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My Christmas Mantel Village

This year I finally got around to starting my Christmas Mantel Village. I spied this one last year over at Posy Gets Cozy and immediately hatched a plan to make it my own. Unfortunately, I ran out of time last year so this year I made sure to get organised and buy all the paper, glue and glitter I needed to make a start.

This year we made a village church. I made it out of an old orange juice carton and some cardboard. Then painted the base blue and the roof red and sprayed it with snow out of a can. I also used white plasticine for the snow on the window ledges and orange acetate for the window glow. The trees are bottle brushes that were shaped, sprayed with snow and sprinkled with glitter.

My idea is to make our Mantel Village into a family tradition. Something we can get out every year and add to. Hopefully, Jackson will enjoy doing it too once he’s old enough and it will form part of his memories of Christmas at home. 

I think Christmas memories are important. My Christmas memories are of wearing my special (albeit tartan) Christmas dress. Every year that thing came out and it simply wasn’t Christmas if I wasn’t wearing it. I remember too a velvet-covered wind-up Santa that turned round and sang Jingle Bells. Quite scary but very, very festive. And of course the Christmas fairy lights debacle. Every year my Dad would drag the Christmas decorations out from the loft to find that one set of lights just didn’t work anymore and he would spend hours fiddling with each light to find out which one was the weak connection. Ah, happy times.

What’s your tartan dress? What was your family Christmas tradition? Come on, everybody has one!

11 Responses to “My Christmas Mantel Village”

  1. Ryan Carsonon 21 Dec 2008 at 10:49 am

    We used to travel up to Snow Mountain Ranch in Colorado where there was always at least three feet of snow. It was amazing!

    Before that though, we used to spend Christmas at home, waking up every hour and checking if our stockings had been filled!

  2. Jessicaon 21 Dec 2008 at 6:41 pm

    What a great tradition! I love the idea. Your church house looks perfect.

    Also, you were the cutest little girl, oh my goodness!

    One of our traditions was making a big bed on the floor, sleeping by the Christmas tree with my siblings and falling asleep to a roaring fire while we waited for Santa to fill our stockings. When we were older Dad gave up Santa’s job and it was our job to fill each others. So, we would try to find a time in the middle of the night to wake up and sneak filling up the stocking of one of our siblings without anyone noticing.

  3. Katieon 21 Dec 2008 at 7:55 pm

    I adore your newest tradition – that village is fantastic.

    My family piles into a car to go look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. That was my favorite family tradition.

  4. sarahon 22 Dec 2008 at 2:31 am

    My tartan dress looked almost exactly the same as yours. We were so lucky to have a coal fire when we were little, which would only get lit once a year at Christmas in the best room, done out in Laura Ashley. The neighbours would come over and us kids would sing and dance with glitter on our faces to the pop songs of the 80′s such as land of make believe by bucks fizz. New year with the neighbours was great. My mum still has the decoration that we put on top of the tree instead of a star. It’s a doll, (goldilocks), that she made a beautiful fairy/angel outfit for. Our overbearing aunt would arrive at 8am on christmas day, grrrr. We were spoilt rotten.

  5. Matronon 22 Dec 2008 at 8:33 am

    Gosh..I have to confess that we enjoy eating Jerusalem artichokes on Christmas day when all the family come round we have a windy afternoon.. giggling….!

  6. Susyon 22 Dec 2008 at 4:16 pm

    I love those little Christmas villages. I’ve always thought about making some.

    We always read the Christmas story before we open presents on Christmas Eve. We also always had this little candle thing we would light. When you light the candles it makes this little fan turn around that had angels attached to it and then would spin around a ring little bells. It would ring the whole time we were opening presents.

  7. Rachaelon 22 Dec 2008 at 5:45 pm

    My mother always used to make a sweetie tree when I was a child, so I have continued the tradition since having my own children. See my blog for a picture.
    Happy Christmas!

  8. Kerrion 22 Dec 2008 at 7:28 pm

    LOVE your Christmas tradition to do the village. Jackson will LOVE helping with that as he gets older. I loved the pic of you in your Christmas dress too. What a cutie you were!

    I have the kids paint a plate every year and then they fire it for me. I think I’ll have a whole host of plates before they are adutls! :) We love to get in our pj’s and drive around looking at all the Christmas lights while we drink hot cocoa too. Making Christmas goodies and cookies for all our friends and neighbors is a MUST. I also make the kids go through their toys and pick out the toys they want to give away to children who might otherwise not have Christmas presents. Then we bring them down to the local shelter to give away. I also try to give away something special as well. Over all this time of year is my favorite time. The spirit of Christmas is STRONG in our home! :)

  9. Broon 22 Dec 2008 at 11:09 pm

    I had a Christmas tradition too – it was get my little sister dressed up in an abysmal tartan dress and make her have photos taken to bribe her with, at a much later date, when she was rich.
    Bah foiled again by her “coming out” and publishing it on a web site – not going to make much now am I?????

    Merry Christmas Sis – I am sure your first as a threesome will be special

    Love
    Bro

  10. Rhiannonon 23 Dec 2008 at 5:24 pm

    When I was small we lived at my nan’s house. On christmas morning I always knew that santa had been when I came down the stairs, because the plastic (1950′s I think) santa boot on the telephone table was filled with sweets. Sure enough when we went into the back kitchen our presents were there.
    I don’t know what happened to that boot I have tried to find one to do the same with the kids now with no luck.

    If I introduce some new traditions I think the village is a lovely idea and better than making my boys wear a tartan dress for the day

  11. San Diego Farmgirlon 31 Dec 2008 at 2:49 am

    I have a reputation for being able to sleep through natural disasters. My childhood Christmas Eves are the one exception to this. My poor parents, I laid in bed all night long with my eyes popped wide open, crazy with curiousity over what Santa would bring. Rotten kid.

    Gorgeous blog! Your photos are amazing!