How I Spent My Weekend: Setting Up My Dept 56 Village

Remember this table at the kids’ birthday party? At Christmas time it holds a Dept 56 village. Let me explain…

The reason I’m showing it to you again is so you can count the chairs…four on both sides; two at the head and bottom (end? other end? what’s it called?) of the table. 12 chairs. It’s a big table.

Setting Up My Dept 56 Village

So this weekend, I cleared off the table…
And had Jason bring 6 very large boxes full of stuff downstairs…
Took everything out of the boxes…


Set up all the little houses and made “mountains” out of the empty boxes…


Covered all the boxes and the table with snow (fake, not real)…


And created a Christmas village, the North Pole to be exact. It’s a Dept. 56 village.


All the houses light up, and several of the pieces move. These are a few of my favorite pieces:

Santa’s Visiting Center (see the little carolers in there!)

About 10 hours total to get it completely set up! A lot of work, but worth it. Luckily, it only takes half as long to take it all down.

This little village belonged to Jason’s mom before she passed away. She had a few different Christmas villages, and this was his favorite one. So for him, and for her memory, I set it up every year. What Christmas traditions do you look forward to every year?


  1. How wonderful is the village!! I have a little one that I love to bring out every year.THanks for sharing.Happy WW.
  2. How adorable! Wonder how many Martha points you'd get for that....
  3. Mommy Needs a Vacation says:
    My grandparents have these houses. Very festive!!!
  4. JustMom420zaks says:
    AWWW!! I've always wanted a village. I wanted a little train to choo-choo all around it.
    No table big enough. :(
  5. Allyson & Jere says:
    Sheesh! That is SOME undertaking. Are you sure it's safe with your twosome terrors? It looks great. I'll hope for the villages safety.
  6. Oh, I LOVE it!!!! Its beautiful.
  7. That's beautiful...but way more work than I could muster. And I'm sure, with two boys in my house, everything would be broken just minutes after I finished. ;-)
  8. I love it! :)
  9. how do you keep little hands off?
  10. I always loved the Christmas village my mom put together.
  11. Sluiter Nation says:
    oh Natalie! My grandmother used to have a HUGE dept 56 village! When she died, my aunts split up the collection and my mom puts up her part of it each year. Eddie loves it! He knows not to touch, but he loves to point at the lit up houses and go "oooo!!" Such great memories you brought up here!
  12. Belle's Butterfly says:
    I love your village. Mine isn't nearly as large as yours and the only place I have to put it has prevented me from bringing it out this year. Little hands would find it. This is the first year I haven't put it up. I miss it.
  13. We just set up our village (which is dwarfed by yours!) this weekend. Katie is in love with it and is so excited to turn on all of the lights.

    Putting up our village is one of my favorite parts of Christmas.

    Yours is just beautiful, Natalie. :)
  14. The mad woman behind the blog says:
    That is quite a feat! Really beautiful.
    The closest we had to a big display was our nativity scene, which I miss dearly.
    My MIL has a set similar to yours but its from "Its a Wonderful Life." Last year was the first time she'd set it out in years and it was a huge hit. I look forward to it this year too.

    But this, this is insane and amazing!
  15. blueviolet says:
    I have the Snow Village from Dept. 56, but I didn't set it up this year. I've always wanted to make it look cool like you did, but I don't have the space.

    Yours is wonderful!
  16. hokgardner says:
    I love this little village. I'd love to do something like it some day, when I have the space. But I'd have a hard time not rearranging things all the time.
  17. The Blue Zoo says:
    Wow! Thats awesome!!!
  18. I totally love it!!!! OMG, it's soooo pretty and festive!!!

    Last year, I bought an entire village from Kohl's and then bought a few more this year on sale. I was so excited to display it this year. Bella and I spent an entire day setting it all up around the Christmas tree (being that yours took you 10 hours to set up, I know you can appreciate this!)

    But then our bathroom pipe leaked and the floor was flooded and the remediation people came in to rip up the floor and said, "Maam, you need to put away your Christmas village...sorry". I wanted to cry...I think I might have actually just a little bit. It took just as long to take down and put away as it did to put it all together....ugh.

    Bella's just as heartbroken as I am...but I did manage to put out some other decorations to make our house look a little more festive.
  19. Wow, that looks amazing. Babe would have a field day with something like that. How do you keep little hands off?
  20. Ah..Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without the village! Now I'm going to have to go set mine up! I've been stalling because I hate putting it away at the end of the season. What a pain!
  21. Julie {Angry Julie Monday} says:
    Awesome. My husband thought that I would like collecting those. I have NO WHERE to put them during the Holidays though. I've run out of shelves and table areas.
  22. Totally adorable, and I'm sure the kids are in love with it all!
  23. Beautiful, Nat! You know how I feel about holiday decorations. But how dare you not use real snow? You need to ice the table and then get a mini-snow-blower. Shouldn't up your energy more than a couple of hundred bucks.

    But seriously, where'd you get this stuff? I love it.
  24. What a great little village (and an awesome table).
  25. Ok, if your kids have not destroyed that precious village yet you have the best behaved toddlers on the planet :)

    I love the villages, BTW!
  26. And your kids don't destroy this?????
  27. TornadoTwos says:
    Wow that looks awesome! Will it make it intact till Christmas?
  28. I'm with Liz, how do you keep the kids away from this? And this HAS to be good for some martha points!
  29. Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud says:
    I've always wanted to own a set so I can have my very own village at Christmas. Unfortunately, having a toddler in the house and nowhere to put said village makes it impossible. :( Guess I'll just have to enjoy yours for now. It looks fabulous, Natalie!
  30. Absolutely beautiful! I wouldn't dare with my boys. It would be demolished in record time.

    You definitely deserve at least, like... +50 Martha Points. Of course it's not up to me. But still.

    You go girl!
  31. My parents have the Dickens Village and it's my favorite part of their Christmas decorations!

    Job very well done!
  32. Nice! It took 10 hours? I bet my kids could destroy it in less than 10 seconds. Also, thanks for clarifying that it was FAKE snow.. ;)
  33. Marni's Organized Mess says:
    What a wonderful Wordless Wednesday! That could be a tackle it Tuesday too~!

    I've got a GIVEAWAY in the works come visit me! I need 100 followers before I can give away my surprise (retailed at $75)!
  34. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:
    Ok, that's definitely a +18 Martha Points right there.

    But I'm with everyone else...How do you keep the kids away from it???

  35. I do not have any dept. 56, although I have always admired them. Your display is beautiful and it does look like a lot of work.
  36. Really - so beautiful!
  37. Getting ready to set up our village now but it is going up very high since my kids can break through all baby gates :(
  38. Holy crap, you must have a warehouse for storage! What a ton of work. Beautiful though.

    How do you keep curious little people away?


  1. [...] decor in place the day after Thanksgiving. One thing that I don’t have done is getting my Dept. 56 North Pole village up (that’s an 8 hour process, people.) And another thing I never have done is the shopping. [...]