Thursday, December 4, 2014

Memories of Gifts Gone By

My mom was a great gift giver.  She would always try to find something unique to give my sister and me for Christmas.  She would take a family item and do something to make it special, or try to find limited edition items.  She would drag my dad all over the state looking for one certain thing.

This is a special Santa dressed in Green Bay Packer colors.  This is #90 of 150 that were made.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus made by the same lady as Packer Santa.

When my parents purchased my dad's Uncle Bill's house, they found these stools in the garage.  Printed underneath was his name.  Uncle Bill used them for ice fishing and my mom had them rosemaled for us.  We lived in Stoughton Wisconsin at the time and Norwegian heritage is a big part of that  community.

Ice fishing stool used by my dad's Uncle Bill

Mom and dad had some friends who lived in Northern Wisconsin.  Every year they would vacation there and visit these people.  They had a little business where the husband would cut the wooden blanks and the wife would carve and paint Father Christmas's.  Mom bought one in 1987 and the other in 1990.

Father Christmas 1987
Father Christmas 1990

We have received a lot of other items but what we got the most often was The Original Snow Village by Department 56.  The first item I got in 1989 was a train station.  My mom's family were railroad people, so it was what she chose.  Back then they cost a lot of money.  One piece could cost $75 to $100.

So plain and basic compared to today's villages.

They were truly special when we received them, and they still are, but now Christmas villages are everywhere.  Now they are very inexpensive.  Every year I set out a village.  It is a lot of work, but I love them when they are finished.  I have purchased some of my own so I can't use every piece every year.  I try to change the theme every few years to make use of them.   Today was full of good memories. 

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