I have certain rules about decorating for Christmas. One is that no decorations are to be put up before noon on Thanksgiving Day. When Santa rides in at the end of the Macy's parade, around noon, that signals the official start of the Christmas season, or so I think. Another rule I follow is that the Nativity set goes out first and another is that the stockings are hung on the mantle last. I guess you can think of these as Christmas traditions, or so I think.
Now, the Christmas village is a little different. I know that it has been put up earlier than my preferred start date. I bought the first pieces in 1997, and I'm sure it was around the first weekend in November. I remember bringing my precious purchase home and setting it up that same day. Over the years I've put up the village at different times, sometimes before Thanksgiving and sometimes later. One year I didn't put it out at all, and I really missed it. But it is okay to put up the village early, it is like the pre-season primer. I love its soft, homey glow in the room and the charming Dickens scene is so peaceful. I usually leave the village out until mid-January, it stays out as long as possible.
I let Jaydon put up the village this past weekend. I had promised him that we would put it out after I got home from the quilt festival and he held me to the promise! I was ready to get it out and set up, because that means that Christmas will soon be here. Jaydon was ready, too. He loves Christmas and frequently tells me so. I love it, too! It was fun to watch him with the set up. I put out the fleece base and the buildings, after all they are heavy and breakable! I put the lights in each one and plugged them in, but then Jaydon took over. He put out all the small pieces, the trees and the snow. He even got out batteries and put them in the little piece that has a battery light. He worked for quite a while, getting it just right. I know he enjoyed his work, and I enjoyed sharing the time with him.
I know that a memory was made for both of us while we worked on the village. We've done this before, but each time reinforces the memory of the year before and the time we spent together. Setting up the Christmas village is a small, simple thing.