My incredible in-laws have an amazing collection of village houses and people and carriages and animals and trees and . . . you get the point. They have so many that they have blessed our family with a full set of retired pieces, and are only able to set up one half of the items they have at one time. It's stunning really.
This yearly event of setting up and enjoying the village was closely related in memories to our dear sweet Nana who passed away three years ago. The emotions were a bit to raw to consider doing it without her enjoying the experience with us to do it any sooner. As a family, we decided this was the year to carry on the tradition anew.
Now this is quite an extensive process . . . it began in the morning when Marilyn brought out all the houses from the safety of their boxes and organized them by type. When we arrived in the evening, the girls were slack-jawed to look at each piece and enjoyed hearing Grandma explain the significance of every item.
The men then began cutting huge styrofoam sheets into shapes to serve as the platform and hills of the village. There was lots of measuring, lots of cutting with an exacto knife, and lots of manliness.
The time began to place the pieces ever so carefully (and there were many times I held my breath) into their positions. The girls were so careful and did a fantastic job. It was so amazing to watch their patience and precious adoration of the whole thing.
The lights were then carefully put inside each house and plugged into outlets . . .
And finally it was time to step back and enjoy the incredible beauty of the village we just built.
No picture could begin to do it justice. It is truly an amazing site. But even more amazing than the village we built, were the memories we built together. Another generation experienced the magic of doing something beautiful together . . . and that is priceless.