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All about miniature Christmas villages and their popularization

Mar 06, 2018

All about miniature Christmas villages and their popularization
All about miniature Christmas villages and their popularization | Credit: Nathan Anderson

Christmas is that magical time of the year, which is characterized by joy, lights, decorations, festivity and much more. Christmas decorations often include miniature scale villages mostly common among American communities. Have you ever wondered why these miniature Christmas villages are such a big thing in modern America? Here we discuss about the reason. This article attempts to give you a small glimpse of the history of these miniature Christmas villages.

Early history

  • European influence: In the year 1700 people living in the parts of central and Western Europe started decorating their Christmas tree with small, handmade buildings described by historian Karal Ann Marling as a replica of the world where these celebrants lived.
  • Setting up of “putz": During the second half of the 18th century German members of Pennsylvania started setting up “putz” i.e a decorative scene in and around their Christmas trees. The word originates from a German word which means “to decorate”.
  • Entry of “putz” in America: It was in the late 19th century the American love for Christmas villages began. But with the arrival of First World War Germany stopped manufacturing such items and they having a new varieties were imported from Japan.

Popularization and evolution of Christmas trees

Soon they became famous among American citizens as American departmental stores began decorating their window displays with beautiful doll sized scenes every December, making both children and adults feel like they were walking through a storybook. In the modern world of Christmas decoration, these miniature Christmas villages have a subculture, they are becoming more and more valuable with each passing year.

Collection of these villages is a hobby

Yes, people do collect these small miniature villages. It is a hobby that transcends gender barriers having huge number of male audience. To some men Christmas may appear normatively feminine as it includes shopping, organizing family gatherings, cooking, decorating, thus lacking masculinity which can make some of them refrain from participating or celebrating Christmas, but this decoration, having greens, villages and lights which involves heavy lifting, electricity adds a scent of masculinity to the arrangements.

Now, coming to the conclusion, what do you think has encouraged people for almost four decades of spending so much money and time constructing these tiny replicas of imaginary Christmas miniature villages? Well, there is an immense connection between collectors and these villages. It allows the collector to reconstruct the world where he or she lives according to their own wishes.