplace. Both shelves have holes in the back for electrical cords. It's as if they were made for my collection!
It takes a lot of space to store all of these pieces. It also takes a tremendous amount of time to set them up, but I always enjoy it. Within the collection, I have some buildings that are specific to A Christmas Carol. I always put those together. I also have businesses that are more like you'd find in a downtown, upscale area, and others that are more from "the other side of the tracks". I cluster similar buildings together so that the display seems like a real English village.
Because I have so many pieces, I have to create a couple of levels within my display, with multiple buildings on each level. I use the storage boxes to create the levels, then run electrical cords to a power strip hidden behind the boxes. I cover all of this mess with "snow" (quilt batting) then begin setting the buildings in place according to my always-evolving city plan. Once the buildings are set, I put the trees in place and finally arrange the people in appropriate places.
I usually put up the village around Thanksgiving time and leave it up until the weather starts to get warm again in March. By then, I'm ready to put it away for awhile. (Putting it away is never as much fun as setting it up, by the way.) Setting up the village marks the start of the holiday season for me. It wouldn't be Christmas around our house without it.