Welcome to Garlandsburg, folks. I’m so glad you could come. It’s such a perfect day to take a tour, I know you’ll all enjoy it. The snow is crisp and cold, the air has a nip to it and the sky is clear. I’m going to tantalize your nose with the smell of Christmas baking, get your blood flowing by a our travels, and leave you wishing you had more money to spend in the shops of our little town.
Before we begin, I’d like to tell you just a little about this village and what makes it so special.
Garlandsburg was founded many years ago by Rufus and Sam Garland. It was their dream to build a Christmas village that would hold onto the past as much as possible. They succeeded so well in their endeavors that Garlandsburg has become a well known destination for those seeking a slower paced holiday experience; a place where the charm of Christmas lingers everywhere. But I’m sure you’ll catch that charm and the essence of wonder and joy as we take our tour.
One other thing you should know is that Garlandsburg is never the same each year and once the month of December is over, the village is closed and the folks of the town go back to their regular jobs and their own houses. It is during this time that Rufus Garland begins to plan. (Sam has since moved away and is no longer a part of the planning of the town.) The village is often completely redesigned, the streams are channeled into new beds, the hills are leveled or build up, and sometimes even the coastline is altered. Once the groundwork is done, all the shops and houses are settled into their new locations. The word is sent out right after Thanksgiving to all the inhabitants of Garlandsburg that it is ready for occupancy, and nothing beats the flurry and hurry as the shop keepers, their families, and friends and neighbors converge on the newly finished village. All are eager to see where they will be living for the month and who will be beside them. Most families live above their shops here in town and, even if they are smaller quarters than most families normally enjoy, no one minds.
“It’s just all a part of Garlandsburg,” Mrs. Stone told me. “None of us could imagine Christmas time without the cramped quarters, the closeness we feel as a family.”
The village is only open until December 31st, so I’m glad you arrived when you did. Though, there aren’t many visitors after Christmas. I suppose they’re all too busy with family or else too exhausted to think of traveling.
Now, let’s get started. I know you are anxious to experience this special New England town.
|The Carriage House|
To begin our trip–we’ll leave the warmth of the Carriage House fire behind us and start off across the bridge to the lighthouse. Oh, Landon Moore seems to have so many problems with his fishing. I do hope his uncle can teach him a few things, as he always seems to be in trouble.
Excuse us, Mr. Thomas. Are you going up to the lighthouse too? How nice. Yes, I do think we might travel a bit faster, so thank you for letting us go ahead.
|Lighthouse and Path|
Be careful on this path everyone, it’s right on the edge of the cliff and there are rocks below. Please hold on to the children’s hands. Oh, look, you can see Grandfather Uriah Donovan and his grandson Lucas at the top of the trail. They are no doubt watching for Adam’s ship. (Adam is Lucas’s father and his ship is due any day.) And here comes Torch to great us! Don’t worry, he’s a very friendly dog. A bit more frisky than his mother, Candle, but still nice.
Down, Torch. Don’t jump on us. We came to see the lighthouse. That’s a good dog.
Here we are at the top. Beautiful view, isn’t it? Catch your breath now, and we’ll say hello to Grandpa Donovan. No, he’s not everyone’s grandpa, but he’s the oldest man in the town and has been called grandpa for as long as I have known him.
Come on, Crystal, Lucas’s mother is inside, and I’m sure she’ll be happy for some visitors. Perhaps we can even get Grandfather Uriah to let us climb to the top of the tower. Does anyone want to?
|Lower Bridge and Upper Footbridge|
Now we must keep going. We’ll go down the back way. It’s a bit tricky at times, but we’ll be careful and go slowly. Watch these steps. That’s right. We’ll cross the stream on the foot bridge where Mr. Shields and Willie are fishing. Oh, hang on to your pole, Willie! It looks like you caught a fish!