31things: Christmas collections

Inspired by my attempt last December and from my friend Stephanie, I’m going to try blogging each day in December — holiday themes, of course! I’m calling it “31things.” Click here for more details. Read below for today’s post.


Topic post: Christmas collections

Most Christmas lovers collect snowmen or Santas. Some might collect snowflakes or bears.

I’ll note two Christmas-specific things I collect: Pittsburgh-themed/inspired ornaments and Lemax village pieces.

First, the ornaments… From Linda Barnicott works to Steelers, Pens and Pirates items, to Kennywood Park and Heinz, we’ve got ourselves a wide array of Pittsburgh-style ornaments. We’ve got so many that I’m tempted to go buy a four-foot tree and place all of the 412 area ornaments on it! Hmm, some gold lights, black ribbons … I might be onto something.

By far, my favorite Pittsburgh ornaments are ones from Linda Barnicott. Please, please, please look up her work and buy something! You will NOT be disappointed.

Beyond her for-profit artistic work, Linda also partners annually with the American Cancer Society’s Pittsburgh office for a Christmas card. Always a beautiful card!

And… the Lemax villages. I’ve got this fantastic little village underneath my tree, complete with a parade! The New England-style town focuses on family at Christmas time, as the townspeople are busy running last-minute errands for festivities, singing by the town’s tree or watching the parade pass by the anchor store, Lands’ End (yes, I own a Lands’ End village piece!).

I am addicted to these buildings, but don’t just buy any of them. I put great thought into adding to my collection, and also include Kohl’s Department Store’s St. Nicholas Square pieces, which blend so well with Lemax. My collection has grown, but each year for the last couple years I’ve placed maybe five to eight pieces.

This year, I placed five lighted buildings — a pub, the newspaper office (of course!), Lands’ End, the church and a pharmacy. I also included three homes, but they’re placed behind the others and are not lit. I have them in the display for effect. The people have to live somewhere! Also, the three homes are the three original pieces that pre-date my interest in the lighted Christmas villages.