On the 7th day of Christmas…Where are all the village people?

Fresh snow blankets the new village crafted by my elves

Christmas villages are being collected by many of our clients, and those little houses, people, trees and ski slopes have are put up by someone, usually my team of Christmas “elves”.   My elves actually like placing these little houses and playing architect in our own village.  As they take them out of their boxes (and they are almost always in their original packaging) they exclaim their joy in seeing all the collectibles of my clients.   Some clients collect only a brand, or a set, while others have a hodgepodge of brands, all forming a village on their sofa tables, buffets and tops of entertainment centers.

Pre-construction phase....the elves have discussion about where the homes will appear in the village

We take pride in setting these up in a complete village…one that makes sense to us, which is right since we are the architect of this particular village.  They consult with me, some, but usually this part I let them have a good say on the outcome, because I know they do a good job.  It is a bit like playing with a doll house, on a different scale, and it seems in our busy schedules we don’t play with dolls anymore…except at Christmas, our imaginations are at peak form.

I hear the elves talking to themselves, and each other about placing  the homes.   “We can’t put the bar beside the church, there are ordinances about that kind of thing….” was a comment that really cracked me up.   And they are right, there are laws about that in our real world and in our villages on the table tops.  We usually put the church in the center of town, based on the fact that at least in the south, where we all live, it is the epicenter.  The shops and the taverns go on one side of the church, the houses and skate parks or ski slopes go on the other side.  “I placed Tiny  Tim‘s house beside the church because I think they go to church a lot to pray for Tiny Tim and they would probably live close”, was one comment I heard this year.

Then we add the trees, big and large, stepping back now and then to see if we have balance.  Some of our villages have hedges, neatly trimmed around the biggest houses (they can afford to have a gardener, you know).  Some of the houses are spaced a bit apart, near the bigger trees….as these people live further out in the country.  Then the little lamp posts are checked for batteries.  These are the ones that are hardest to keep lit.   We decide to place  them near the shops, because the town needs some lights, and the people walking around doing their last-minute shopping will need to see where they are going.   Sometimes we just have to let the “electric company” know that the lights don’t work.  The lights in  all the houses come next.   Very seldom do the ones in the box still light the house, and many times we switch out about 80% of these lights every Christmas.   Even been known to take a trip to the “spare parts” store at lunch time to get new lights, cords, and remote controls or timers.  But they MUST be lit….

Bright lights warm up this section of town.

Snow comes towards the evening…. making drifts over the cords and hills of overturned boxes and Styrofoam used to make the mountains.  It covers all the necessary parts that make the village run smoothly. The blanket of snow makes the  lights in the houses sparkle.  The people all come out after the snow fall, to see the kids skate at the park, or the skiers flying down the hill.   Other people run around the town looking for last-minute gifts….Tiny Tim’s family goes to pray in the church, and one man is looking at that tavern…   We had great discussion about the woman pushing the man in the wheelchair.  He just didn’t seem to fit with any of the stores….so we placed him in front of the church.   Decided he’d spent too much time in the tavern, so had been to the hospital and was now going to church to pray.

Sprinkles of  snow with a bit of glitter to them, fall from the sky (we are on ladders, you know) dusting the blanket of earlier snow storms.  The children are happily skating on the rink, and parents are wondering what is for dinner.   The day is almost over, the village is sparkling ,the lights are on a timer, and  the elves climb down from their ladders.

In our real village, we show the owners which remote control works certain areas of their home, which ones are on timers (always the exterior),  and tidy up our work area.  Our work for this day  is done, and our  village is complete. Time to go home to my home, in my village, where my tree (of course it is on a timer) and my front porch which is merrily ready for Christmas (and on a dusk to dawn timer) will be lit and waiting to welcome me.