A Christmas Miracle!

Update December 7, 2011: Want to make your own Christmas Village? You can download my scans here: http://www.archive.org/details/SantasChristmasVillage !

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When I was six (1975) I had this wonderful book, “Santa’s Christmas Village”, which contained a punch-out-and-assemble Christmas village. It made a huge impression on me and I’ve never forgotten it — the bright, shiny colors; the feel of the heavy, glossy paper; the embossed details; the faces of the little cone-shaped women; the fun of slotting the little buildings together… But what I did forget was the actual title and publisher.

When The Internet arrived, I remembered my little Christmas Village one day and started searching to see if it still existed, perhaps in a retro-reprint or something. I wasn’t unhealthily obsessed or anything — I mean, I would maybe remember and have a little search once a year or so. Since I didn’t know the title, I searched on strings like “cut-and-make christmas town” or “papercraft christmas village” and never had any luck at all. Last week it occurred to me that it might have been a PUNCH-OUT-and-make town, not cut-and-make. That gave me some new results, and somehow I found what sounded like my book mentioned on an antique site somewhere. “Santa’s Christmas Village” (Published by Whitman in 1975.) So I started searching on THAT string, and found an original edition for sale on etsy for $4 including shipping. (I’m sure that link will break pretty soon.) The seller had posted enough photos that I was 99% sure that it was my book. UN-freaking-believable. So I bought it, and chewed my nails waiting for it to arrive.

It showed up in the mail a couple days ago. It’s my book. It really is. The book I’ve remembered since 1975. My little Christmas Village that I haven’t seen in 36 years! Here’s the cover:

photo

I’m going to scan it and print on heavy paper so I can make my little Christmas Village next December without spoiling the original book. I asked my little sister if she remembered it (we each had a copy so we wouldn’t fight), and she does, even though she must have been only four at the time! So I’ll print a copy for her, too. She says my internet-fu is strong!

Oh, internet. Thank you. And thank you, Etsy seller AdaJane!

Category: Blog 21 comments »

21 Responses to “A Christmas Miracle!”

  1. Dan

    So happy for you!

  2. Karen S.

    The internet rocks! A few years ago I was able to find a copy of a Rupert Bear annual book that I’d had as a kid and lost in a move. It’s a unique feeling getting a part of your childhood back. :)

  3. Kathy

    Your big sister remembers it too! What fun!

  4. Jennifer McMahon

    Would you believe I have looked for the same book for forever? Finding your page tonight was AMAZING! I built this village on top of a t.v. set in 1979 and sprinkled the whole thing with about an inch of baby powder to look like snow. It always stayed with me as well. Though I am disappointed not to have found a copy (YET!) I am THRILLED to finally see it- and to know its name. Thank you!!!! (And enjoy!)

  5. kara

    So nice to meet you, Jennifer :)

    I’ve scanned the whole book and am working on formatting it nicely for printing. I printed one of the ladies on heavy photo paper and she turned out GREAT! I’ll keep you in mind ;-)

  6. Jennifer McMahon

    Thanks! Please let me know if you find a way to sell them ;-)

  7. Jen Popiel

    Ditto that! If you find a way to sell a copy, I’d be very interested…

  8. kara

    Update! I’ve been working on this a lot, and I’m almost ready to make a bundle of printable pdfs for you guys! I’ll email you when they’re ready to download.

  9. Jennifer McMahon

    That would be simply FABULOUS!

  10. kara

    Good news, everyone! You can download all my files and make your own Christmas Village!
    http://www.archive.org/details/SantasChristmasVillage

  11. Jerry

    This is too cool. I am big into papercraft. My mom helped me make some cool toys out of paper when I was a kid. That got me started. I had this book when I was a kid. I remember building it. I seen a paper cottage about 20 min ago that brought back the memory of this little book. I just knew that I would never find it and Wham! First search. THANKS! Me and my kids are going to build this for Christmas. Very very cool!

  12. Jennifer McMahon

    OH, HOORAY!!!!!! I am so excited that I received notification of Jerry’s post- because it helped me find this site again!!!! Kara- I printed the files as soon as you sent them, and then my father had a heart attack. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was for my kids and I to have something to do with our minds and our hands during that difficult time. (My dad has since recovered and is doing well.) Anyway- in the chaos of all that happened I lost both your email address and the link to this site, and have thought endlessly about how to find you to say thank you. Hooray for the last post as it sent a notice to my inbox with this link. One million belated thank yous for the files. They were a Christmas gift I will never forget. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Todd

    Just another note to say thanks for your post and update.

    I, too, fondly remember the Whitman Christmas Village. We used to set it up under our tree on the cottony white blanket that served as our tree skirt. We liked it so much, in fact, that we ended up getting a second copy the following year and setting up a “double village”, which became an annual tradition.

    Decades passed and the village was lost. But a few years ago I decided to test the true scope of the internet and, like you, discovered to my delight that a copy could be bought on eBay (in fact, I just checked, and there’s one for sale on eBay right now). Also like you, I kept this replacement book intact, getting enough nostalgia just by paging through its contents.

    But your gesture to scan and upload the pages is truly generous, and goes above and beyond.

    You are now a part of that internet miracle which you yourself thanked!

    Merry iChristmas!

  14. Lisa

    Thank you so much for this, I have been searching for this little Christmas village for years. What a joy this is. I have printed it out on photo paper and it is beautiful.

  15. Spencer

    This is it!!! This is it!!! I was uber-thrilled to see this again! Like yourself and others, I’ve been looking for this book for years. Growing up, this was a well-loved decoration, but not sure what happened to it. Probably played with it to death. Even though we didn’t have much money, mom bought me all the kits that Whitman put out. There’s a nativity one, as well as a non-Christmas village, among others. Thanks soooo much for making pdf’s of this. I’ll be printing this out and enjoying my beloved Santa’s Christmas Village again, just in time for Christmas, too!!

  16. kara

    Yes! I had the Nativity Scene too, at some point. Have fun making your own little village!

  17. Heather

    Thank you soooo much for writing about your internet hunting for this book and for scanning it! I loved reading about your googling process trying to find it! A couple years ago I found a copy too after much trial and error of search terms ( ie. I remembered blue cover…). I gave it to my sister for Christmas but was too busy with the season to make a scan of the book for myself. I am so grateful for your scan and story here. Now I can relive some happy memories and make the set again (as an adult). Thank you!!!

  18. Trina

    Thank-you! I loved this village growing up and I made it every year until it disintegrated and my mom threw it out. The book was thrown out long before so I didn’t know where the paper village pieces had come from. I remembered the circular shape of the paper ladies through and somehow found an image of the book on the internet. It is the exact same as from my childhood! Thank you so much for scanning and sharing yours! I am so excited to print it out and put it together with my daughter this Christmas!!!!

  19. Mary Anne Kaputa

    My goodness…this is the same one we had as kids that I have been looking for…I remember having to scotch tape the villager’s head on after years if use they were worn out….dI’d you scan it in color? Would you be willing to share?

  20. kara

    Mary Anne — yes, there’s a link to my scans at the very top of the post :)

  21. Kristy

    I have been looking for this village for years! My Mom and Dad bought my Sister and I these books at a Nichols store in Dover, Delaware many, many Christmases ago. I’ll never forget punching these out and putting them together and decorating my room with them! I used to look at them for hours! Thank you for uploading files of reprintables-how awesome!


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