Do you have a Christmas collection?
One of my sisters has a collection of crystal snowflake ornaments, given to her by her mother in law every Christmas for many years:
My other sister has a collection of angel ornaments. Eventually, she’d like to have a separate, ‘angel’s only’ tree:
My mom and I collect the Department 56 Dickens’ Village:
Five Reasons To Love Christmas Collections:
1. They simplify gift giving. Your loved ones know what to get you and/or you know what to get your loved one. You can avoid receiving a gift card to Costco when what you really wanted was, for example, more Christian fiction for your collection.
2. They have heirloom potential. Instead of a scarf or an electronic gadget which would be lucky to have a lifespan of a few years, your collection pieces can last and last, maybe even for generations.
3. They’re functional. They decorate your space!
4. They bring delight (assuming you choose to collect something you love).
5. They give you a reason to experience the exultation of ebay auction victory.
My mom started her Dickens’ Village first. Back in the 90’s she was visiting San Francisco and saw a village displayed in a store there. She was charmed, and bought her first building, Quilly’s Antiques. Since then, she’s added pieces here and there either through her own purchasing or gifts she’s received.
I was won over by the village, too, so she presented me with a church one Christmas and a farmhouse soon after. For the first several years, I wasn’t sure where or how to display them. I only had the two buildings and placed them awkwardly on a small coffee table in my front, formal living area. I rarely saw them, because really. Who spends much time in their front, formal living area?
As my kids grew, they began to take an interest in the little, glowing houses and in all the tiny people that surround them. It was their excitement that fueled mine. I went ebay crazy one year, trying to snag as many used houses for super cheap as I could. I moved the new, enlarged group of houses to the dining room table, so that my kids could kneel on the chairs, plant their elbows on the table, and have plenty of room to play. If we need to actually (imagine!) eat at the dining room table during December, no problem. The houses are grouped in the middle, like a table runner. So we eat on either side of the village and look at each other over the rooftops and chimneys.
I was weary this year after our Thanksgiving trip and not energetic enough to think about Christmas decorating the first few days of December. But my five year old daughter convinced me to find the energy. Why? Because she couldn’t wait to get out the village.
We’ve had a few accidents. Houses and people have broken, but I’ve never worried about it. They’re all replaceable. In fact, I’ve now filled the length of my dining room table and have so many people walking around outside the houses that I’m on the verge of needing an interstate to handle traffic flow. Unless I make the leap to another surface, I don’t have room for village expansion. Thus, when one of my old houses came out of storage with a hole in its roof this season, I was actually happy to have an excuse to purchase something new.
Be still my heart, I found a bookstore!
If I ever do decide to expand I love this idea from the ‘Sew Many Ways’ blog, which you really need to visit because it’s FULL of amazingly creative, inspiring, and classy ideas.
Merry Christmas, dear Inspired by Life readers!
Please share! Do you have a Christmas collection or two? What do you collect? If you were to start a collection what do you think you might choose?