In the beginning...

When I was a little girl, I grew up with my grandparents.  At Christmas, my grandmother had an entire town, farmland, and suburban area to set up under the tree.  One side would be a huge farm with cows, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, roosters, and all kinds of farm equipment.  To the front would be a town.  She had street lights, houses, businesses, and cars.  There were skaters on a pond and carolers.  To the other side were homes set up like a suburban grid like we lived in.

I loved that thing and helping to put it together under the tree.  Later, I was awarded the role solely.  It was so exciting to not only put up the Christmas tree but to put out the village beneath it.

When my grandmother died, who knows who ended up with all of those treasured items.  I know it wasn’t me.  I missed the town at the holidays and as an adult, I wanted to have a village like that for under my own Christmas tree.

As it were, I was not a rich person, and as many of you may know, Christmas houses and buildings were and are quite spendy.  Therefore, I never had a village under my tree.  Oh, I had a few houses here and there, but nothing to come near the splendor of my grandmother’s village.

A few years ago, I was caught up in the buying on Ebay.  Since I am a thimble collector, I decided to one day type in “thimbles” in the search.  Lo and behold, I found thimbles of every sort, size, color, and design.  I was in thimble heaven.  I bought many beautiful thimbles through Ebay, but the most exciting and important find was to come.  Thimble houses.

I discovered house-shaped thimbles from Birchcroft China in England.  I had found a way to have my Christmas village!  As a thimble collector, this was the ultimate for me.  Although very reasonably priced, my funds were not big enough to buy everything, so I selected certain ones.  Back then, Birchcroft sold sets of them and I could buy 3 sets of house-shaped thimbles for the price of one regular Christmas house.

Thimble City was born December 2007!

As it was, I set up everything on a stand that we have.  It worked out perfectly, although a bit low.  We like to put our gifts under our tree, so a village under there would not work out so well.  I put a light-up plastic tree in the center of it all so I could have the feel.  It looked great, and I was happy with my Thimble City.  I had found a Christmas train to go along with a small train.  Neither of these are electric, but they are cute and fit in nicely.  I made railroad track out of popsicle sticks to go around the center lake and tree and throughout the scenery.  There is even a “bad side of town” with run-down buildings that I would later put on “the other side of the tracks.” 

It came to my attention by a fireman that although I had a Post Office, a police station, school, city hall, museum, a hospital and all the normal things for a city, I did not have a fire department.  I then had to look at what I had and choose a building that resembled a fire station and ordered it from Birchcroft.  When it came, I found a picture on the internet of a fire station, shrunk it down to the right size with Photoshop, and put it on the thimble.  Wha-la!

All was right in Thimble City.  At least for the time being...