Blog, Holidays, Home

Pre-Holiday Decorations

Day 32

IMG_7559We really enjoy a cozy atmosphere around the holidays. Yesterday, I pulled out a couple of small Thanksgiving things, like table cloths and our Publix pilgrim salt and pepper shakers our daughters bought us years ago. It helps get the season off on a positive note.

Department 56

I married into a family of collectors. Everyone in the family had Department 56 villages. Some Dickens, some Christmas in the City and some North Pole. We decided we would collect the New England Village. It is more holiday-like rather than Christmas-like.

Over the years we were gifted pieces or bought pieces. We do not have a huge collection like others, but we have 12 buildings and a few accessories. Eventually we stopped buying them because we did not have practical space to display them.

In years past, hubby created a village base with ice ponds and rivers complete with street lights that always housed the village. Now, in our retirement years, we have a smaller space so the village gets displayed above the kitchen cabinets. It is mainly ambiance and the lights at night give you a really cozy feeling. Just enough to make you smile.

Decorations Are Work

IMG_7696Today, I unpacked the buildings to the village and put the lights in them. Hubby is busy rigging up extension cords with timers to make turning them on and off easier. The smaller grandchildren love getting to turn the lights on when they come to visit. Such small joys make sweet memories.

It starts out a mess, with everything piled on the table with bits of styrofoam falling everywhere from the unpacking. This is how it begins, but it is short-lived and then the joy is there to enjoy every night thereafter.

Lifting Our Spirits

When life gets us down, sometimes a small thing like this allows you to put your cares aside and focus on something more joyful. It is a choice we make to enjoy the holidays especially when families are so scheduled and so busy that we do not get to see them as much as we would like.

So, it’s not a Christmas village, it is a New England Village. We know many of our friends celebrate holidays other than Christmas and we like that. We aren’t rushing Christmas or skipping Thanksgiving or anything like that — we just plan to enjoy every minute of the upcoming holiday season because, well, that’s just how we roll.

“It’s not about presents but it is about your presence.
Therein lies the spirit of the holiday season.” 

Julieanne O’Connor


3 thoughts on “Pre-Holiday Decorations”

  1. Oh, I’ve never heard of Department 56 villages! Such fun.

    We’ve enjoyed “being home” for the holiday season here in Asheville, post-retirement. The holiday season has not been particularly a family time for us, aside from the last few Thanksgivings, for many years (we come from small families, no children between my sister and me, divorced parents early on – on both side, a mom and dad long gone, etc. with “new” spouses with their own families.

    So, we were fortunate to be able to travel at winter break for many years, so spent Christmas and New Year’s in various different places in the world.

    Always interesting! I was going to post a favorite photo from Hoi An, Vietnam — on a Full Moon Celebration. It was magical. As have been Christmas Eves in many places, too, from Hanoi to Rome, although we’re totally secular observers of Christmas.

    A favorite memory is sharing Christmas dinner with a fellow traveler, from Berkeley, California, where we went to graduate school. We were in Southern Chile, in the Lake District, at an old hotel that was being restored by a North American expat. We invited him to join us. That was a good thing, and it was a lovely dinner.

    You’re blessed by having family to share your traditions. Enjoy!


  2. What a wonderful collection idea! Yes, I like the New England Village much better than Christmas because you can keep it up longer. Early on in the movie Hawaii, there’s a scene that shows a typical New England village. There’s the Congregational church in the square, houses, and shops. My first glimpse of a New England village. It turns out it was Sturbridge Village, Mass. I’ve not been there yet.


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