The display and creation of miniature Christmas Villages during the holiday season has become very popular. Perhaps it’s from the nostalgia for the classic Victorian Christmas that we see in movies or books or some connection to when youngsters set up small electric trains around the Christmas tree. Whatever the reason the growth of the custom has become big business and Christmas Villages can take many forms, including books, jigsaws, decorations, but the most popular are the model villages.
The miniature, model village can occupy a spot beneath the Christmas tree, on top of a table or in some cases occupy an entire room. Sixty years ago many people bought small cardboard houses covered in sparkles and glue and placed beneath the tree to create a small holiday, winter scene. With miniature electric trains already a fixture beneath many family Christmas trees, the addition of small houses in a similar scale was a natural progression.
Over the years the cardboard houses were replaced with ones made of ceramic and plaster. In fact, it was 1976 when Department 56 created six miniature houses to sell for the Christmas season. Those original six were then replaced with twelve new ones the following year and a new hobby was created.
Department 56 created an entire world of classic Victorian houses, stores, bridges and figurines. Each year a new batch would be designed and sold and collectors would eagerly seek their release.
In 1990 Lemax joined the Christmas Village scene with products that were a bit less detailed and also less expensive than the Department 56 creations.
Other brands began to appear and discount stores sold imported knock-offs. The miniature Christmas Village became more and more a mainstay of the family Christmas decoration tradition.
Another celebration of the Christmas Village came in the form of a one thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. Thomas Kinkade is one artist who designs these Christmas village puzzles, showing a typical winter scene of houses lit up with lights and horse drawn carriages. For collectors of old prints, there is a book that contains the Village Church Decorations Children Christmas from 1895. It shows a mother and her young daughter, dressed in their finest warm clothes and walking through a snowy church yard.
Many people like to decorate the outside of their house and gardens with the brightest display of decorations. Rooftop ones are very popular, including the Santa Sleigh over the Village Outdoor Christmas Light. This is a rope light and shows Santa Claus led by three reindeer over a Christmas village scene of houses, church spire and tree tops coated in deep snow.
Little cottages and houses are another form of ornamental decoration at this special time of year. The Ginger Village – Deco Light Pretzel House is a charming cottage with a night light and is pink and purple. Lots of people collect decorative plates, displaying them in cabinets or hanging them on the wall. The Christmas Plate – Christmas in the Village shows a church and a duck pond with swans, bathed in blue moonlight. For those creatively inclined, Christmas Village stencils are fun to do, with pictures of children playing in the snow, sledging and horse carriages.
For an advent calendar with a difference, the Old-Time Christmas Village Stickers calendar is ideal. Instead of opening windows each day, there are houses to stick on to winter scenes. The colorful calendar can be brought out every year, as the stickers can be re-used. Old fashioned houses surround a quaint village square with a Christmas tree in the middle. A church has a choir assembled outside and the snow topped hills form the background to this scene.