Since I was a little girl, my mom has been gifting me pieces for my holiday village, and it’s become one of the most special parts of this season.
It all started when she began collecting these small, festive pieces and putting them on top of the piano in my childhood home around Christmas each year. I would count down the hours until it was dark enough for her to turn their lights on and I’d be fascinated by the small village and how they had their own “lives.” I was a highly-imaginative child (and now I’m just a highly-imaginative adult) and I always liked to think these miniatures came to life after I went to bed, and they really cut down Christmas trees or drank in the taverns. When my sister got married and moved into her own home, my mom gave her most of the original village (keeping a couple of them for me), and from there on out, there was a new figurine or town piece under the tree or in my stocking that tailored to my personal taste.
The train station and the school house were from the original collection, but since then, she’s added an academy of arts (in honor of my six years of musical theater and three years of ballroom dance). There’s a feline pet shop (since I’m a total cat lady). She gifted me a ski bar (this one may have been the item she gave me the year I turned 21). I have Santa Claus, a skating rink, a covered bridge, some adorable figurines, and a couple getting engaged (totally precious). Last year I got an Airstream (because I’ve been loving to travel lately)! Setting up this village has become one of the most special parts of my holiday season, and last year, getting the opportunity to bring it to life in my new home was a dream come true.
faux snow | covered bridge | similar airstream | similar engaged couple | similar pet shop | similar train station | similar schoolhouse | similar ski lodge | similar theater | similar Santa Claus | similar skating rink
A holiday village is an amazing addition to any home during Christmas-time (and beyond).
You can purchase pieces for these villages and make them a year-round thing if you’d like. There are so many options available. I will say the most popular pieces are for Halloween and Christmas, but you can stick to a theme, a holiday, a set of characters (they have ones for Disney, Peanuts, etc.) or you can just do whatever! I think one of the most important parts of decorating your village is always going to be accessorizing. Some of my favorite items are the Christmas trees, the fake snow, and the tiny characters. They add such life to what would otherwise be a row of small houses on top of my entertainment center each holiday season. Make sure to spice up your town with smaller items that bring you cheer.
Something to note: Lemax is my favorite brand for these items, but they can be a bit pricey (though Department 56 – maker of the Dickens Village – is marginally more expensive). However, they’re worth the splurge if you’re looking for incredible quality and long-lasting collectibles. If you’d like to save some money, St. Nicholas Square is also an excellent option, or you can look online to discover more brands!
These villages make incredible gifts, and clearly they’re excellent for traditions as well. I’ll be honest, I don’t see them very often in millennial homes, but I think that should change. This may have been something that was passed down to me, but it’s so festive and fun to put up each year, and it’s extra special because it was something my mom, my sister, and I all love together. My sister’s collection now takes up multiple shelves in her home since she has so many pieces, and when my grandfather passed away, my mom got his Dickens Christmas set, which is incredibly meaningful. We each have our own spin on our sets, but one thing remains the same for all three of us: we love our holiday villages.