"Every year I'll add to it!" I told my wife, "And eventually I'll have a pretty cool collection."
And I kept my word. The following year I paid closer attention and noticed that not only were there houses in this collection, but figurines, too. So I would get another house and a figurine or two. Within a few years I had a small but growing village. One year I kinda went over board: I was at our local (but now defunct) Hudson's Department Store and saw that they had this massive amount of additions to the Dickens Village. So, I did something that wasn't very smart - I opened a Hudson's charge account and bought a few pieces with it. Well, more than a few pieces...enough to get my wife pretty ticked at me. For quite a while...
I cut up the card and went back to getting one or two additions a year again. And, except for one or two accessories, it was always from the Dept. 56 Dickens Village.
Over the ensuing years I bought something like 36 houses and countless figurines and other accessories; enough to fill three or four 6 foot tables. Every November 1st I would take the day off work and spend the early morning til late at night setting up my village. And it would spill over another day or two, depending on how elaborate I wanted to get. Why early November instead of after Thanksgiving? Because it took so long and so much work went into it that I didn't want to have it up for only a few weeks and then take it down after all this work.
Anyhow, I really don't go nuts in adding to this collection anymore only because the pieces are priced out of my affordability. I might buy an accessory or two if they are cheap enough, but that's about it.
Now, it's been since around 2007 or 2008 since I've put up my entire village, so this year, now that we've cleaned up the basement a bit, I decided, "what the heck!" and pulled out the entire collection.
My whole family was thrilled!
I didn't go very elaborate - you can see a few things like wires here and there, though I've used cottonballs to try to hide most of it.
So I thought I would post a few photos...okay, more than just a few photos.
I hope you enjoy it:
The rich side of town. This is where Charles Dickens and Mr. Brownlow live.
The rich side of town. This is where Charles Dickens and Mr. Brownlow live. In fact, I see Mr. Dickens in his green coat - it looks like he is giving a reading of his new novel, "A Christmas Carol."
Heading into the city we see Scrooge's nephew Fred's home. And there is the beautiful stone church with the pastor giving bread to the poor.
And, wait? Is that Florence Nightengale?
Note the graveyard and the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come with Scrooge. Since they are invisible, the others have no idea that they are even there and go on their merry Christmas way!
I see Scrooge's house - and a hearse going by...
If you look just in front of the horse you can see the Ghost of Jacob Marley right outside Scrooge's door.
I bet that must be Marley's body in the hearse!
Getting closer to the business section of town we pass a bakery and a place to get lamps and oil.
Without the camera flash.
Now we're into the heart of my own little London town. Do you see the Scrooge & Marley Counting House? Yep, it's Christmas Eve and he's still in there working!
"Business?? Mankind was my Business!"
Here is where so much of London's business takes place.
Oh and I know Big Ben was not around in 1843. It's just a really cool piece and Miles insisted that I put it up.
A very busy and exciting city during Christmas!
And there's the pub!
Whoa! That lamp post is leaning. One is supposed to lean on a lamp post, not the other way around!!
|"Chestnuts! Get yer hot chestnuts 'ere!!"|
I also see the vendor who has the Big Prize Turkey off in the distance.
A maltings and gristmill are on the edge of town.
Oohh...the seedier side of town. This is where Fagin lives, and where the dirtier businesses such as the blacksmith and the coal factory are located.
The same scene without the camera flash:
See the young pick-pocket run off with his stolen goods? And, of course, another pub.
And there is Scrooge with the Ghost of Christmas Past ("Long past?"
"No, YOUR past") looking inside old Fezziwig's warehouse window, eying a Christmas party from his youth. I believe they danced the Virginia Reel!
It's old Fezziwig alive again!!
"Wassail wassail all over the town,
our bread it is white and our ale it is brown!"
I see wassailers celebrating and making a lot of noise as they stroll and dance down the cobblestone lane.
I see the road labourer should fix the road!
I believe this just might be the Cratchit children bringing home the Yule Log!
A bird's eye view of the entire village.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the photos of my village. I do enjoy setting it up - it gets me in the spirit of Christmas a little earlier. We don't bother much the whole shopping aspect that has become the Holiday, and this is one of the little thrills we all get that simply adds to the season.
~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~
A side note here: Since writing this post about my Dept. 56 Dickens collection, I have begun to collect the Dept. 56 Colonial Williamsburg series as well. If you are interested in seeing what I have, please click HERE. I do plan to update the post as I purchase more from the series.