Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lego Christmas Village

I have always loved doing puzzles, a trait I inherited from my mother.  She and I have been known to sit down at a jigsaw and get up days later.  In fact, one of my favorite memories of my mother is around a jigsaw puzzle.

Mom had come to visit me in London at a time when Lynn was unable to join her.  I had started a puzzle and it was out on my dining room table, but I hadn't really gotten very far into it.  One rainy afternoon about three, Mom and I sat down to work on it fully intending to get up and go out for dinner at some point.  About six, we realized that we were not going out, so we put on our comfy clothes, still intending to stop at some point to cook dinner.  About eight, we realized that cooking was too much trouble and we would have to stop on the puzzle, so we ordered in pizza.  About midnight, we discussed going to bed, but agreed that we would keep working on it for a bit longer.  In a photo album that is now packed away in London, I have a photo of Mom and the finished puzzle holding a clock -- that reads 3.00 am.  Yes, obsessive.

Similarly, not too long after the puzzle incident above, I was in San Diego for a conference. One of my best friends and I had flown out a couple of days early to sightsee.  As is our norm, I got to choose what we did on one day; he got to choose the next.  Like a normal person, I took us to the zoo.  When he announced the next day that we were going to Legoland, I laughed out loud thinking he was kidding.  He wasn't.  I must admit to being a bit snarky about going; but, once I was there, I loved it.  What people can do with these plastic bricks is nothing short of amazing.

Through the years, my friend has tried to get me involved, but I was just never that interested.  In the meantime, he has done just about every kit available, some of which are impressive as hell.  Karma being what it is, I found myself at my brother and sister-in-law's house during Hurricane Sandy and spent one afternoon putting together a Lego ambulance for my nephew.  I was hooked.  Never one to do things by halves, I decided to put together the Christmas village.  It is a series of four kits, with approximately 3,800 pieces all in.

Lego is a 3-D jigsaw puzzle.  I get the same sense of anticipation when I open the box and all the pieces have to be organized (kind of like doing the edge pieces first).  One then follows the step-by-step directions until one has built all kinds of very, very cool things. Over the past several weeks, I have built an entire town.  This is the park with its skating rink, igloo, carousel and wood cutters hut.

This is Main Street.  On the left is the toy shop, in the middle is the post office and on the right is the bakery.  The Christmas tree is in the town square.

This is the cottage, the building that almost sent me around the bend.  I was about two thirds of the way through when I realized that I had used a wrong brick way back at the beginning.  Now, a less obsessive person probably would have shrugged that off and kept going.  Not me.  I tore it all down and started again.  As a result, I was up until well after midnight last night finishing it up.

What's so impressive about these kits is the detail involved.  This is the inside of the cottage. Notice the fireplace with the hanging stockings, the Christmas tree, the tiled floors and the bedroom upstairs filled with toys.

I'm not sure what my next Lego project will be, but I know there will be one.  In the meantime, every year at Christmas when I unwrap and set up my little village, I will remember my first year of Lego.


  1. This is absolutely brilliant, Chris! Love the little lego houses! Bit disappointed that you're not just taking them all down and starting again each year though, hee hee! :D

  2. Hopefully, the Lego gods will create another building for next year! xx

  3. That is awesome. I also love puzzles. When I was little, I wanted and was given some off-brand Legos that were exclusively shades of pink and purple. They came with rather obtuse but highly detailed instructions at building a castle. So much fun.

    1. A pink and purple castle??? I want one.

      I was going to wrap up the village today and put it away until next year, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Another few days of Christmas never hurt anyone, I guess.