Shouldn't she be called Pam Scottie Dog Morning?
Yum ... let's eat!

One Christmas for the memory book!

  North Pole 3

Well here it is ... the first day of the Cross Country Christmas blog hop and Gudrun has a wonderful quilt-as-you-go project for you. Maybe you'll be able to start crossing some names off your gift list?

At our home here in  White Bear Lake, the holidays begin when we pull out the Dept 56 houses! Bob's mom gave me the first piece shortly after we were married and our collection has grown quite a bit. We don't always put out all them but we do put out the North Pole village each year. IMGP1701
The fall Teddy was a year and a half old, my mom died. Around Thanksgiving, my dad gave us kids some money from one of her accounts. Part of me knew I should put it in the bank but the other part of me wanted to spend it on something really fun. I didn't want it to be just anything ... something that would remind me of my mom and all the special Christmases she had given us.

Dept 56 had introduced the North Pole series earlier in the year. Bachman's was doing some special pricing for purchasing the whole group. Yike ... I was so torn ... three little kids at home and I should be practical ... but boy that set was sooooo cute! My best friend, Fay, came up with the perfect solution that satisfied both needs. Off I went (by myself) to the store!


With those three boys it was easiest for us to go to the early Mass at St Mary's on Christmas Eve. Kids in the car and I had to quick run back into the house ... with Bob tapping his fingers on the steering wheel waiting. 

While we were in church trying to keep the boys in line and still maintain a Christmasy feeling, Fay and her family let themselves into our house ... carefully unpacked all of the North Pole pieces ... layed out the scene on a cabinet ... lit them up ... turned on the tree lights ... and then took off for their own church service. Did I mention she vacumned before they left?IMGP1700

When we pulled back in the drive Bob just couldn't believe that 'someone' forgot to unplug the Christmas tree before we left. Ha ... the tree was on just so I could see the faces of the boys as they spied the North Pole village on the table. Shock. And awe. And magic! The elves that often visited in those weeks before Christmas really outdid themselves. I'll tell ya ... I get weepy just remembering!!Neither Fay or I realized what a priceless gift her idea would give me. Of course, the fact that I pulled something off without Bob knowing is also part of the fun. Not easy when you consider that everything from Bachman's was packed in purple bags. 

We've put the village out every year since then ... adding to it a little bit as more pieces were introduced. I can still see the magic in Teddy's eyes ...  standing on a chair to peek inside the windows of the workshop ... Santa's elves really were inside building toys you know!

Shortly after the following Christmas,  Fay died from cancer, right before her 40th birthday. She was such a great pal ... suggesting I put part of the money from my mom toward the North Pole set and the rest in my savings account for a rainy day. And then offering to pull off the surprise for my family at the busiest time of the year. I think of her ... and my mom ... often but especially each time I remember that Christmas!

 North Pole 5


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Thank you so much for sharing your story about your mom, Fay and the Christmas Village!


Thanks for sharing. Great memories and well told,too!


I love the little villages. I remember when I was a child, my friend always had one on the mantle. When we started having a family, I started collecting the villages too.


Nice Christmas story and what a great friend to have.

Beth Patrick

wonderful memories - thanks for sharing!
now, where are those tissues??

Beth in Dallas


What a great memory to have. I like the little houses you have displayed.


What a wonderful story and a great friend.....


what a wonderful friend you had - thank you for sharing this very touching story.


What great memories. It reminds me of how my husband's family would go on a drive on Christmas Eve with the kids to look at Christmas lights. While they were gone, an uncle would visit their house so that when they got home, Santa had already been there. Ah the magic of Christmas & good friends, God bless them!

Christine Thomas

I don't think I will forget that story. I'm sure I'll share it along the way this year. I'm close to my girls and they'll hear it for sure. Thank you for sharing yourself. That was sweet.

Kim D.

Wonderful memories, thanks for sharing.

Sue Goodin

Thank you for the heartfelt story.
I could feel the emotion it took to write it. It had me smiling and crying. Thanks for sharing

Linda P

sweet memories are what make us what we are today...we take a piece of everyone we love and fold it into a place in our heart, I'm sure you are a great Mom and friend because you have great memories. I'm looking forwared to what you have made for all of us!
Linda P in IL


What wonderful memories, thanks for sharing!


What sweet memories! I shed a few tears from my mother and grandmother each year as I decorate for Christmas -- both loved the holiday and passed that love along to me!


Thank you for sharing your personal Christmas story. I am looking forward to this designer blog hop. Such fun. I enjoyed Gudrun's project today. Can't see what is next!!


What a beautiful story. A gift from two very special people in your life that keeps giving year after year in the form of special moments and memories. Priceless.


Thank you for sharing such special memories. May the peace of the season bless you and your family.


Wow! What a moving and awesome memory! Thanks for sharing!

Bonnie Nyquist

Thank you for sharing,so touching.

Janet M

Thanks for sharing.


Well, you managed to bring tears to my eyes - however, I have been a little weepy with other memories today. That is one memory I know you will always cherish - to honor such a gift from two very special people in your life, that obviously loved you so much!!


There's my Christmas spirit! Thanks for sharing such a touching memory - this is what Christmas is meant to be!

Esther Ramirez

What a beautiful memory and a way to remember the people we love.

Kathy Muller

This is a fun thing to do.

Mary Flynn

Wonderful to have such memories during this time of year...

Leslie Schmidt

That was so touching, Roseann. I know the pain of losing your mother (it's been 32 years for me) and Christmas can be so hard. But part of the miracle of the season is the joy we get from friends and family to help us over the rough spots.

Lisa Sheets

love the memories..thanks for sharing Lisa


Lovely memories. Thanks for sharing.

Sheila Carita

What a great memory of a wonderful friend!

Those Dept 56 pieces are so beautiful!

Thank you for sharing



Debbie Richards

What a great story, one you can pass on to your grandchildren.


What a beautiful story about a beautiful friend. How nice to have the houses to remember her and her kindness with.


Beautiful Christmas story and your house collection is lovely


Love your story, it has inspired me to set up my own Christmas village this year. My aunt/uncle gave me my first house years ago and I have added to it over the years. It has been packed away now for too long. Thanks Roseann!!


Your houses are so sweet, thanks for the memories!


Okay, it's not fair to post stories that make people cry. Than again, I guess maybe that is part of the holiday spirit. Giving and loving!

What a touching memory; thanx for sharing. Di


OMG! Your's is the best Christmas memory so far and I bet of all of them. Thanks so much for sharing.

Ann D.

I used to put out all my little houses. I set up a village under the Christmas tree. The little houses have now been passed on to my granddaughter.

Tammy L

What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing.

Sharon S

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. What a loving way to remember both special women in your life.

Carol Holmstrom

Thanks so much for sharing your very touching story about your Mom, Fay and the Christmas Village. How lucky you were to have had such wonderful people in your life. Your story made me cry also & reminds me of my Mom who I lost a yr ago January. Hold onto your memories, they are truely golden.

Piecefully, Pam

What a beautiful Christmas story. : )

Pam E. - Las Vegas

I too love Department 56. Thanks for sharing your holiday memories.

Roseanna J.

That is one of the sweetest holiday memories I have heard in such a long time. You filled me up with early holiday spirit. Thank you.

Julie Stewart

what a beautiful story, Roseann. The year before my mom died she gave me an inexpensive angel mobile. She bought one for each of us. Mine still hangs in my family room, all year. It makes me think she is still watching me. Thanks for sharing.

kolbrún Björnsdóttir

Thanks for sharing this story with us,


That's no doubt, the sweetest Christmas story I've read in a long time!


I so love these houses, thank you for sharing your lovely memorie and your photos

Jane Weston

Beautiful village...I wish I had the space to set one up.


oh Roseann, that is the most heart warming story! Thank you so much for sharing it. You have made a heart warm today! Big hugs.


What a wonderful Christmas memory.
Thanks for sharing.


I love those villages but I'm afraid they would never survive my house.


Oh my I can imagine the houses all placed in the perfect spot. What a wonderful Christmas story. thanks

Brenda K.

How wonderful to remember your mother like that, and how luck you were to have such a great friend.


That village is cool and sounds like full of good memories.

Julie in WA

I love to see those other people's homes! If I had them, they would be chipped and broken and glued together, and that would break my heart. So I enjoy the villages in stores and on other people's mantles.


I have tears in my eyes, what a sweet sweet story. Thanks for sharing that.


Gracias por contarnos esta historia de su vida, es especial, recuerdos del ayer


I am having a really good Monday but reading your blog post made it even better!! Memories are such a gift!! What a wonderful story! I almost cried just reading it!

therese bell

What a beautiful memory, thank you for sharing it with us.


Since the kids were little, my MIL has always had the cardboard village under her tree. After seeing the Dept 56 villages, DH always said we should get some, but never did. I finally took the plunge and bought a small starter set. He loves it, and the little ones want to get down on the floor to check it out. Your story touched my heart. Thank you


What a wonderful memory!


So hard to loose your Mom at such a young age, I too lost mine when my oldest was 3 1/2, she loved Christmas as well. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. Hugs,Christine


This is the first blog that made me cry (in a good way). What a beautiful story!

Cyndi Valentine

Thanks for sharing the true sprit of Christmas with us. I am sure they both are with you as you pull out the village each year.


Now that is a GREAT story and such a wonderful memory.


Thanks for sharing your story. How very touching.


What a beautiful story and a wonderful friend.

Busy Little Quilter

Wow! What a sweet, sweet story. I have tears rolling down my face.

My mom passed away about 20 years ago close to Christmas. I have lots of friends who helped me during that time. I don't know what I would have done without them.

I, too, have several things at Christmas that bring back memories of my mom at Christmastime. Thanks for sharing yours.

Jane McCarthy

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. I have tears in my eyes! I have the Charles Dickens Village and it too means Chrismas to me. The magic and wonder of those twinkling lights in a darkened room never fails to move me.


Linda G

That is what Christmas is all about. Thanks for sharing with us.

Marit Johanne

What a wonderful story! I am sure that Christmas village also will be your children's favorite memory. And for you it is a very dear memory about your mother and your friend. Thank you for sharing.


I can't wait to see what everyone has designed :)


Oh my ... thank you for the story. It reminds us all what Christmas is really all about. Thanks for the blog hop too I am loving it this morning.


I'm so glad you have this tangible connection to the loving memory of these two neat people. It must be so poignant for you each year...thank you for sharing this touching story.


Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see everyones projects!


Thank you for sharing this lovely story. I lost both my parents this year and so this will be a tough Christmas. Your story touched my heart. You had a lovely friend and agree you've been very blessed with special people in your life. Thanks again.



Jayne Honnold

I'm weepy-eyed, too! What a touching story. Your friend Fay was special, I can tell. So many of my girlfriends are so important in my life, I don't know what I'd do if one of them were to get sick! Thanks for sharing such a poignant memory.


Thanks for sharing that beautiful memory with us.

Darlene B

What a beautiful and touching story. Thanks for sharing - it's a reminder to all of us to treasure each day -- because each day is a GIFT!

Betty M

That is a beautiful Christmas story and memory. I'm glad you hold it dear to your heart.


Love the wonderful story you shared. The photos of your village are great. I've always truly admired them - as I see them every year peaking through windows at Christmas displays.

Memories - it's what "it's" all about.


What a wonderful memory!


What a beautiful story, and to have the village to remember. My mother also started my village and my children now grown, still like it up every year.


Your Christmas story is a beautiful one BUT I must tell you I got tears in my eyes while reading it...first about your mom and then about Fay. You were twice-blessed with those special ladies but lost them both too soon. I'm glad you have the village as a lasting memory of both of them....and thanks for sharing this special story with us.

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