The tradition of building miniature Christmas village landscapes (‘putz’), including houses, animals and other hand-crafted wooden figures, began with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the late 1800s. Mass-produced cardboard Putz houses, sold in dime stores, became popular in the mid-20th century, and have also become highly collectible.
These creative and colorful cardboard houses were initially imported from Japan in the late 1920s, a logical outgrowth of the candy/surprise-box houses the Japanese had been making for some time. As whimsical, delightful "eye-candy" on open dimestore counters, they were an immediate sensation. The finest houses were produced for less than ten years, because the onset of WW2 brought a trend toward more "realistic" toys and trains. However, Christmas village houses have continued to be produced in some form up to the present.
Interviews & Articles
About 42 years ago, my wife, Darla, went to a very large white elephant sale and found a box of antique Christmas ornaments. She t… [more]
I grew up in a home without any antiques. As a small kid, I started decorating my parents’ home for Christmas. I don’t know what i… [more]
The following is a history of these wondrous little artifacts called cardboard Christmas village houses - a history devoted to est… [more]
Ever wonder about that box of vintage Christmas decorations in the attic? From wooden nutcrackers to glass Christrmas tree ornamen… [more]