It’s not a secret that I’m a huge fan of Christmas. I think about it all year long.
Now, naysayers will say it’s because I’m obsessed with the commercialization of Christmas, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Those same haters are the people that find the negative in every “feel good” YouTube video of a kid offering a plate to a homeless person, or a young man being caught on video helping an elderly woman up the stairs. So haters, it isn’t the presents, the over-scheduling, and immense expense of Christmas that I love; rather, it’s the excitement, the music, the whimsy, the joy in the smallest things, and (perhaps most importantly) the societal acceptance of over-the-top (“extra” if you will) Christmas decorations. That’s right. For me, it’s about the decorations.
Christmas decorations are something I think about, obsess over, plan, re-plan, organize, strategize, think, re-think, and re-think again all year long. My loving husband Jim can attest to that. And, if I see one more “Stop premature Christmas decorating” meme, I swear to God my eyes will permanently roll back in my head.
My favorite Christmas decoration of all is my Department 56 North Pole Christmas Village. My mom and dad started collecting when I was a little boy, and I was instantly enamored and mesmerized by the tiny lit ceramic village. As an adult, I have continued collecting for years, and have over 50 lit houses today. My parents still collect, and my mom’s village is still one of my very favorites, as well.
I wanted to start my blog with a post about my Department 56 Christmas Village favorite pieces: the ones that started it all. *Full disclosure: These pieces are assembled in my personal order (the order of village hierarchy) for my North Pole Village, and not in their original order of release. I believe there is no “wrong” in master planning your personal village. This is just my way. I believe you should start with the three primary lit pieces I feature here. They create the foundation of your magical world, and allows you to pick and choose which pieces, and brands, you use to flesh out the rest of the magical Christmas world.
My first, favorite, and centerpiece of my North Pole village is “Santa’s North Pole Palace.” At nearly 1 foot tall, this primary piece is the best start to every fan’s collection. It has design details that are reminiscent of earlier retired Claus homes “Santa’s Workshop” and “Route 1, Home of Santa and Mrs. Claus” including the gorgeous red roof, sharp peaks, plentiful windows, NP flag, and gorgeous glitter effect. The North Pole Palace is my choice for my village. It’s also nearly 4 inches taller than the earlier counterparts, helping it stand out among the rest of the village pieces, giving this centerpiece a true place of honor in your North Pole village.
Coordinating with the “Merry Christmas” accessory of Mr. and Mrs. Claus welcoming visitors to their home while enjoying their morning coffee, and the earlier ceramic “North Pole Gate”, this piece deserves a place of prominence in your village.
After “Santa’s North Pole Palace”, the 2nd and 3rd most important pieces are “The Elf Bunkhouse” and “Reindeer Barn.” Coincidentally, these are the 2nd and 3rd lit pieces Department 56 commissioned for the North Pole Village.
These homes for the North Pole’s other two famous residents: elves and reindeer, are beautiful. With muted greens and reds, earthy rock bases, and traditional snowy/glittery finishes, these 7 inch tall classic pieces complete the holy trifecta of primary pieces forming the foundation of every collector’s Department 56 North Pole village.
Early accessories “Toy Maker Elves” and “Sleigh and 8 Tiny Reindeer” round out your collection with pizzazz.
After these pillars of your North Pole village, I branched out into many MANY other “neighborhoods”. Future blog posts will showcase more of my village, including the Disney area, Peppermint area, and endless, endless shops and Elf accessories.