Christmas isn't Christmas without Trains.
For many people their Christmas decorating is not complete until they have set up a model train and tracks beneath the Christmas tree. Some people add miniature farm buildings, animals and entire villages to the display beneath their tree. No one knows for certain when the pastime began of putting a train set under Christmas trees, although some people suggest that it’s tied to the introduction of electric toy trains by Lionel in the early 1900s. But perhaps the toy train display can be traced to the centuries older tradition of placing a Nativity scene and a Putz – a miniature village surrounded by a fence – beneath the tree.
Putz were often elaborate displays, sometimes filling entire rooms, with miniature buildings, figures of animals and people, artificial trees, recreated mountains and lakes, and much more. The tradition of creating a Putz began in central Europe, and was brought to North America by the Moravians in the 1700s.
Are you a collector of model trains, or would you like to start collecting them? Ask your local library to borrow:
Lionel Trains: A Pictorial History of Trains and Their Collectors, published by Turner Publishing Company in 2004.
Trillium Alphorn players have revived one of the original wooden wind instruments and a national tourist attraction and a symbol of Switzerland. Made popular by Ricola Cough candy advertising, the alphorn has long been a communication tool used by shepherds to call the cows from the pastures, to engage with neighbouring Alps and with the people down in the valley below. "Basically, it's like the cell phone of today," says Rene. Despite its simple design, it is a difficult instrument to play. It combines the richness of a brass wind instrument with the softness of a woodwind instrument.
There are about 1,800 Alphorn blowers in Switzerland and around the world including Christkindl's 2019 entertainers Eva Heidja and René Wälti.
Have everyone in your household circle around and enjoy over six minutes of our Train Displays over the years. Our cameras get close up to capture all the details.
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Curl up and listen to a lively, fast-paced podcast dealing with topics of interest to the model railway community. These well-researched podcasts feature some of model railway hobby's best-known names, along with the hard workers and innovators who keep the exciting hobby of model railroading moving ahead. For more information, visit the website.