August 12, 2022


Greetings Fellow Villagers.  We meet again to celebrate the passion of villaging.  Of course, there are various ways to experience the fun of our favorite passion.  Some specialize in just collecting, others in displaying, or building scenery - like rivers, mountains, base platforms, stairs, roads, etc. And some enjoy the making of videos and/or photographs, or just talking and/or reading about them. For most of us, it's a combination of some (or all) of these endeavors.



But, wherever your choice lies, we celebrate it all, here at The Village Collector, plus much more. Let's take a look at one combination. This particular example is not in the United States, but as you'll soon see, villaging is world-wide.


The story begins with "Let's make a display." Of course it's always more fun with others, so let's make it a club project. Yes, sometimes it really DOES "take a village . . . to make a village.


This project was undertaken by "De Kerstdorp Club". They are a recent addition to our "ClubHouse" page. It is a very large, popular and active club, with members in The Netherlands, Belgium,Germany, Italy, and France.



For a large project, you need a large venue. What a plus if it also looks awesome. If you help a good purpose as well, then you have a trifecta. This location checks all the boxes. Incredible!!! One of the largest Cathedrals in Europe, centuries old, a tourist destination, and a museum also. Definitely hard to beat. Here's a look at the Cathedral of Saint Bavo, in Haarlem, Netherlands.




To match such a great location, let's take a look at an equally incredible project. Yes, like all big undertakings, it was years in the process. Seems timing was everything!  According to Jan Kol Jr, back in 2019 the Cathedral contacted him about the club making a display. Big? It's a 45 meter long display in the basement crypt of the church, along with 300 nativity scenes! After discussions with his colleague Floris, they decided to accept the invitation, and moved forward to tackle this immense project. In 2020, they built a display of six big niches, two rounds, and two small niches. All together an unbelievable 45 square meters! Then, after six amazing weeks of construction, by twenty club members, they opened to the public, Covid hit, and they had to close after just one day!!! Here's a look at the 2020 effort in a Dutch television interview.  CLICK HERE  And now for some neat 2020 photos!




In 2021, with more time, and a year's worth of experience, digging deep into collections, they made a larger and more detailed version, including buildings and accessories from Lemax, Department 56 and other brands. With the Formula One Grand Prix race taking place in nearby Zandvoort, a club member added to the displays with Lego and Lemax for their own race scene. This year, they WERE open longer, but, only FOUR days, and then they had to close again!  Things opened back up in February, but losing the entire Christmas Season meant a lot less visitors.  Here's a look at 2021.



What an awesome project, and what a great example of villaging at it's best. I can't wait to see this year's display. We all hope that it will be open longer this time. A salute to "De Kerstdorp Club" for their perseverance, effort, creativity and commitment. Cheers.





OK, that's a wrap. Time to check the weather

and get ready for Christmas. (Well, of course

there's Halloween and Thanksgiving and ...)


Oops, take your umbrella down too soon?

C'ya next time




Another Example of TVC's version of: