Sunday, December 19, 2010

It Takes a Village

Before he met me, Barry never bothered with a Christmas tree because he just didn't have the patience for buying the tree and the ornaments and setting everything up and taking it all down again. Instead, he celebrated the holiday season by setting up his holiday village.

The village is a row of Victorian-style ceramic houses and little "pine" trees with fiber-optic lights. He has a church, a train station, a sawmill, and a variety of small shops and houses. The accessories include two ponds, internal lighting, three cats, a dog, and several not-quite-in-scale people. The original inhabitants of the village were a few ice-skaters and Ebenezer Scrooge. I added two travelers waiting for a train, a couple of kids building a snowman, and Ralphie from A Christmas Story checking the mailbox for his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring.

During most of the year the village lives, carefully wrapped, in its own storage box in a cupboard in the garage. No matter how well we wrap the individual pieces, though, we always seem to find at least one casualty when we unpack the next year.  This year the back chimney broke off the sawmill and the grazing mule deer lost some more bits of their legs.  The chimney was a clean break and easily repaired, but we may have to retire the deer.  Having them lay next to the pond like tiny plastic roadkill does not add to the holiday spirit.

Crippled deer aside, even if I don't find the right tree tomorrow, it's now officially Christmas at our house.

(My camera is having a nervous breakdown, so I tried to take these with my cell phone.)

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." ~Norman Vincent Peale

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