Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Village

(My favorite time to gaze at the village is at night when the warm glow of the lights radiate out from the houses.)

I couldn't help it, I just couldn't wait. A friend and I went to the Festival of Trees where individuals or groups donate a decorated wreath, small tree, or large tree. These donations are then auctioned off and the money goes toward charity. Walking in the wonderland listening to Burl Ives sing Christmas carols while we peered between the branches of the trees to gaze at the ornaments, filled me with a longing for Christmas. It was more than I could resist and I did succumb. Up came box after box from the basement as I put up my Christmas village. You who believe one holiday must past before embarking upon another, please forgive my weakness. I know Thanksgiving has not yet arrived so I kept up the pumpkins and fall leaves decorations. Alright, only because we're having company for Thanksgiving. But don't judge me too harshly, decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things.

At Church a couple weeks ago, as my new role as children's chorister, I was checking to see what Christmas songs the children knew so I could make up plans for December. A gentleman asked incredulously if I knew all the Christmas carols. I don't, but don't be surprised if you hear me singing Silent Night under a starry night while I'm milking the goats even if it is hum... summer.

(Or, is it when the shadows accent the ripples in the white fabric like the clouds when they emphasize the drifts in the snow?)

Christmas is my favorite holiday and I remember when my grandma Jones use to sleep with me Christmas Eve. We'd wake up all night long checking the clock and whispering, wondering if we dare get up yet.

But I don't understand. A doll house has never held any great charm with me but this village has me transfixed. I spend hours arranging it, tweaking the figurines until it is just so and every year that means things are arranged differently. My husband then spends the rest of the holiday taking one figurine at a time and moving it to a new location. It may take me a few days before I discover. Without saying a word, I put it back. Then usually a few more days lapse for him to notice and move another figurine. Kirk started the game years ago and it has spill over to other areas like the screen saver on the computer. This past week he put up, one at a time, the worst pictures of me he could find and upon discovery I'd did the same favor for him. The advantage has been mine as I've a rich supply of funny faced photos of my sweetheart.

( Note the fall foliage in the evergreen boughs.)

The Christmas village goes up in this antique kitchen cupboard that sits in the living room. The top shelf is the ranch. On the second shelf is the school, Finney's forge, and the livery stable.

Not quite like the one Kirk's great grandpa had back east but a livery stable non the less.

(Kirk's grandpa is the little boy holding the horses by their halters and his great grandpa is the one with the carriage. )

We of course had to have a forge. The Finney's Forge shop my husband said wasn't enough. He couldn't figure out what the men inside were doing. He insists it isn't forging. I searched and searched, then a year ago, I discovered this pair. I say they're making horse shoes, my husband says a knife.

(Kirk posing in his black smith shop. The two hundred pound anvil does not usually rest on the two by fours. It was raised for photography purposes and later the boards were cropped off in the photo and lots of sparks added. The sparks were caught on film in another photograph of him forging and photo shopped into this one or maybe another almost just like it. I'd have to go look.)

Then what do you expect of someone who has aspired to the rank of mastersmith in the American Bladesmith Association.

On the bottom shelf is the church, clock tower and a grand home with one of my favorite figurines. A child in a tree trying to reach a cat stuck on a limb and another calling helpful instructions - or are they?

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