15 December, 2011

{this memory} 30

It's Christmas, and I have a thing for all those lighted porcelain structures sold by Dept. 56. - which is why the Browns own a lot of real estate.

It all began with a few Snow Village houses as gifts to my wife - one a year for a few years. Today nine of them circle the tree just inside the train track. Then I became enchanted by the more realistic Christmas in the City items. They soon filled a bay window sill. Then I crafted a 16 square foot terrain for them which soon grew to 30 until it reached its maximum at nearly 50 square feet. Buildings, roads, street lights, people. It looked just like a city and had everything but a zip code - so real you wondered if it came alive while you slept.

Alas, it just got to be too much, but not before everyone became a collector - one daughter with Dickens' Village, another with North Pole Village. We even have a few Bethlehem pieces and a couple for Halloween, but those are rarely used.

Today we set up a few smaller cities around the house. What you see in the images is one I did of New York City a few years ago. Left to right in the bottom image you'll find an opera house, Times Square with the dropping ball (yes, it does and lights up), Radio City Music Hall, a toy store, the Empire State Building (with King Kong, my addition), Ebbets Field, a Hard Rock Café, and a fire station (for my brother-in-law). Statues, people, street lamps, street vendors, Rockettes, police car, limousine, small park - it's all in there.

I love Christmas, and I can look back on many happy ones with many more to come. I am truly a fortunate man.