For several years I have been collecting Department 56 village pieces. I have stored them in the basement, stacked on pallets, waiting until the year I’d have the time and inclination to assemble these pieces into some sort of order and reason.
I have not had the time to even consider decorating our office since 2010, so this year I made it a point to begin early in October and see if I couldn’t somehow display all the houses, accessories, trees, and lights that I’d collected. This was no easy task, as our office has limited floor space, two double book cases full of books, two computer desks, and two cabinets. In order to decorate this room I had to first remove all the books from the bookcases, box them, and store them in the basement. Next I had to move two 4′ wide x 6′ high cabinets into the basement and rearrange the computer desks. That alone was overwhelming.
The next task was to somehow figure out how to display the houses, as I had houses from six different Department 56 series’. Once that was decided, I had to consider the wiring and backdrops. This meant recovering the backdrops for each of the 20 bookshelves on the bookcases.
Then the wiring had to be done beginning at the top of each bookcase and working my way down to the ground where the wires would finally get plugged into power strips. Of course every time I thought I was done, I’d decide to make a change or addition and had to them pull everything down and start over.
The left bookcase holds Department 56 New England Village pieces on the shelves and Alpine Village pieces on the top.
The right bookcase holds Department 56 Dickens’ Village pieces, retelling the story of A Christmas Carol.
After the bookcases I worked on a village for the top of the computer armoire. This was a small village, only six houses, but fit in that area perfectly.
Finally, the centerpiece of the room, the tree had to be put up. This tree was given to me by my grandmother several years before her death. It is the only tree of its kind that I have ever seen. I know there are probably more around like this, but this tinsel tree is the most unique tree in our home.
Under this tree, seeing as the tree is decorated in red, black, and silver for Santa’s colors, I put my favorite village — North Pole or Santa’s Village. I thought that this particular village would be easier to assemble than the village shelves or tops, but boy was I wrong. Although not very big, this village took more than 4 hours just to do the wiring with a total of more than 8 hours of work to finish it.
This room took so long to complete that I don’t know how I’m going to take it all down come January. Already I’ve decided that the wiring on the bookshelves is going to have to stay, there is no way I’m doing that every year.
The best part of this whole project was when Hubby told me how beautiful it was and how he turns on the tree and North Pole village every night when he is in the office working on the computer. I never thought I’d see the day when he’d actually turn on a Christmas light, let alone a tree and village scene. Enjoying this new addition to our Christmas decorations together is priceless, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.
PS: Oh, by the way, I still have one more village in the basement, Snow Village, from Department 56 that did not get put up this year. So far I have 11 buildings from this collection, but not enough accessories to display it. Plus, I need to figure out how to fit it into the room. Unless I move the computers down to the basement, I just don’t think it’s going to make it in this room.