It Takes A Village

>The living room tree is known as "mom's tree" because, traditionally, I really enjoy decorating it by myself. I turn on Christmas music and wax nostalgic as I hang the real glass ornaments. Many remind me of the ones from my childhood. Usually I break at least one ornament every year, and if I don't, then our cat or a son does. I chalk it up as part of the Christmas tradition. Fortunately, most ornaments were purchased on clearance or at the thrift store, so I don't make a fuss. This year the tradition changed a bit. I was blessed to have my newly married daughter and son-in-law help decorate the tree. It's so fun to have them here visiting. And, I enjoyed EVERY minute of their help.
After the tree is decorated, the real fun begins. The village gets placed underneath the tree (which is why our tree is on stilts). It's a tradition to have my boys set up the train track before the houses get placed. If you look very closely (click the picture to enlarge) you'll notice lego men on the train track. That's a tradition too! Right after everything is finished, my boys have each enjoyed giving their toys train rides. . .or train crashes.My kids have all grown up with the village as part of our Christmas tradition. We like to lie on our tummies and tell stories about all of the village people. Every year there are certain villagers who have to go in the exact same place.
Santa and the elves are always high on the "mountain" so they can look to see who's been naughty or nice.The kissing couple, my daughter's favorite, always go in the gazebo. The "rich lady" is always leaving her large home to go on a trip for the holidays. The dog always chases the boy on the bike. . .except for the year that my third son decided he needed that little dog and would take it to his room to play. The family is always place by the nativity scene at the church as a reminder of our Christmas Eve tradition of going as a family to see the lights of the city and hear the story of the birth of Christ.I hand painted some of the villagers many years ago. None of the houses cost very much. Super glue is used to repair something almost every year. Our village isn't all that special, but the traditions and the memories associated with it are very, very special and dear to our family.