The display of lighted Christmas villages in homes likely began in the 13th century with nativity scenes. These Christmas village displays changed and evolved over the centuries, from the 18th-century German-American putzes to large and often massive displays in the early 1900s and 20th-century glitter houses.
The 1970s saw a revival of the practice of displaying Christmas village sets with the manufacture of small ceramic houses. These smaller villages are more manageable and can be displayed on any surface, large or small. Many families give the villages a prominent place in holiday decorations and traditions.
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Try out these DIY Christmas village display ideas to enhance your home decor this Xmas holiday season.
On the fireplace mantel
A fireplace mantel is a prominent place for a small Christmas village set. Create an interesting landscape by using items to elevate a few buildings or create a snow-covered hill. Place some village pieces in the foreground and some in the back, and spread the lighted pieces evenly throughout the display.
If you don’t have a fireplace or your fireplace doesn’t have a mantel, consider setting up your display on a bookshelf or tabletop in a prominent location.
Display the village so visitors and neighbors can enjoy your creation. Set up the village to be viewed from outside the house, or arrange a winter wonderland village to be viewed from several angles, including inside the house. Create a complex terrain, and use extra Christmas lights or string lights to highlight parts of the village. A garden window works just as well and provides ready-made terracing.
Fireplace and hearth
Set up your Christmas village collection in an unused fireplace, and let the Christmas village houses spread onto the hearth. As with any display location, you can create elevated areas and hills and even hang the moon and stars above the village. The hearth provides a perfect place to add a frozen lake or extra townspeople. The fireplace won't be available for a fire, but the lighted village will provide a warm and festive holiday addition.
Add your Christmas village to the buffet for a holiday dinner centerpiece. Use a table large enough to hold the food dishes and village with related Christmas decorations. Add interesting items throughout the display to catch guests' attention. The lighted village will create a memorable display for your guests.
Christmas village under the tree
Many families place their Christmas villages under the tree, although sometimes the village leaves little or no room for Christmas gifts. As with the mantel display, you can achieve an interesting look by elevating some pieces and places in the background, although you don't want to interfere with the display of your other Christmas ornaments. Under the tree, you have more room to create variations in the landscape and lay out larger Christmas scenes. Choose Christmas tree lights in colors that don't clash with the lighted village.
Community Christmas village display
Decorate a church, public library or community center by setting up a Christmas village on a large table. Ask the community, including youth groups and families, to participate by adding pieces to the village during the month before Christmas. Choose a day for everyone to see the finished product.
Unique Christmas village pieces
Add an electric train to your Christmas village under the tree. Shop craft stores or discount stores like Dollar Tree for fake snow or snowflakes and trees. Add other village accessories as well as people and animals. Other embellishments might include a snowman or the jolly ol' Santa Claus himself, or you could recreate an authentic Dickens village, which always features snow-covered buildings and Victorian period pieces.