Alice and 10 Years of Modeling a Christmas Village

Often we get so much mail it is very hard to reply to everyone individually… but this email from Alice caught our attention. Alice has been modeling a Christmas village for the last 10 years and is obviously very passionate about it.

We know that a lot of our readers struggle with the electrical side of model trains and here is a perfect example of modeling that requires no electrical skills at all.

Alice kindly allowed us to share her story… This is what Alice had to say…

Alice's Christmas model

Hi, I’m not so much a train modeler as I am a christmas village modeler.

I started collecting 10 years ago with just a 5 house set (which is now my Daughters). The reason I started is I saw the set for sale and fell in love with it and have been adding on ever since.

The village has grown to almost 50 buildings of which at least 3 are not shown do to lack of space (need a slightly longer table). I have never put a value on my village as it is for my enjoyment factor, but if I were to count it all up it would be near to $300 – $350.

Most of the buildings were inexpensive or after Christmas bargains with the HO & N scale models costing the most. I have even gone on eBay to bid on a few rare units, (the barn and the gas station and the matchbox cars).

The only two original houses are the ice house and blacksmith which were Christmas tree ornaments that I painted on the names. I looked for telephone poles but never found the right scale to match, so I made them out of pieces of doweling and mini popsicle sticks and if you look closely the stands are the tops from medicine bottles. Hey it worked!

This year I added a few more people, more trees, some animals, and the back drop. It has always been a problem lighting each building without causing a mass of wiring under the snow and still allowing it to illuminate within the body of the layout. I’ve tried several lighting systems but this works best. I saw in a catalog a snow mat with lights attached to the bottom. It was out of my price range so I bought a set of lights that are in a grid format to use on the bushes outside the house, placed my mat over it and it’s very close to the catalog.

The village is not to scale if you notice the people and the size of the doors on the house will reveal, but I have not found any village collection that is.

I have attached some photos for you to view…

Alice's Christmas model

Well done Alice… it is great to see the Christmas spirit alive and well in your house.

Merry Christmas to all our readers and we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009.

Anybody else do any Christmas modeling?

We would love to hear what modeling you do for Christmas? Just use the comment box below to tell us…

This entry was posted in Collectibles, HO Scale Layouts, Model Train Modeling, Model Train News, Structures. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Alice and 10 Years of Modeling a Christmas Village

  1. Dan says:

    Thanks Alice for sharing… you must have a lot of fun with this… Merry Christmas

  2. Kimberlee Dalton says:

    Alice, your display is awesome. I’m just starting my christmas display. I have a lot of stuff, I’ve been collecting for many years, my husband just bought me my first train set. I was born blind in my left eye and now going blind in my right eye with glacoma, I want very much to work on my display with my husband and hopefully get a lot done before I go completely blind because its something I have always wanted to do,I enjoy seeing your display thanks

  3. Mallory says:

    Hi Alice!

    I’m just joining this site.

    I’m also a Villager adding a railroad. I’m an admin on website for villagers, you might want to join us at … you’ll have to register & be accepted (we have to keep the spammers out).

    Dan will be posting my inquiry, I set up a display at a local museum, 4 x 20 ft, with a number of challenges to solve.

    I can tell you about some other wiring options to avoid the “spaghetti” mess.

    Looking forward to conversing with you!


  4. Norman & Brenda Williams says:

    Thank you for sharing you Christmas village. We have been village collecting for a few years and this year we added a train and trolley. I sacrificed our dining room table(9 feet with extensions)since we having Christmas dinner at our parents house. It setup took every inch.
    It took 3 days to set everything up after Thanksgiving. We couldn’t bring ourselves to take it down till Valentines Day. We have had such great fun and our granddaughters loved it. Katie is 8 years old and could run the train and Lindsay is 2, she would squeal with excitement at the train running into our cardboard covered with snow tunnel.
    Needless to say we are hooked. We have bought additional trains and our planning a permament village with three different themes.
    Thank you again for sharing.

  5. Hello Dan,
    I stumbled across your website while researching book-signing venues for my novel, “Christmasville.”
    “Christmasville” is the story of Mary Jane Higgins, who suspects that there is more to Christmasville than what meets the eye. What the reader discovers at the conclusion of chapter one is that Mary Jane resides on a 4 x 8 model train platform. The novel culminates in a surprise ending.
    The inspiration for my novel (as well as the sequel, “Finding Christmasville,” due out next year) was my train platform, which I have assembled every weekend after Thanksgiving and dismantled around Valentines Day for the past 29 years.
    I’ll be posting “rare photographs” of the fictional town of “Christmasville” on my website shortly.
    Alice’s story is certainly an entertaining one – her layout looks lovely. Perhaps some day she’ll write a novel about it.
    Warm Regards,
    Michael Dutton

    (Author of “Christmasville” and the upcoming “Finding Christmasville”)

  6. Claudia says:

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  7. Dave Enman says:

    Just came across your website. I’ve been making miniature houses with an early 1900s New England theme for about ten years. I make them to approx HO scale out of milk cartons and balsa wood. For a base I use a 4′ x 8′ piece of white foam insulation 1″ thick and a string of lights which I push up through the base wherever I have a house which I need to light. I also use the battery powered tea candles for some newer houses until I can figure out where to place them. Unused lights I just cover with fiberglass tape. I use led lights for low power and for low heat generation. It’s a fascinating hobby as I fashion a lot of the houses after buildings in my home town in Maine.

  8. Pat Sabin says:

    I’m not much of a modeler, but, like Alice, I started with a few inexpensive ceramic Christmas houses, and then began collecting HO scale people, carriages, and animals, mostly (but not exclusively) Preiser’s early 1900’s collection. After a number of years, I had a permanant table made for it, and it’s up all year. Dave, I wish I had thought about leaving a “plug” where the lights are. I have plenty of lights left, but will have to drill holes for the five buildings that are not yet lit. Since that will mean lots of sawdust and a virtual earthquake in the town, I’ve postponed lighting these last buildings.

    Even in the summer, Il turn the lights on sometimes on a cloudy day or in the evening. I still collect a few people every season. Since I have all of the early 1900’s figures, I’ve learned to fudge a bit. I decided to start a blog for it this year (2011), and have had a great time photographing my townspeople. . Come visit.

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