Holyart miniature Christmas villages

Holyart miniature Christmas villages

Christmas is a multi-faceted holiday. Besides its religious meaning, that is, recalling Our Lord Jesus’ birth every year, it is also filled with remainders from more ancient traditions, which transformed thoughout the centuries and adapted to the Christian message, gaining a new value. In fact, in the past, December 25th was the winter solstice, which in many cultures involved celebrations connected to the cult of the Sun. Traces of those celebrations can still be seen in what are now characteristics of the Christian Christmas. Christmas tree, holly, sacred hymns, Santa Claus, all come from pagan traditions. All of those images stay to enrich the Christmas atmosphere, making it unique, magic and unmistakable.

Among the many traditions that give your house a proper atmosphere, there is one that is particularly fascinating: setting up a Christmas village.

Watch out, it’s not Nativity scenes we are talking about. Miniature Christmas villages are not necessarily inspired by the wish to reenact the miracolous Jesus’ birth.

Everyone can set up their own Christman village as they please, taking inspiration from the style they like the most, personalizing it with details, accessories and many little characters. The final aim of these creations, that can be very big and full of items like real works of art, is to create a world of magic, where dreams and youth memories are brought to life. It is something connected to spirituality in its wider sense, to our most secret and deep sensitivity, and that’s exactly what makes Christmas villages so special: they bring us back to a golden age, when it was nice to project our inside imagination into a scenery of tiny little houses and figures, where everything was charming and colored.

That was a game we never got tired of: making up stories and setting them in that world made of cute little lights, pastel houses, small mills and horse carousels… Those are the recurring elements in Christmas villages. Everything is thought to be gracious, cozy, colorful and perfectly reenacted in a style that smells like past and nostalgia. In those enchanted villages, tiny little characters such as skiers, skaters and small Santa Claus move around.

It is possible to buy buildings, merry-go-rounds and landscapes according to one’s personal taste and the style that one wants to reproduce. All those elements are made of resin, often have lights, can move and sometimes have music, which makes them look like enchanted carousels. Furthermore, the village can be personalized with an infinity of details that will make each one unique. Christamas villages are usually set on cork, wood and moss basements, with sprayed or painted backgrounds, but everyone can follow their own imagination and flair.

Christmas villages: a hobby for grown-ups

Christmas villages are not only for kids. On the contrary, grown-ups are the most fascinated, and put more effort in creating and setting them up with sounds and moving elements, seeking the best realism and most of all the magic of Christmas. Making Christmas villages has bacome a very popular hobby among collectors all over the world, and even in Italy, birthplace of Nativity scenes, there are people who like this new trend more than the old traditions.

The fact that everyone can create a Christmas village piece by piece makes it accessible to everyone. The village may also grow in time, year after year, with new buildings and creative accessories.

One of the biggest companies that contributed to the spread of Christmas villages is Lemax. Their catalogue offers a variety of constructions, accessories, characters but also light and movement effects, water games, sound effects and even fireworks! Their magic settings inspired to North European villages, to Victorian age London or to America in the Sixties are very fascinating and recall unique atmospheres. Merry-go-rounds, wheels, trains, lit porcelain houses, realistic trees covered in snow or decorates with rhinestones: countless are the possibilities to make your village special.

Building your own Christmas village

As we wrote above, there is no written rule on how to make one, everyone just have to follow their own creativity and fantasy, and of course consider their own manual skills. Actually, anyone can discover this wonderful world; you just need passion, and a couple of fundamental requirements.

First, you’ll need to choose the style for your village. Among the countless options of constructions and accessories available on the market, you need to think about the pieces you wan to buy, and the right combinations to obtain the best result. It is usually possible to find some style coherence among the various brands, which offer main buildings as well as all the details, characters and coordinated effects. It all depends on what you like, what you feel is your style, among a Victorian village, an old-style magic theme Park, a mountain village, Santa Claus’ village, and so on. Once you’ve decided your setting, you can move on to the next stage of your project.

A project is in fact necessary before starting, also to avoid useless expenses. A little investment at the beginning will allow you to create something really beautiful, which can grow and become bigger in time. You may begin with the village square, or a small market, the church porch or Santa’s house, and then build all you have in mind around that core. The characters and small details in it will make everything beautiful and realistic. You can reenact dynamic and cuorious moments of daily life. Those who will look at your creation will be overwhelmed by the amount of details that will catch their attention.

The planning and design also imply a thought on the space you want and are able to take up with your village. It must be a free area, that allows enough space for whatever you have in mind, where you can easily reach the plug and hide wires and all the other elements that are necessary to create light, water and sound effects. You will have to set up a wooden or cork house, maybe finding some spotlights that will create more light games in addition to those already in the buildings. Even mountain-paper can be a useful background to cover up the “tricks”.  It is also importat to divide the different scenes on different grounds, using panels and supports or boxes, to create a prespective effect and a realistic depth: that way you will avoid overlapping elements. On the background, you can put trees or mountains, leaving your favourite and most spectacular items in the foreground.

Besides the objects you can buy, you can have fun creating many small special details with your own hands. A piece of Styrofoam enriched with the right light and accessories can become a beautiful ski slope where your figures can race or a pond for your little skaters.  Resin, colors and many other materials that you can easily find in DIY stores can offer you cues for other creations, such as rivers or falls; mirrors, cotton and other stuff you can find in your home, with the help of good manual skills, will turn out to be special treasures.

The characters are the last thing, maybe fixing them in their positions with some glue so that they won’t fall.

About all the rest, just let your fantasy guide you through your memories and suggestions, to help you recreate scenes you dreamt about, or lived a long time ago. Your Christmas village can become some kind of theater for your dreams, inspirations, ideals, and will give your home incomparable warmth and atmosphere because it was born from something intimately yours.