Well, yesterday’s Christmas post seems to have gone down well. The Christmas train layout ideas are still comning in:
And I’m thankful to say I have a few more few you.
I pondered over whether to post John’s. It’s a very touching read so I did check with him.
With Christmas fast approaching, those were some very special stories. Here’s mine.
There is a beautiful story and song that is a bittersweet Christmas classic. It is about a Child wanting to buy a pair of shoes for his dying mother — A final Christmas gift. Events of 2020 have given that song new meaning in my life.
Christy and I were married in November of 1985.
On our first Christmas I gave her an animated doll. It was a Christmas doll meant for outdoor use and yet it has never been outdoors.
She had wanted a doll like that for many years — And the one I gave her was the best I couldn’t afford.
The same Christmas she gave me an LGB garden railway set I had wanted for many years. — That said, Apartment living meant there was never a real garden for it. That gift to me was the best she couldn’t afford.
Together these were a real life version of O’Henry’s “Gift of the Magi”.
Through time and many moves, both of these things went into storage. They languished in their boxes almost 20 years. Life often makes plans for us that frustrate our dreams.
In June of 2019, I lost my mother (she was 100 years old). In that loss, things long stored were removed from storage. The Christmas doll I had purchased was one of those things (as was the LGB set).
Christy’s health was failing also — And in November I knew she would not last through 2020. Last Christmas, 2019, I made sure that the doll I had given her for our first Christmas, the doll that had been part of each or our first 10 Christmases together was on display for her to see.
Through the years of our marriage, Christy got me a train related item every Christmas and for many birthdays as well.
Some were Hallmark ornaments, others were models. We often went shopping together and Christy made note of what interested me — Often what I wanted but would not buy for myself.
Last year, as Christy was losing her ability to leave the house, Christy discovered Bradford Exchange. She made two Christmas related train purchases so that I would have her traditional gift.
Had she been in better health, she probably would have made different decisions BUT the choices she did make were a reflection of her true “child like” nature (the part of her that really brought life to me) AND her love for me. (Sadly, I lost my beloved Christy, my “funny grrlz” in January of this year, 2020.)
Here is a picture of the first gifts Christy and I gave each other.
So far, this is the only Christmas stuff that I have set up this year.
In the doll’s right hand, the hand with the candle, is a small urn on a chain —
The doll is holding what it can of the one to whom the doll was given.
And now on to Gloria and Dave:
“My husband and I bought a Dept 56 Christmas in the City building on every wedding anniversary.
Last year we were up to 30 pieces and decided to incorporate a train. We got excellent advice and service at H&R Trains in Pinellas, Florida and went home with The Polar Express and all the “pieces parts” to run it.
David build a long platform and made shelves to fit into the windows. The back wall is covered in sequined fabric over twinkle lights; I made the elevations and tunnels. He did wiring and lighting.
Our city is vintage New York with Times Square, parks, an airport, New York Harbor, Ellis Island and Lady Liberty.
Our city now has trains, planes, automobiles, trucks, boats and a kid on a tricycle.
We are wishing a happy and safe holiday to each of you.
Gloria and Dave
Just wanted to wish all your readers and contributors whichever part of the globe they are in, a very Peaceful Christmas and healthy 2021.
This is the Hornby Santa Express, loco and trucks (extra guards van for Santa himself!) fitted out with suitable LEDS, small button cell battery with switch in each, ideal for under the Christmas tree. The Grandchildren love it of course.
Best wishes to all.
Brian, Wokingham, UK”
Now on to John with his Christmas train layout ideas:
this is my Christmas tree table layout in O-27.
I put it up around Thanksgiving, take it down about the end of February. It sits in an atrium facing south getting sunshine for most of the winter.
It takes 4hrs to erect by myself. This past summer I modified the legs and frame with cut-outs to reduce weight and ease assembly. The 2 end panels are fastened to the frame by 8 bolts into T-nuts in the panel bottoms.
The middle panels have the electrical connections to the track and turnouts, wire harnessed to the control panel.
Traditionaly I start running the ore trains, NP and GN, with changeouts to passengers, freight, work, and a Santa special on 23 thru 25 Dec.
It’s a double mainline oval with crossovers and a single siding. The mountains and snowshed help hide the fact that most trains are chasing their own cabooses(i). And give me a place to park the trains out of the sunshine.
Because it is disassembled and stored, I have been slow on landscaping details. Even brown paint for the ground or green for foliage. My river cut is still just layered plywood cutouts.
I run some oversized trains for the tight 27″ radius curved track, the outside main has straight sections for each curved, making for a more gentle sweeper turn.
Kinda clutsy, but it works.
John, Auburn, USA”
A big thanks to both Johns, Gloria and Brian for sharing their Christmas train layout ideas.
If you’d like to share a Christmas story or pics, please just email me.
Or if you’d like to wish John a Merry Christmas or add to the post, just scroll down below to the comments section.
That’s all for today folks, please do keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget, the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to take your first step towards your own layout.