12.16.2010

Historic Holidays and a Special Snow Village

We have a Christmas tradition that Will and I began the Christmas before we got married. Each year we pick out a Dept. 56 Snow Village piece to add to our growing collection. I love the whimsical nature of our tiny Christmas village, a perfectly idyllic little world filled with tinseled homes and Main Street shops, smiling faces, and vintage cars. Building a Snow Village is sort of like creating a dream...your town is what you make it. Ours has transformed into a perfect representation of friendly small-town life, complete with the corner diner serving up hot fries just down the street from the Brewery that probably employs many of the townspeople. On the main street, there's the majestic Mayor's mansion, Frost University filled with college kids, and the cute Tiny Tots Baby Goods, housed in the most lovely yellow Victorian house. 

Each year we take the short drive to historic downtown Decatur to visit Sam, Frank & Moore which has a lovely collection of retired and current village pieces. When we arrived last Saturday, we were sad to see that the doors were locked, the store was closed. We looked on the internet to find another nearby vendor, and we once again drove a few more miles down the road.

It's quite serendipitous that we found ourselves in a quaint downtown, not so unlike the whimsical snow village we have worked so hard to create. Historic Hartselle, Alabama consists mostly of one main street running through the center of town, aptly named Main Street. Lining the street are historic buildings filled with antique stores, boutiques, specialty shops, and neighborhood diners. After we purchased our newest addition to our village, a cute little red house, we stopped in the Freight House for dinner, by recommendation of the kind lady in the antique store. 

The Freight House was quite enchanting with it's cool brick walls, warm fireplace, and festive Christmas decorations. Located in the old train depot area, the restaurant sits right beside the very busy train track that runs through town, and while we ate we saw 4 very fast trains zoom by, which our little Hudson loved...as he said "choo-choo!" The Freight house serves generous portions of eclectic Southern fare,  and we thoroughly enjoyed our fried pickles, pulled pork barbecue panini, and sweet tea from a Mason jar.

We loved the quiet charm of Hartselle, where the easy stroll through downtown provided a Christmas-y escape from modern life. The small town atmosphere beckoned us to ignore time, and enjoy the antiquity, art, and food. When we got home, we found ourselves replicating that nostalgia we experienced in our own tiny little town that lives in our living room....imagining that the citizens of our Snow Village would walk proudly through their own historic Main Street, where hometown hospitality never grows old. 















And now, few pictures of our little slice of Christmas paradise.....












Do you have a Snow Village at your house?

29 comments:

{av} said...

your photos are impeccable! looks like so much fun was had on your little adventure, even if it wasn't your original destination...your son is absolutely precious! xoxo {av}

Sands said...

Oh, Ashley! Your snow village is gorgeous! It was like a slideshow of your life. And Hudson with the straw in his mouth... PRICELESS!!!!!!

xo
Sealverland

Cara-Mia said...

So many lovely things going on in this post, I love it! First of all, Hudson is just way too cute. :) That food looks delicious & I love that you're drinking out of mason jars. We don't have a snow village, but after looking at this I kind of wish we did. It's so cute. I especially love the camera!

kileen said...

i love xmas traditions and this one is definitely a great one! i need to get me a snow village now. :)

cuteandlittle.com

Brooke said...

OH my gosh! My grandma has a snow village but I want yours!! It looks amazing. You also take such gorgeous pictures! What camera do you use?

Kristen said...

Aww, I loved the photos of your village - so quaint & what a sweet tradition. And Hudson in that hat with the ears is too cute for words!

Petchie said...

Your pictures are so beautiful, and Hudson is the cutest little thing ever!

xoxo
Petchie

thedemuremuse.com said...

I know I say this all the time, but Hudson is just SO DARNED CUTE! I love that he's in a little bear suit. Your family is just too cute for words!

kimmie said...

So cute!! My husband totally wants to start a snow village, but I was against it at first, but I think you've changed my mind! :)

ps. I tagged you in my stylish blogger award today!!

Blue Paper Lanterns

Chelsea Lane said...

cccuuuttteee! I love.your.jacket. this is such a cute snow village! <3

xoxo

lindsay said...

oh my goodness...that snow village is so beautiful...looks just like the town you were in :) these pictures are absolutely darling...and don't even get me started on that little man of yours.

you and your family are absolutely stunning. i know i've said it before, but i must again because it is absolutely necessary :)

so happy we found each other lovely...you are such an inspiration and every time i stop by i know i'll leave with a smile :)

Diana Smith said...

What an awesome tradition!! I love that you have that for your little family and I am sure will continue. Such great memories for you all to hold close to your heart!! That's what christmas is all about. We forget the gifts, the music and pretty lights, but what really matters is our families and the fun times that we have!

Z--- said...

lovely pictures!!!xx

www.zscloset.blogspot.com

Candice said...

The snow village is so adorable; I love looking at those! Little Hudson looks so cute as always, and it sounds like you all had such a fun time! :)

The Gists said...

Awww I love Hartselle! One of my favorite small towns to visit.

a whole lotta love said...

Thanks for your kind words about my blog. Glad I found yours too! I've just been reading some of your older posts. Your boy is adorable!

christa morris said...

Beautiful pictures :) Thanks for joining my blog :) I love having new followers!
You have a super cute space here! Your family is lovely! And btw...Hudson, one of my all time favorite names :)

Village Mayor said...

I love this tradition. I am so glad we started it 6 years ago. It looked kind of funny at first with just a Budweiser factory but now look at it now. I do believe that we should add a church next year. This was a fun trip and looking forward to many more trips and buildings.

LOVE YOU AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Vic said...

What a beautiful tradition. Love the village and all the photos you took make me wish we could be in that village:) we're having a hard time feeling the season...it's always hard here in FL. Thanks so very much for letting me live through you:) Your all adorable! and sweet! Happy Holidays!

In My Tennis Shoes said...

just stumbled upon your very lovely corner of the internet! and wanted to be your 100th follower! :D Congrats and Merry Christmas! I'll be back! :D

Ashley [Free Honey] said...

I wish I had a snow village at my house, maybe someday! I am big on candles, however. i have quite the snowman candle collection. I think its so nice that your family has these traditions, and Hudson's bear suit with the ears is so cute, I literally want one.

Chelsea Elizabeth. said...

These pictures make me so happy! Aw, you just put me back in the christmas mood. :) We have a little town village set up at my house. I will have to post some pictures of it. :)

<3Chelsea Elizabeth

Linda W said...

You have a great talent for photography, my friend!

The Auspicious Life

Zeta♥ said...

oh my god! I love this blog, it is the cutest one ever! I also heart the snow village, I've never had one, that's a shame.. it is so lovely, and reminds me of Christmas days in cities and the Christmas spirit..

The Owl Diary said...

Your blog really is so enchanting. I just absolutely loved reading this. I am a big fan of holiday traditions and this one just sounds absolutely wonderful. That town looks super adorable and when you mentioned the diner, I thought of a quaint small town like Stars Hallow from Gilmore Girls. ♥

Virginie Lavallée Bélanger said...

My parents had a very strong Christmas tradition with the snow village too and now it has been passed on to us so Ramiro and I have our own little piece of whimsical world filling our house with Holiday magic. I'm sure your family will always treasure such memories too!

Could Hudson be any cuter? You guys get me every time, awwww :)

Amy said...

I have a Christmas village too! Except yours is so lovely! And that sweet little Hudson, oh he's too precious for words! What a great tradition! I just started my village last year, and it's grown so much within this past year! Thank you for sharing. Makes me feel like we have a little bit in common ;)

Kinsey Michaels said...

your blog is so adorable, thanks so much for the sweet comment, i'll be following back! hudson is so cute, and i love your christmas village. i remember being fascinated with those collections when i was younger!

SJ said...

Oh, I love the Dept. 56 Snow Village! My grandparents gave my parents a new piece every Christmas since they were married; their collection is gorgeous. I love your pieces!