Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fall into the Spirit of Crazy! by Jannine Gallant

It's almost that time of year. We're all falling gradually into winter. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and as soon as the turkey leftovers are eaten, I lose all my marbles and start decorating for Christmas. I know, I know. Most people share my insanity. Right? But does everyone spend two solid days decorating--not counting the tree, which comes later since I refuse to go fake?


I, Jannine Gallant, am a Christmas Village junkie. (Hangs head in shame.)


It isn't just the houses, which wouldn't be so bad. It's the fake snow and all the little figures that give each scene such a festive touch. Then there are the lights. Extension cords and light strings are hidden behind the displays in a diabolical arrangement that should require an electrician. I just keep my fingers crossed and hope I don't short-circuit the house...or the neighborhood...with my addiction.


I wasn't always this way. My mother-in-law, a lovely woman who adored Christmas, started me on the path to over-decorating. She had well over a hundred of those gorgeous Christmas Village houses. Her home was covered in them through the holidays, and she left them up until Easter. Then, after her four Children married and had kids, she began pawning them off on us...a few at a time. Manageable. When she passed away, the remaining dozens of houses were divvied up.


Are my husband's siblings compelled to put them all out every year? Uh, no. I'm the only crazy in the family it seems. My daughters roll their eyes. My dog gets mad because I won't let anyone throw balls in the house for the month and a half the Christmas houses reign supreme. (Yes, I'm forced to take them down by mid-January.) However, I love having them up. And maybe one day, when my girls are past the eye-rolling teenage stage, they'll appreciate the tradition. Somewhere down the road, I'll get to pawn them off on them!


Happy Thanksgiving to all...and may you have a wonderful time decorating for Christmas!

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19 comments:

Margo Hoornstra said...

My goodness. I had no idea! Those are beautiful! I have three and another I ordered soon to arrive. And, trust me, the girls will get beyond the eye rolling stage but it will take a very long time.

Liz Flaherty said...

I love your villages! I have mine on shelves above the kitchen windows. It takes all of one afternoon to put them up and believe me, they stay till Easter! I have only enough buildings to fill the shelves and refuse to buy more, but honesty compels me to admit I still want to! :-)

Jannine Gallant said...

Thanks, Margo. Enjoy your new one!

Liz, I actually had to get an extra one to complete one shelf. I bet you put yours in the exact same order every year. Once we find an arrangement that works, sticking with it just makes sense!

Chrys Fey said...

I share your insanity. ;) On Thanksgiving morning I put up my Christmas tree and decorate it. Black Friday is usually when I haul out the rest of the decorations. I love to turn my home into a winter wonderland. Your villages are adorable. I have a very old set from my mom that I set out. :)

Barbara Edwards said...

I love your village. I had one until we downsized and I gave my houses to my children. I indulge in a manger with lots of animals and angels.

Jannine Gallant said...

Chrys, with a fire going every night, my tree would be toast well before Christmas, so I have to wait on that. Sounds like an excellent way to spend Black Friday!

Barb, hope your kids love them. I have a manger scene with bears dressed as wise men, angels, etc. It's adorable.

Alicia Dean said...

I love the idea of over-decorating, but I don't do it. I would say I medium decorate. :) No outside lights, but a tree and some knick knacks. Love your village. I bet your house looks amazing when it's all done!

Alison Henderson said...

Ha! I'm bad, but you're worse!! I have a New England Christmas village with all the trees and people (no fake snow), but I've kept it to a manageable size that fits on the dining room buffet. I bring it out Thanksgiving weekend and take it down after New Year's Day. Because of allergies in the family, I have an artificial tree that also goes up Thanksgiving weekend. Oh, and the outside lights, too. Thanksgiving weekend is busy at the Hendersons!

Betsy Ashton said...

I'm bad at Christmas too, but not as bad as the mother of my best friend in college. Huge house, three full-sized trees, plus table-tops in each of the bedrooms.

One year we arrived for dinner to find a tree in the family room decorated with every hand-made ornament my friend and her sibs had made over the years. Mom had strung popcorn and cranberries. She pulled out the old-fashioned lights, you remember, the big ones where if one went out... Add some garlands of construction paper and library paste and you have the tree.

So glad I'm not that bad. Almost, but not quite.

Jannine Gallant said...

Ally, I used to be just like you...before I lost my mind and went crazy!

Alison, uh, when do you have time to eat turkey! LOL I wait until after Thanksgiving to start. Monday is Dec. 1st. Decorate day.

Betsy, I have ornaments the girls made in grade school that I still put on the tree. But I mix them in. I bet that tree was lovely!

Diane Burton said...

What a wonderful collection, Jannine! My MIL took my "Thanks, I love the nutcracker" in 1982 to mean that I would welcome more...and more...and more... She & her sister gave me so many nutcrackers. I made sure Hubs only gives me one a year. I do love them and love putting them all out.

I love decorating for Christmas, but if I spend so much time doing that I want everything to stay up to enjoy.

Jannine Gallant said...

You should post a pic of all those nutcrackers once you get them up, Diane. Bet they're super cool!

Leah St. James said...

It's a lovely tradition, Jannine! My grandmother used to put up similar scenes -- although, not quite to the extent that you do :-) -- and I couldn't wait until she had them up each year. I wish I had some of those decorations now. I think it's wonderful that you've preserved your mother-in-law's tradition. I'll bet it's meaningful to your hubby, even if he might not say it.

Jannine Gallant said...

I think it is, too, Leah. I bet even the girls would miss the houses if they didn't show up one year. At least that's what I keep telling myself. LOL

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas passion. Like you, every corner of my house is decorated for the season. I mean, if I have it, I have to use/flaunt it, don't I? I like your serene village scenes...harkening back to a calmer time. In the end, it's all about fond memories we choose to showcase, isn't it?

Susan Coryell said...

As a lover of doll houses, I find the villages fascinating--in others' homes. My crazy is the antique toys hand-made by Grandfather. Perfect time to display them!Thanks for the fun post.

Jannine Gallant said...

Rolynn, the scenes do have a serene quality from simpler times. The little kid figurines aren't glued to their iPods! LOL Maybe that's why I like them.

Hand-made is awesome, Susan. I've got bunches of cross-stitch ornaments my mom made me. And a couple I actually made myself! Those toys probably bring back lots of memories.

glenys said...

What beautiful Christmas village displays! Thanks for sharing the pics - and have a wonderful time with Christmas d├ęcor!

Jannine Gallant said...

Thanks, Glenys. You, too!