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?