A Visit to Our Dickens Village

Got My Reservations 25 Days of Christmas 2013 Medium ButtonNine days until Christmas! I’m hustling and bustling now that I’ve got my wheels back after my surgery. What about you?

We started collecting Dickens Village houses and accessories many years ago. My mom had a village and my sister-in-law had a village. It was a perfect gift that went on giving year after year — until we all ran out of room. We got each other themed houses based on our jobs and hobbies. We were not slaves to Department 56, and supplemented our collections with resin figures rather than the porcelain ones that break. Over the years in different houses and different communities, it wasn’t Christmas until our Dickens Village went up.

GotMyReservations Dickens Village Detail 1

Skaters glide around on Childe Pond in this vignette from my Dickens Village

And then we faltered. It became a lot of intricate work to set up the houses and accessories. Small children and pets made inroads in the fragile porcelain accessories. We weren’t home much during the holidays, with out of town travel and many performing gigs and holiday parties. It became a chore rather than a delight to set up the village.

GotMyReservations Dickens Village Detail 2

A mix of village products keeps the layout interesting.

With my retirement last year, I was determined to set up my village with plenty of time to enjoy it — and I did. I tried a new layout with a second tier of houses and all of my stuff fit on the top of my sideboard. By the end of the season, I decided that we needed a sturdier shelf for the back tier, which was made from books supporting foam core boards. In November 2013, darling Music Man created a permanent shelf made from laminated particle board stock. With end and center supports, it was sure to be good for a whole season.

GotMyReservations Dickens Village 2

We use a layer of polyester “snow” followed by fiberglass “snow” and then sprinkle with “snow” — lots of fake snow covers up cords. We also use LED lights rather than the originals that come with the houses to keep down the heat buildup.

GotMyReservations Dickens Village Victoria Station

Because Music Man works for a local commuter railroad, our train station collection is expansive. We also have a train, but there’s no room on the sideboard for it.

GotMyReservations Dickens Village

The village is at its prettiest when the sun is going down and the lights begin to illuminate the figures.

I’ve been keeping a Pinterest board going with Dickens Village posts; feel free to check out my board and link up your own Village post in the comments. I will add you to my Pinterest board. CLICK HERE!

Thanks for visiting with us today in the Empty Nest. I’m linking up today with Seasonal Sundays at the Tablescaper (so sue me for being a day late; I HAD to go to Woodfield Mall yesterday). I hope you will stop by and visit some of the creative bloggers and enjoy more holiday inspiration.

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)


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5 thoughts on “A Visit to Our Dickens Village

  1. Your nest is looking fab and festive, Jennie! Merry Christmas to you, Tom, and all the birds coming home to roost.

  2. OK, I will start by saying your collection is gorgeous!!! I’ve actually had thoughts lately of asking my mom to pass along her pieces as gifts on birthdays and such since she no longer wants her village. I always loved it but didn’t have the excitement for it that she had. I still have no place to display the village, but my wheels are turning. Your sideboard is large and lovely, and the addition of the shelf is genius! I enjoyed reading about your process for setting up your village. BTW, your sparkling wreath is still one of my favorite things I’ve seen all season!
    Christmas blessings to you and your family!

  3. Jennie, I am so pea green with envy. Your village is lovely, all of the houses, the trees, and the charming little accessories that make it outstanding are just lovely. I know how much you enjoy being able to display the village. I have not put my village up in ten years. I loved creating a happy little world of imagination. Each piece takes on it’s own personality and comes alive in the setting that you create. I have a huge box of my little houses in the trunk of the car right now (I had this crazy thought that I would have time to put it up) waiting for me to get it out and bring part of the old village back to life. The box is however stuck in the trunk. My husband tried to get it out last night, but no luck (we will try again this morning). I collected many different houses, some Department 56 but mostly from JoAnn’s. They had so many lovely houses that I would buy for myself at the after Christmas sales, they really accumulated over the years. Thank you for sharing, I have really enjoyed seeing your village and remembering mine, maybe I can make time to get a little village put together. Merry Christmas to you and Mr Music Man and the whole family.

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