December 1, 2012

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!" 

from A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Happy Saturday!  After a really busy week at work I am so looking forward this weekend to finish decorating my house for the holidays.  I love the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's, and enjoy creating special little holiday vignettes throughout my home.  With the help of my husband we have managed the trickiest part of our decorating...assembling the Dickens Village in our family room.  My collection started in 1984 when my best friend gave me one small house--the Candle Shop.  I thought it was charming, so next year my husband added another house.  And like topsy, so it grew.... 

From its humble beginnings of several little shops my collection has expanded to cover three long tables!  I have to admit, it's a bit of a pain to put it all up (and God bless my husband, whose unenviable task is crawling under the tables, trying to hook up over forty light cords that will eventually plug in to the four outlets we have!).  But the end result is sooo worth it and for my family it heralds in the beginning of the holiday season.  One of our 'must watch' holiday movies every year is A Christmas Carol.  We are partial to the George C. Scott version--his sneering bah humbug is just so...Scroogey!  So we have tried to include all the pieces from the story in the collection.  In addition, we have also carefully chosen pieces that hold a special memory for us, and today I am sharing a few of those with you.  It has indeed become one of my 'favorite things' so I am also sharing it on my friend Claudia's Saturday blog Favorite Things.  Please visit her blog today to see a wonderful collection of favorite things by some pretty amazing bloggers!

Welcome to my version of A Christmas Carol and my Dickens Village!

Welcome to olde London Towne!  You can see the innocent little Candle Shop that started this collection on the left.   Of course it wouldn't be a celebration of A Christmas Carol without Scrooge and Marley's Counting House!  The pub next to Scrooge's office reminded us of a favorite pub we enjoyed in London.  I'm sure the street vendor would be happy to share some nice hot chestnuts with you!

It's not geographically correct but I've tried to incorporate a little of the beautiful Hyde Park Winter Wonderland ice skating rink, although Hyde Park is certainly not found in Trafalgar Square, next to the magnificent St. Martin's in the Fields church!  One of my absolute favorite memories of my last trip to London was attending a Baroque by Candlelight recital at this magnificent church.  When the soprano filled the sanctuary with the gorgeous strains of I Know that my Redeemer Liveth from Handel's Messiah there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  If you listen carefully, you might hear the ensemble on the church's steps playing God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen!

St. Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London--you can see how faithfully Dept. 56 recreates its Dickens pieces! 
One of my favorite pieces is the beautiful brownstone apartment building on the right.  We stayed in Earl's Court in London and loved to walk down the streets, admiring these beautiful old homes.
Street view, Earl's Court, London

We had so much fun at Richmond Park, located on the outskirts of London.  My husband golfed and I entertained myself with a walk through the bridle path and deer park.  When it started to drizzle I enjoyed many cups of tea and a good Anne Perry mystery in the golf club, which looked very much like this one.  Richmond Park was a royal hunting preserve, and it was there in 1536 that King Henry VIII stood upon a hill waiting a signal from the Royal Tower of London that his wife, Anne Boleyn, had been executed, thus allowing him to wed Jane Seymour.  In the background, you can see a bit of the Globe Theater.  We enjoyed a tour of the building on our last visit.  The recent movie Anonymous has some lovely scenes of this historic theater.
"God bless us every one!" said Tiny Tim, the last of all. 

 Have a wonderful weekend!  

You can find Favorite Things Saturday at


  1. We have several Dicken's Villages pieces but they have been packed away in the shed for several years! We just don't have the space for them in the cottage. So I will enjoy your amazing collection!

    Thanks so much for joining in this week!


  2. A lot of nice pieces! Very pretty!

  3. Such a lovely tribute to Dickens. I read A Christmas Carol every year along with Beatrix Potter's The Tailor of Gloucester. Your Dickens collection is beautiful. I am your newest follower. Stop by our cottage for a visit sometime. Bentley and I will look forward to it!

    Susan and Bentley

    PS: Have you viewed the DVD Dickens in London? Wonderful!

  4. OH I love your collection!

    Reminds me of when I was little and we had a Lionel Train and village under our Christmas tree!

  5. What a wonderful collection you have, it's a holiday extravaganza! :) What a delight it must be for your family and friends each year.

    We adore Dickens too and A Christmas Carol. Funnily enough we started watching the Albert Finney version this afternoon with our lunch. :)

    Happy merry making!

  6. What a beautiful collection. They look so a real village.

  7. I love Charles Dickens and of course A Christmas Carol. I didn't know the story until I had to read it in school. I've read it again and again and have several editions of it. :-) Last year I showed on of the movies ( I don't know which version) to my students.