Have yourself a *tiny* little Christmas
Come Christmas time, we all like to make our homes a little more cozy. But the way of doing so differs. Some like to embellish their place with lights, wreaths and baubles, whereas others like to do a bit of Christmas world building. For the latter sort of decorators, there’s a longstanding tradition of building Christmas villages. Lots of supplies can be found on holiday shopping shelves, with hundreds of miniature pieces to choose from. Thus, a starting village builder might wonder: What is the best Christmas village to collect? There are several great options out there, and much will depend on your personal taste and vision. But in this article, we will focus on one of the most beloved brands: the Christmas village by Lemax. Read along as we explore the enchanting Christmas villages that can be built with Lemax houses.
Where should I start with a Christmas village?
Like any village, your own little Christmas settlement will likely start off modest and small, but cozy all the same. Over the years, as it gets rebuilt winter after winter, some new houses, shops, residents, and decorative touches will be added. The village will grow, as will your love for this Christmas tradition. But, as a quick gander at the variety of Christmas village collectables will make clear, there’s a lot of them. Lots. Your Christmas village could end up looking like a Christmas metropolis if you’d try to collect them all. So, best not get carried away, and start small.
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Now you may wonder, which pieces would make a nice little starter village? To answer that, just imagine what you would expect to find in a tiny, picturesque old village in – let’s say – the German Alps. First and foremost, a couple of cute lighted buildings like this one. Also, no matter how small the village, it will probably have a little church too. And, very importantly, a bakery. You can’t have your villagers start their day without some freshly baked goods now can you? While you’re at it, you might want to add something to warm their bellies after a cold day out in the Alps, like a cozy pub. And of course, don’t forget the villagers themselves! Have them sleighing in the snow, in the midst of a snowball fight, iceskating, or making a snowman. Whatever you have in mind, there’s probably a fitting figurine out there.
How do you set up a large Christmas village?
When your village grows a bit bigger, so does the number of facilities, small businesses, and ways to have a good time there. For example, you can make a little shopping area with a Christmas decor shop, a sweater shop, and the local carpenter. Or if you like it a bit less stereotypical: how about a whimsical shoe shop specialized in clogs, or a nutcracker factory? Moreover, when your village is big enough to feature a central square, you can add a touch of grandeur with a properly huge Christmas tree in the center of it. Of course, it should then also have some benches for the villagers to admire it, under the cozy lantern lights. It becomes even more fun when a Christmas village is large enough to host an actual Christmas fun fair. With the arrival of a carousel or a sky swing, your village will look more festive and lively than ever before.
Christmas village tips & tricks
Putting your own Lemax Christmas village together in a nice arrangement is where you add a bit of your own vision and creativity. After all, a set of houses does not make a village per se. The way you place them and surround them with snow, roads, trees, figurines and other village-y things is what will bring it all together. In the end, it all comes down to your idea of the perfect Christmas village, but here’s a few tips that might help you along:
Pick a style
The Lemax village collectibles are all very Christmassy, but come in different sub-genres. When you grow your Lemax village collection, it is a good idea to try to stick to a certain theme. If you’ve collected some figurines in Victorian style for example, the addition of modern looking figurines will probably look a bit out of place. Similarly, if your village mostly has a classic old-English look to it, the whimsical Hot Chocolate spa in a giant hot mug might clash a bit. So, best is to make a decision at the very start of your collection: will it be set in Christmas past, in Christmas present, or in a fantastical Christmas land?
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Add curvature, groupings and heights
To achieve a picturesque effect for your Christmas village by Lemax, try to avoid putting all your houses in straight lines. After all, the coziest villages in the world are characterized by their winding streets. The houses also tend to look better when they are grouped together as opposed to placed in isolation. So try to create areas of interest: a village square surrounded by houses, a shopping lane, and the outskirts where the snow fights and other fun happens. And if you want to take it to the next level — literally — play around with height. Before you start building your village, create a few platforms at different heights to simulate the dynamic landscape of a mountain village. Stacks of books work great for this purpose!
Lemax village collections
For those that like to capture the holiday magic, making a Christmas diorama – like the miniature villages we’ve explored here – might just become your favorite way of doing so. We could go on and on about all the ways that a Christmas village by Lemax could take shape. It’s tempting, but we’ll leave it to your imagination to take it from here. Go and have a look at the different Lemax villages below and see which ones suit your fancy. They’ve colonized many a living room before… yours next?
Christmas Village by Lemax
A nostalgic collection based on the famous painting “Home for Christmas” by Norman Rockwell
A rustic mountain village
A Victorian Christmas village
A whimsical North Pole Christmas village
Sugar ‘n Spice
The sweetest holiday village, home to the gingerbread people
A seaside Christmas village, with the New England charm
A nostalgic heartland Christmas village
A Christmas celebration festival
A retro Christmas village set in the 1950’s
Did you know
What is the history of miniature Christmas villages?
We mentioned that miniature Christmas villages are a phenomenon that goes way back, so you may wonder: when and how did it start?
More than two hundred years ago, a little tradition was started by a German community in the Eastern United States. At Christmas time, they built elaborate dioramas. At first, these miniature creations depicted the nativity scene, but over time they evolved into the Christmas village. With their coziness and all the nifty moving bits and bobs, these elaborate miniature villages were a true local attraction. Later, the tradition would spread and find many new enthusiasts to adopt it, both within and far beyond the United States.
What are the little Christmas villages called?
You may have heard of Christmas Putz before. This is what the Christmas dioramas and villages were originally called. The term was based on the word putzen, which means cleaning or decorating in German.