When I met my husband he had three pieces of Department 56’s North Pole Village. Within ten years that number was ten times larger. It has been quite a few years since we’ve purchased any new items from the collection, but this isn’t very surprising considering the quality reduction, mass production attitude the company acquired. However, the older pieces still retain their original hand painted charm. Although, I will admit, we do have a few pieces that I would consider hybrid pieces with a little commercialism. I decided to set them up in an area that shows Santa’s expansion into the commercial market.
Today, sadly, the pieces are mostly plastic and mechanically painted instead of hand painted ceramic and the offshoot villages, Elf Land and North Pole Woods, just aren’t up to par with their predecessor. We do have a few pieces from these villages, but only one that we purchased, Rudolph Ring Toss.
The hardest part about putting up the village was trying to put out everything I wanted to put out. I kept trying to find a way to put a shelf between the two towers in our living room and when that was obviously not going to work I simply put a shelf on top of them. Duh. There are still a couple pieces I would have liked to display, but ran out of room. Oh well, maybe another year.