Most of us have Christmas Villages, I think. I have a friend who lived in Europe for many years and her village contains dozens of stunning ceramic pieces that resemble famous historic houses, churches and civic building throughout central Europe. It's far and away the most beautiful village I've ever seen, although my condo is too small to accommodate it. I just have to be jealous from afar.
I've seen other villages made by children from boxes and tin cans and trees made out of tiny tree branches covered with artificial snow. They're the kind of villages the characters of "Peanuts" might put together.
My village is a combination of structures that mean something to me and my family. Half of the collection was made in 1991 by a woman named Judy Sullivan from Ansonia, Ct. Her father made the houses, churches and tiny shops replicating actual historic buildings in Connecticut. Judy painted them. For a year, I received a new one each month. They cost a whopping $12 each.
Judy painted toys, Christmas trees, candles, hams and sausages, spinning tops and miniature pull-toys in the windows, just to name a few. She must have used the same brushes that miniature portrait artists used hundreds of years ago. I think Judy's work might end up on the "Antiques Roadshow" someday.
The rest of my collection is the store-bought kind, but most of the structures are from Charleston, unless you count the ceramic hotel that I bought in Prague. I guess my point is, it doesn't matter what you make your village out of, it only matters that you consider doing it because it will become a Christmas tradition for your family. Traditions are priceless. Ask any kid. Traditions are everything to a six-year-old.