Almost Christmas time. Last week, we took the kids to Ford’s Theater in DC to see Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol.
If you ever get the chance to see a show at Ford’s Theater, I highly recommend it. The feeling of importance and history just kind of oozes throughout that space. The show was great. The kids loved it…except for the “Ghost of Christmas yet to come”. Let’s face it. That guy will scare the you-know-what out of just about anyone.
Poor Scrooge. You can’t help but feel for the guy. Spends his whole life working, working, working to get “ahead” only to find out toward the end of his days that he is so very far behind. Rich in the bank account, but bankrupt in the spirit. What a scary place to be. *This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure policy HERE.*
There’s something about Christmas, isn’t there? That feeling. Do you know what I mean? I think it’s a sense of collective consciousness. Like we are all a part of something. Even my friends who aren’t Christian and don’t celebrate the holiday tell me they feel it too. It’s just different around Christmas. Good different, mostly. Sure, we all have those “freak out” holiday moments where we can’t find the honey-baked ham, or every store in the universe is out of the #1 item on little Johnny’s Christmas list. But, that’s all par for the course.
More than through the rest of the year, it’s around the holidays that it feels we are all family…all us crazy humans here on this big blue orb.
And to live this life to it’s fullest, it takes a village, people.
OK, not really what I meant.
Scrooge lived most of his life in solitude. And as much as I love and appreciate solitude, myself…as does any parent of young children…I think most of us realize how wonderful it is to be social creatures. We are at our best when we surround ourselves with people we love and care for. And Christmas is the perfect time of year to be reminded of this.
We have a ceramic Christmas village here at home. It’s not the expensive Department 56 type (although I LOVE those). It’s a DIY type village, where I painstakingly painted every little house, bit by bit. The brand for most of my houses is Wee Crafts, and I’m not sure if they are actually made anymore, so the prices have gone up. You can still find most of the buildings on eBay. There’s also a great online store out of Arkansas that sells tons of bisque (unpainted) Christmas village pieces, their name is R&R Ceramics.
Of all the things we deck our halls with each December, our Christmas village is my favorite part of the decor. We introduced you to our village last year, but there weren’t too many of us here last Christmas. Now the nest is so much more full, I want to share it with all of our new feathered friends, and give you a little update on the village happenings.
The Latest News from Christmas Village…
The town council put the Christmas tree lights up in the town square this weekend. The Women’s Auxiliary is feverishly planning for the annual sing-along and parade…Santa comes down Main Street on a fire engine, and throws candy canes out to all the little ones. It’s a sight to be seen.
The Country Store is full of wreaths, peppermint candies, and all kinds of special seasonal ingredients…pumpkin spice and cinnamon sticks. And they’ve got some fresh cut trees that Farmer Stanley brought over. They’re for sale outside.
Our town butcher, Norm, has lots of turkeys, hams, and all the other favorites required for a big Christmas dinner. When he’s not at the butcher shop, he volunteers over at the fire department, so those guys always get the pick of the Christmas turkeys for the fire house each year.
The train station has been hopping with all the visitors headed into town for the holidays with their loved ones. The stationmaster’s name is Mr. Klaus. The legend in town is that he’s actually Santa. Has the beard, the belly, the jolly laugh and twinkle in his eye…the whole nine. The town kids say he brings in their presents via boxcar from the North Pole each year. I think there’s probably something to that story.
Things at the mill are a little slow this time of year. The workers have been using their down time to help with the Christmas tree sales at the church tree lot. And they’ll pitch in over at the town skating pond. The money they collect from skating goes to a different cause each year. This year, it’s going to help re-build Mrs. Paulson’s bakery, that was lost in a fire back in February.
The firemen and women are prepping the fire house for their annual Christmas party. It’s always one of the most busy times at the station each year.
Life on the farm is status quo. The fields are all turned over for the winter, and the animals are a little slower these days with the chill in the air.
The biggest excitement at the Stanley farm is when the train rolls through, and gets all the animals a bit riled up.
At church, preparations are in full swing for this year’s pageant. Mrs. Sprouse, the choir director, really has her hands full with some of those youngsters. December is no time for behaving with so much anticipation of Santa hanging in the air. But, the costumes are mostly pulled together…bathrobes from Dad for the shepherds, glittery tinsel from the Dollar Tree for halos, and lots of cardboard coated in gobs and gobs of glitter glue and sparkly spray for angel wings.
Each night after pageant practice, the town youngsters head to the skating pond, and enjoy s’mores and hot cocoa served up over the roaring campfire. What a wonderful life.
Back at home, Pa is busy trimming the tree and fighting with dozens and dozens of Christmas light strands. Ma is busy in the kitchen baking up dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies for neighbors, friends and family. Plus, there’s the cookie exchange for the bell choir at church.
Haven’t mentioned those Christmas elves yet. They are busy too. Painting baby Jesus for a new ceramic nativity set…
And they’re fixing up the Morris place. It’s going to be a beautiful blue. Will be a lovely addition to town. Building a community takes time. And effort. It’s not a paid gig. It’s all volunteer. It takes patience. Patience and lots of craft paint.
But progress abounds. We’re making strides at the police station, the library, the fishing pier. Slowly, but surely our community builds, and our village improves.
And in the end, it’s so worth it, right? We get out what we put in.
Me? I’ll be home for the holidays. Enjoying all the richness of the season, and maybe even stealing a little smooch under the mistletoe. I love this time of year when the air is cold and thin, but warm with happiness and thick with joy.
It takes a village, doesn’t it? We need each other…the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. The postman, the police officer, the pastor and his wife. The teachers and delivery truck drivers. People to wrap our arms around and tell them we care. People to ring the bells at the supermarket and collect food and clothing and money for those in need. The shop clerks and the customers. Even the lawyers! And of course those miserable old miser’s like Ebenezer Scrooge. We need him too…because we always love a good redemption story.
It takes all of us to make this Christmas plan come together. People to share in the joy. People to share the cheer, and toast to health…and a happy new year.
Happiest of holidays, friends!