Antoinette Stockenberg's 2006 Putz Page

As I called forth my antique putz from its place of sleep to appear again this Christmas, I thought of the legend of Brigadoon. True, my village appears once a year, not once every hundred years; and, yes, the houses seem to change and move around a bit (not that they can move that far on a mantel). But the essence of the Brigadoon legend is the same: a whole little world, filled with characters with their own stories to tell, materializes as if by magic, casts its spell, and then -- poof! -- is gone. Every one of us, grownup and child alike, who has practiced this act of magic waits all year to do it again.

Antique Christmas cardboard house putz (village) on large fireplace mantel  (50K)
(Click on each house for more scenes)

This year, the harbor is part of the charm. Some of the houses have widows' walks -- decks and balconies, built high on the houses, where the women within can scan the sea for sight of their husbands' returning ships. One such lonely heart, her hands tucked in her white muff, waits in the bitter cold for welcome news. Will he be home by Christmas? A child who has just moved from a small white cottage to a much grander house clings shyly to her doll, wide-eyed at the roisterous snowball fight she sees. Old man MacGowan has moved his Christmas tree lot from Water Street (where the rent has soared) to a less busy street inland. Fewer passers-by now; he's had to reduce the price. The carollers and musicians have already performed at the church and have moved on to City Hall. And look -- there's Miss Bates, who keeps pretty much to herself, hurrying home with her devoted dog. The skaters? Ah, they're happy. Who can be melancholy gliding across the ice? As for Santa, he's airborne. It's a busy night, and he has more than one village to visit ....

Because making magic is addictive, I've created a smaller village on a smaller mantel (below). Farther inland from the harbor town, here the pace is slower. A group of skiers gets in one last run before night falls, and one of them, his skis removed, will have to wait for the shepherd leading his flock across a narrow bridge. There are not so many skaters on the ice: the women are inside, preparing feasts for Christmas Eve. Still, there is hot chocolate for the frostbitten (the old woman needs every last penny she can earn). A couple huddled under blankets on their horse-drawn sleigh have one last delivery to make of a keg and a basket of bread. At the church, Brother Andrew is passing the time before Midnight Mass with a couple of friends while an irreverent youth takes aim from behind a snowman. Heads up, Brother! Everywhere, people are hurrying home, most of them happy in their distraction and filled with anticipation. It's Christmas Eve.

Antique Christmas cardboard house putz (village) on small fireplace mantel  (50K)
(Click on each house for more scenes)

Merry Christmas, everyone, and to all a year of peace and good will.

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2007 Christmas Putz

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Last Update    Dec 4, 2007