It’s getting to be that time of the year again—the most magical, wonderful time of the year! Christmas time is around the corner, and that means that Christmas decorations are here to add a little extra cheer. If you’re like many people out there, one of the most treasured part of putting up decorations is creating your own mini Christmas village display.
Christmas village displays have been around since the sixties, but they still show no sign of slowing down. They create unique landscapes of a perfect, awesomely wholesome Christmas home.
Of course, we all have our preferences on the “perfect little town,” but getting the inspiration you need to go the extra mile can be hard. Feeling like you need some new Christmas village display ideas? These concepts below can work well…
Christmas Village Options
The North Pole Christmas village
One of the oldest Christmas Village display ideas doesn’t focus on Main Street America. Rather, it focuses on the man of the season—Santa Claus! For this option, focus on creating a scene straight out of the North Pole is a must. Roaring polar bears, festive elves, and a grand entrance by Santa himself are all encouraged.
Department 56 The North Pole Village
The most famous of these villages is Department 56’s The North Pole. They aren’t super cheap but you will be passing them down to your grandchildren! In my house we buy a new one each year and add to our collection.
If you are just starting out I recommend getting a larger building that you can use as a starting point to your town. (Keep in mind that village pieces are retired after a few years, so if you see one you have to have, don’t wait on it!)
- GENUINE VILLAGE BUILDING: from the Department 56 North Pole Village Series
- COORDINATING ACCESSORY: displays perfectly with our "Putting on the Stripes" accessory (ASIN B0799FLH8Z - sold separately)
- MATERIAL AND DESIGN: piece is meticulously crafted from porcelain and hand-painted with intricate details
- LIGHTING AND ANIMATION FEATURES: building illuminates and candy cane on the front rotates using an AC adapter (included)
- PRODUCT DIMENSIONS: 7 inch height (17. 78 cm)
If you want to start a collection that is a little less expensive, look for the North Pole Village at thrift stores, eBay, and yard sales. I have found some retired pieces that I love on eBay!
Other North Pole villages
If Department 56 is more than you want to spend check out some of these other charming North Pole Christmas villages:
Make your own village with Legos! Enjoy building your own North Pole village and displaying it each year!
- Features beautiful sleigh with red and gold detail, dark green padding, 4 reindeer, baby reindeer, building with detailed interior, and Christmas tree
- Accessories include: 4 wrapped presents in assorted sizes and 4 toys including a blue classic spaceship, yellow car and pink wand
- Also includes North Pole sign, Santa's Workshop sign and a summer holiday picture of Santa and his wife
- Building features stained glass window and Christmas lights on roof
- Santa's Workshop measures over 6" (16cm) high, 3" (8cm) deep and 9" (24cm) wide
This is a great illuminated North Pole that packs a lot of punch in a small space!
- GINGERBREAD HOUSE - Even though it's a busy time at the North Pole, we've pulled out the stops on the Christmas traditions of gingerbread houses
- CHRISTMAS VILLAGE - Hand painted with hundreds of xmas jingle bell details from a frosty snowman and Christmas angel to jolly Santa Claus, light up this Winter Wonderland in your Christmas Village
- HIGH-QUALITY HOLIDAY DECORATIONS - Hand-cast by Santa 's elves using real crushed stone bonded with durable designer resin, our Christmas decorations include two white C7 LED lights to delight Jack Frost. Easily positioned with five foot cord with on/off switch.
- DESIGN TOSCANO HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS - Exclusive to the Design Toscano brand, this cute holiday gingerbread statue makes a perfect gift for holiday home, indoor xmas decorations or Christmas decor your favorite Santa Claus will love
- Our perfectly sized Christmas decorations measure 10"Wx10½"Dx20"H. 8 lbs. helping you create a magical North Pole winter wonderland.
The Victorian Christmas Village
This is one of the most popular (not to mention oldest) takes on a Christmas village display, and rightfully so. The idea of showing an idyllic Victorian village, complete with top hat-wearing denizens stems from the nearly ubiquitous love of A Christmas Carol. Just make sure to add Scrooge somewhere!
Once again Department 56 has a corner on this village type with their Dickens Village. It is my favorite village to put up each year and the one that puts me in the holiday spirit more than anything!
I recommend buying their sets that come out each year like this one
- Department 56 Dickens A Christmas Carol Village Poultries Shop Lit Building and Fresh Fallen Snow Set
It includes the house, a figurine, and some trees.
Once again, eBay is a great resource especially if you have your eye on a retired building or two.
The great news is that Victorian villages are easy to find! Here are some of my other favorites
- 30-piece Set Plays 8 Classic Christmas Songs
- Battery Operated For Indoor Use Total weight: 11.9 lbs
- 3 Lighted buildings 1 Lighted Gazebo 10 Trees 14 Figures 2 Lighted lamp posts
- Plays 8 Classic Christmas Songs: We Wish You a Merry Christmas O Christmas Tree Jingle Bells Deck the Halls The First Noel Joy to the World Hark, the Herald Angels Sing Silent Night
- 12 AA batteries required (not included) 2 3V button batteries required (included) For decorative indoor use only
Here is a ready made village for less than the price of one Department 56 piece. The details aren’t as fine or handprinted but its a great village.
- Christmas Scene Village Snow House Sets made by resin + ABS + electronic components.
- Product components: 4 small house, 1 Christmas mother and daughter, 1 Christmas couple, 1 Santa Claus, 4 Christmas trees, 1 street lamp, 1 battery box (4 lamp caps).
- Upgraded design: The Christmas house inner was installed button battery , the switch is at the bottom of the house, it can be used continuously for 180H, Of course it is retained battery box( require 3x AA no include).
- Packing Size:21.5x7.5x36.5cm/8.46×2.95×14.37inch.
- Best Gift for Fastival:Each expertly detailed building,Christmas cottage scene, hand painted with colorful led light. The lights are beautiful and bright at night, and the decoration as a holiday is very eye-catching.
A Pinch Of Potter Christmas Village
If you’re a Potterhead, then the idea of adding a little Christmas magic can mean more than one thing. Nowadays, many people are starting to revamp their old Christmas village displays to look a little more like Hogwarts. If you’re handy with DIY crafting or just have a lot of Harry Potter-abilia around, this is a great choice to try out.
- Lit building from the Harry Potter Village Collection from Department 56
- Building illuminates using LED lighting powered by an AC adapter (included)
- Made from resin
- 13. 07 inch height (33. 2 cm)
This charming printable allows you to make your very own Hogsmeade advent calendar. Add a few twinkle lights and transport yourself to Christmas in Potterland
Here is another one that is an all in one kind of village.
The Gingerbread Village
Do you intend on having a bunch of guests over at your place in upcoming weeks? Are you a big fan of the culinary arts? If so, you might want to skip using classic porcelain houses altogether. A better option would be to create your own village using gingerbread house kits, alongside gumdrop pine trees and sugar cube igloos.
If you want a great kit to help you in your gingerbread village endeavor here is a great one.
- PREMIUM MATERIAL- Complete 22-Piece Gingerbread House Mini Village Bake Set contains 18 stainless steel cutters to make 4 different style houses, 2 stainless steel icing cones and 2 disposable icing bags to make and bake your own mini gingerbread Christmas village!
- SAFE AND EASY TO USE -Create memories and festive family fun constructing your own Gingerbread House Village! Unlike pre-made cookie kits that typically arrive broken, this set allows you to make and bake your own Christmas village from scratch using gingerbread or sugar cookie dough, fondant or craft clay
- CREATE A LASTING HOLIDAY TRADITION for both kids and adults- make and decorate miniature 3D versions of your favorite Christmas house then share photos of your creations for an annual family friendly holiday competition! #gingerbreadhouse
- 22-PIECE SET comes packaged in a color gift box; includes 18 stainless steel cutters ranging from 0.5" to 4" in size; 2 stainless steel 0. 5" icing cones, and 2 disposable 12" plastic icing bags; Set does NOT include food, candy or icing
- CARE INSTRUCTIONS - Top rack dishwasher safe, or hand wash - dry immediately to preserve finish and ensure long lasting use
Here are some fun ones that looks homemade but will last for years!
- Clay dough resin design with a sparkled snow finish, charming intricate details look like real Christmas gingerbread houses
- Gingerbread houses are lit from within
- Battery operated to display anywhere on shelves, mantels and table tops
- Measures 5.5 inches high x 3.25 inches x 4 inches
- Charming snowy scene with these lighted houses
- Santa's Musical Gingerbread Village features rotating gingerbread train and gingerbread village with detailed wood-like base with felt bottom
- Village includes various Christmas songs and LED lights along with gingerbread texture and glittery finish; Switch located in the back activates rotating train and LED lights along with volume control for music
- Gingerbread Village is made of durable MDF wood and measures approximately 10 x 10 x 14 inches with detailed cookie texturing; Takes AAA batteries, not included - Cord power capable, NOT included
- Perfect for display on a tabletop or as part of a shelf arrangement
- Ships in protective packaging
Christmas In The City Village
Are you a fan of Miracle on 34th Street? If so, you know the uniquely urban beauty of a Christmas spent in the Big Apple. Sometimes, the East Village should be the Christmas village you emulate. To do this, get some faux skyscrapers, some fake snow, and a large faux Christmas tree for the centerpiece.
If you love Department 56 but want tabletop display, this is the village to get. Each piece is meant to be stacked up next to the other.
- Lit building and accessories from the Christmas in the City Collection from Department 56
- Set of 4 includes the "Lundberg Foods" lit building, "Helpful Stock Boy" coordinating accessory, sisal tree, and a bag of snow
- Building lights up using a standard light cord and a 120V bulb
- Building height is 8. 75 inches (22. 23 cm); accessory height is 2. 75 inches (6. 99 cm)
Want a quick diy Christmas in the City village, get a model of the Statue of Liberty and add a santa hat on top for extra cuteness.
Where to Display your Christmas Village
Mantel over the fireplace
Are you having a hard time finding a place to put your Christmas village? It’s a common issue, especially with more people than ever before downsizing. A classic place to put your village is on a fireplace mantel. To make your village more realistic, add a white sheet and some fake trees for a beautiful backdrop.
Around the Christmas tree near the train
Almost everyone has seen a Christmas village display that had a small model train set that ran through it. If you or your family has a member who loves toy trains, this is a great way to get them in the holiday spirit.
Oh, and the best part of this idea? If your kid has a toy train set, you can spend the weekend before Christmas together setting up the village. It’s a great way to engage with your children and also get them using their imaginations in the best way possible.
On your bay window
If you have a home with a bay window, or just have a home where large windows are a main focal point of your architecture, you’re in luck. One of the easiest ways to set up your Christmas village is to set it up in a window where everyone can see.
To get more layers and add depth to your city, use cardboard boxes under white sheets topped with fake snow to prop up a row of buildings in the back.
On Top Of A Piano
People who have a classic side-standing piano have a great place to put their Christmas village on full display. A typical upright piano will have enough space for a full village with a small train set, all while giving you a perfect place to sing carols together. What’s not to love about this musically awesome idea?
My Dickens Village is set up on a special platform my husband built for the back of our grand piano. Want the specs? Send me an email.
As a table runner
Most of us look forward to a delicious Christmas turkey or ham with friends and family. Of course, setting the table for the occasion is a must, if you want to add that extra festive touch to your dining experience. That’s what makes a Christmas village a great table centerpiece or a table runner.
Add a thin piece of lining snow and add your village pieces.
Add a thin piece of lining snow and add your village pieces.
A console table or entertainment center
Any surface can work if you can find a free space. Many people use a console table or a credenza to display their Christmas village.
A dedicated Christmas village display shelf.
There are so many options for display shelves. Here are some of my personal favorites.
People who want this to be a yearly display shelf can choose to paint it white, with scenery in the background if they want to get super artsy with it. Most shelves like this will be able to fit at least two cute homes as well as a bunch of figurines, too.
This Christmas tree display looks like a Christmas tree and will hold a large village! These are the instructions to create your own!
If you want a similar look but don’t want to build it yourself here is another great tree shaped shelf.
These collapsible ladders allow your to keep Christmas storage to a minimum and enjoy lots of display space during the holiday season.
Finally the styrofoam option. There are so many different types of these stands. They will need to be placed on a table top but they allow you to stack, layer and contain all of your village in a realistic snowy village.
We love to display our North Pole village on built in bookshelves in the family room. Bookshelves allow you to see the entire village without taking up a ton of table space. You will need to remove at least some of your books to create this look, but it is well worth it!
Your Village, Your Rules
Traditional Christmas village displays are awesome and all, but it’s important to remember that tradition is in the eyes of the beholder. If a tradition doesn’t quite make sense for you and your family, then you shouldn’t let it dictate what you need to be.
It’s totally alright to have a non-traditional take on what a Christmas village should look like. After all, villages always are evolving, so why shouldn’t yours?
Want more Christmas decoration ideas? Check out the Farmhouse Christmas decoration post.