Christmas Display

25 Nov
Everyone has memories lingering of the small details of Christmas past. My obsession with miniature architecture is rooted in the traditions of my paternal grandmother. She was a master of display. Every Christmas Eve after we were sent to bed [the tree never went up until Christmas eve] she would set up her Christmas village under her tree. A veritable extravaganza of her wonderful lit cardboard houses ( putz as they are refered to) and a beautiful 20’s vintage German dollhouse that belonged to my father. She also owned a model of a Russian Orthodox church, crafted by a cousin, complete with its “onion dome” a tribute to her Slovak  roots in the rural Pennsylvania coal mining regions.
My Granny had great Christmas decor, in her window she would display a home-made wooden electrified cross, a rarity these days, but for her Christ was the reason for the season, and of course us, her grand children. Christmas morning was always a thrill at my Granny’s due to she celebrated Russian Christmas [the Epiphany] on January 6th. We were excused from school to celebrate a second Christmas, an event much envied by my schoolmates.
Christmas the way it used to feel
All the wonderful little houses
All her Christmas suburban sprawl surrounded “the big show” the nativity, a stable brightly lit by a bulb surrounded with a tin star, she would place the figures, pre war hand-painted paper mache effigies all staring lovingly at the baby Jesus, including the livestock, a cow, a donkey a few sheep. The stable is lost, but I still have the figures which I rescued years ago, after her passing [a good move on my part] I have set up the nativity every year since, to continue her tradition and remember my Granny, the woman who passed her talents for display on to me.
Go to Papa’s site for a look at Christmas past. good stuff http://cardboardchristmas.com/papateds/Main.html

 

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