Click on the Santa Hat in the above graphic for a

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     July 18, 2021


Once upon a time . . .

. . . before the omni-presence of the internet, the invention of tv,

or even the flooding of airwaves with radio, news was NOT instant.

(Shock, Horror, Disbelief) As a result, the level of excitement caused

by the arrival of the "Coach"was unmatched. Imagine a major event

happening in your quiet, little hamlet. The coachman's trumpet would

bellow the clarion call as it approached. Work would stop. Children and

dogs would chase and scream, as if it was the ice cream man,


Carrying passengers from exotic locations, or neighboring villages,

along with mail and newspapers, the anticipated, latest old-news

had arrived! Dominating conversations at the village fountain was,

"Guess what 'The Coach' had this week." As a salute to this great

tradition, we present our version (cue the fanfare) and shout . . .

"The Epping Coach is Here"

Who knows who or what it will bring, and . . .

of course . . . don't forget to tell your friends!



Let's start this time with:


Why of course . . . Christmas in July!


Christmas in July is a second Christmas celebration held during July. It is centered around Christmas-themed activities and entertainment, including small gatherings, seasonal music and specials, and shopping, with the goal of getting the public in the "Christmas spirit" during the summer season. It is a statement and a reaction to the traditional Christmas celebration: there is no need to wait for one specific day to celebrate love, friendship and peace.


The movement started in Italy, Europe, and where traditional Christmas is celebrated in winter, leading to the alternative celebration. The first known mention was in “Werther” an 1892 French opera.


In 1935, the National Recreation Association's journal "Recreation" described what a Christmas in July was like at a girls' camp, writing that "all mystery and wonder surround this annual event.” The U.S. Army, Navy, and post office jointly promoted it during World War II, to encourage early mailings to servicemen overseas. Also during the war, churches used the theme to raise goods and money for charities.







The term, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy "Christmas in July" in 1940, written and directed by Preston Sturges.



Then again in 1979 with the movie “Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July”.



In Denmark, they have small Christmas celebrations, and put up decorations for what is known as 'Jul i Juli' (translated as 'Christmas in July'). It is a simple play on words that has come to be celebrated by some, although it is not an official holiday.


In the Southern Hemisphere, seasons are in reverse to the Northern Hemisphere, and some countries have Christmas in July events in order to have Christmas with a winter feel, in common with the Northern Hemisphere.  South Africa really enjoys Christmas in July, especially Cape Town. Many restaurants, wine farms, even in surrounding towns, host festivals jam-packed with everything from tinsel to eggnog. These countries still celebrate Christmas on December 25, in their summer, like the Northern Hemisphere.



All over the world, some celebrate Christmas in July, typically as an intentionally transparent excuse to have a party. Parties may include Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods, and gifts. Nightclubs often host parties open to the public.

Mickey says, "You can't fool me. It's TOO hot to be Christmas!"


In the United States, it is more often used as a marketing tool than an actual holiday. American advertisers began using Christmas in July themes in print for summertime sales as early as 1950. Many stores have Christmas in July sales. This is in part because most bargainers tend to sell Christmas goods around July to make room for next year's inventory.


The Hallmark Channel runs blocks of their original Christmas television films in July to coincide with the release of the Keepsake Ornaments. Television stations re-run Christmas specials, and home shopping channels have lots of decor and early gift idea specials. Plus, here at TVC World Headquarters in New Hampshire, we even say “Merry Christmas” a lot.








World War II "Christmas in July" complete with village!



Now it's time for the special

TVC Secret Decoder Ring.

Click on the ring for our third secret message.



Here's a village print I enjoy.  Hope you enjoy it also.





Some of you know that Kathy and I are great fans of the

Tour de France.

It's been going on for over a hundred years.

(No, I haven't been there for each one)


We watch every day with true "Walter Mitty" fervor.


But, in reality, this seems more realistic.


Anyway, this year is awesome. One of the best! Those

watching know there are terrific sports stories every day.

As of Thursday, July 15th, (with 3 days to go) the leader,

Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar, is trying to win back-to-back

years in an amazing display of youthful domination.


Overcoming incredible difficulties, the wily veteran,

Great Britain's Mark Cavendish is fighting to set the

all-time record as the greatest ever.


OK, so what does this have to do with villaging?

Well, this is prime for a village! D56, Lemax, or any of the 

other village makers, please consider this. There's a huge

source of village buildings and accessories. Great for large

displays or many vignettes (think Dickens type).


There are many iconic buildings for upscale, limited-edition

pieces. Here's Lourdes, but there's a lot more.


Think "Christmas in the City" type for the Arc de Triomphe,

or the Eiffel Tower plus much more.


It happens every year, half way to Christmas.

It's one of the largest sporting events in the world.

It's a 2000+ mile tailgate party.

It lasts over three weeks every year.

It would tap into a huge world-wide market.

With around 200 riders each year, the list of accessories

would be endless.

Big buck sponsors are on each team of 8 riders, yielding 

lots of licensing deal potential.

Special event tie-ins would expand the market even more.

There are millions of bicycle fans in the states.


For example: Here's the TVC team on the Tour de TVC,

That's Bill, David, Jim and Brian attacking the Alps! (Sure)

If only there was a way to ask a company to do it.


But wait! There is!  Did you know . . .

​The National Council of 56 Clubs (wow, that's a mouth full,

we'll just call it the NCC) is having a "Virtual Mini Gathering"

Zoom meeting on July 31st. Registration is now open and over

half full already. They list prizes, seminars and more, PLUS, they

are also having an opportunity to ask questions of "MS Lit Town"

of Department 56. Here's my question: How about a

Tour de France Village? What questions do you have? I'm

already registered and paid and ready to go. Should be fun.


I already have an idea for my display -



Here's another photo of our three Christmas Gnomes.

"Inspiration" "Information" & "Fun"

Each time you visit TVC they magically provide you

with their namesake gifts - and you won't even realize it.



I have two photos here and I can't remember who sent them to me.

Sorry, I mis-labeled the file. Does anyone recognize your display?

I love these pictures and would like to give credit to the

proper villager. They're really neat.




I had a chance to use the ol' TVC "Golden Age of Villaging"

Crystal Ball Way Back Machine yesterday.  A fellow member

of the now defunct North Shore Village Association stopped

by for a visit. Madeline Pimenta was our first non-family,

post-covid visitor. It's been a year and a half since a visitor

brightened our afternoon, and Kathy and I thoroughly enjoyed

our two hour reminiscing with Maddie about my favorite

topic of conversation - The Golden Age of Collecting!

Thanks Maddie - it was fun.


Things sure were different for villaging in the 80s & 90s

and it's always great to relive that era of collecting.

Tales of the hunt, surprise finds, and so many experiences

that are missing when you just click and get it at your

front door the next day. Today generates

"Acquirers instead of Collectors"


Face to face is SO much better than screen to screen.








Oh, by the way . . . 

if anyone is cleaning out attics, or estates, and

come across ANY old village publications, books,

magazines or building collections, please - don't

throw them away. Consider donating them to a

good home, here at The Village Collector


Ahh, the P.S. at the end of a letter.

An after thought, a few random items to leave

a smile on your face, or an idea to ruminate on,

or whatever I can find that seems fun. Ready?














And finally -



Lit Village Collectors are awesome and everywhere!

The "Village Video" page is where we prove it.

What comes through all of these selected videos, is the

passion, care and effort that went into each display. This

is the "Essence of Villaging" and you can experience it

in this month's selections by simply clicking below.

This Month Featuring The North Pole!

The TVC "Village Videos" are a very popular source for ideas,

but there's so much more here. Explore the whole website

and you'll be rewarded with a lot of "Villaging".

Actually, well over a hundred hours worth.



OK, It's a Wrap!

C'ya Next Time.





just another example of: