In 1984 my mother gave me the first of these little buildings. She knew I liked miniatures. I used to have a doll house in my living room with scale model furniture that I built from kits. I went to miniature shows and subscribed to 'The Nutshell News', all about serious miniatures and collections. The house she bought me turned out to be the first in a series. [That first house is in the top photo, in the center; a pick house with a green roof.] Each year my mother bought me the next shop or house in the series. every year I was delighted to unwrap the newest one.
The first Christmas without my mother was difficult. I did not feel like celebrating. However, we had three children who would not have understood skipping Christmas. So our tree went up, stockings were hung and cookies were baked. On Christmas morning I was surprised to unwrap a tiny Christmas house. Christmas joy found its way into my heart. My daughter picked up where my mother left off. She is now my special Santa, searching out and buying me the latest building each year. I never look in Hallmark stores at their ornaments. I like to be surprised. I wonder what it will be this year.
Read my 10 December 2011 Advent post: Christmas gifts as remembered by my grandmother.