Something I heard many years ago still rings true when it comes to collectors of Christmas villages. There are those who collect, those who display, and those who design. Give some thought to what group you might fit in to and the merits and enjoyment of each. No matter what group you may fit in to, here are some helpful tips to bring your level of creativity to new heights and display a village that will make any viewer take notice.
Let us start by acknowledging that there is no wrong or right way to display a collectible village. If we look back at the history of the first miniature villages that were ever displayed, you would be hard pressed to find any record of advanced miniature village construction. That is because collectible Christmas villages have always meant something personal and festive to the person or family doing the display. Not a mechanical or robotic like process to build the best display in town.
If a study were taken, we may be surprised to find out that a villager’s prized display means more to them for the pleasure of viewing their miniature world than what anyone else may think of it. When your heart and creative talents go in to building your own village display, that really should be all that counts. Having said all that, there are ways though of adding creative elements to your village display that will generate a few more oohs and aahs if that is what you are looking for.
Collectors: By far, collectors are for the most part striving for a different goal than villagers who are more interested in displaying or designing. They will typically get more enjoyment out of finding and obtaining a rare collectible item that can be added to their collection. Quite often, the collectible piece is treasured greater for its expected growth in value over time, and may seldom see the light of day outside of its protective box.
Displayers: When the Christmas holidays come around, displayers are usually anxious and more than proud to bring out and show off their collection of Christmas village buildings and accessories. The village display is a vital part of the entire decorating scheme, but seldom is the focal point. Christmas retailers and stores selling Department 56, Lemax, or most other village collectibles, usually fall under this category as well, as their goal is to display as much of the collection for sale as possible. However, what if using some of the characteristics of the following category of ‘designer’ were employed to display those same pieces in a more vivid and lifelike way? They might find store patrons more enthused over the display, and likely to start purchasing their own village collectibles when they see how creative a display can get.
Designers: A designer is never satisfied with just collecting or setting up a simple display. Challenged to vary their display arrangement each time, and add new elements as focal points, a designer is more concerned and driven by the structure and supporting elements of the village display rather than the pieces themselves. The philosophy is of the thought that when the display foundation and accessorizing nuances of the village are emphasized, the village itself is able to come to life in a more magical way.
As a footnote, each of the mentioned categories of villagers is interchangeable. For example, a person may be mainly a displayer but find themselves captivated by certain Department 56 or Lemax pieces, thereby exhibiting characteristics of both categories. A hybrid villager of you will. Sorry, thought it might be kind of fun to invent a new villager class using a very popular and current word such as ‘hybrid.’ To give a direct example, I am a designer by passion and by trade. Yet, I am very fond of the Thomas Kinkade Lamplight Village and Seaside Village pieces produced by Hawthorne Village. The details rival if not surpass that of Department 56, and is superior in the ability to prevent interior light from shining through anywhere but windows. As a designer, that is something I look for when aiming for realism.
Whatever category you fall in to, enjoy the peace and happiness that being a villager can bring.