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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kara Louise: Christmas in Her Old English Village

Kara Louise: 
Christmas in Her Old English Village
(Today Kara Louise Continues the Darcyholic Diversions Christmas Celebration with her guest post and Give Away!  Many books available for give away before the holiday!  Comment on all December posts today!)
Every Christmas I step into an old English Village. Carriages convey people to their destination; carolers gather and sing; children are sledding and building snowmen; and couples snuggle together. This village has several charming shops, a church, a school, an inn, homes, and even an old farm house.

I set up my Christmas village every year the day after Thanksgiving, buying a new piece or two to add to it. In the evening we turn on the lights and sit back and enjoy.

I began to collect these over twelve years ago, before I stepped into the English villages and towns of Jane Austen. My husband had actually begun buying me the small (unlightable) David Winter villages, which I keep in a curio cabinet. A few years later I began buying the larger (not David Winter) pieces that light up. I currently have about 14 different pieces, plus all the people and other extras.

Even though these are more Victorian than Regency, I can’t help but think of Jane Austen when I look at the different scenes. Then, of course, my thoughts go to Darcy and Elizabeth. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ‘Pemberley’ amongst my pieces, but I think I have spotted the Darcys riding in one of the carriages! I wonder how the Darcys would have celebrated Christmas after they were married. Did they decorate Pemberley with garlands and mistletoe? Did they begin some traditions on that first Christmas? What presents did they give each other? Did they celebrate with any other family?

Last year I published a book, "Pemberley Celebrations - The First Year” that addresses some of those musings. The book is actually a collection of short stories that follows the newly married Darcys as they celebrate the different holidays and special events that first year. I begin, of course, with Christmas (there are three Christmas stories), and go on to New Years, Valentines Day, Easter, May Day, Midsummer Day, Michaelmas, All Hallows Eve, and the birth of their baby.

Now, back to my village. My husband loves it, too, and this year he moved a nice set of bookshelves into the living from his outdoor office so I would have more space for my growing collection. But he said there was one stipulation to moving the bookcase there: that I leave the village up until at least March! (I might just decide to leave it up all year!)

But this new piece of furniture in the house presented a problem. Our cats love the shelves and they immediately began to jump in and hunker down behind a carriage or next to one of the buildings. I am so afraid they will get caught in the cords and bring some of my village pieces crashing to the ground! And, of course, one of our cats has decided he likes to jump from the top of the chair onto the top of the bookcase! At least they are sturdy, and I hope the cats will soon become distracted by something else!

As part of Barbara’s celebration of Christmas I am giving away a copy of “Pemberley Celebrations” to those in US and Canada. All you have to do is comment here.

I want to thank Barbara for inviting me here today as part of her Christmas celebration. And I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

My current work in progress is a pirate adventure. Darcy as a pirate? Well, you'll just have to wait and see! I hope to have it available this spring or early summer!   


  1. Thank you for this post! I love the village. I also love your books! Thank you for the giveaway!

  2. Loved reading about your Christmas village -- and the response of your cats. Since I already have a copy of your excellent book, don't enter me in your giveaway. I just wanted to say hi.

  3. Christmas villages are so lovely. My mother started my collection of the lighted village pieces. I was so proud each time she presented me with a new piece. Now I have some of her pieces and I cherish them all. They can be such a special addition to Christmas. Thanks for sharing your story. I can imagine your fear of the cats breaking a piece. Wonder why they are so fascinated with them? I hope the novelty of the new piece of furniture will soon wear off. Then you can relax a bit! :).

    I can't wait for your new book. I read a teaser in September so I have been anxiously awaiting its publication. I have loved every book of yours that I have read and I think there is only one that I haven't read.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    1. Sorry for the double wishes. The bottom kept disappearing and I thought it deleted! I guess double is twice the good wishes!

    2. Happy Holidays! Your village sounds wonderful! My friend Vicki also has villages. She leaves her's up untill Valentine's Day or maybe longer. Thank's for your give away. I love your books. ~Jen Red~

  4. Your village is beautiful! Now you have me imagining a little Pemberley that lights up, and a small pond for ice-skating, and trees and a formal flower garden, and... you really could decorate the village endlessly. Your husband is so sweet to give you more shelves. :=)

  5. That cat looks like it wants terrorize your poor villagers. My cat likes to climb the Christmas tree every year and take a nap in it about half way up. It doesn't look comfortable, but what can you do other than hope it doesn't knock anything down.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity and Merry Christmas.

  6. Aww, my mom has a village also, with about a zillion pieces, and her cats love to walk all over it. She hasn't displayed it the past few years (since I've been a Darcyholic) due to lack of space, so I never made an Austen connection.

    Very sweet of your Mr Darcy to provide more room for your village. Thanks for the giveaway and I am really really looking forward to your next book!

    Merry Christmas!

  7. I a huge fan Kara Louise! I would love a copy of your latest book! Sign my up!

  8. I love your first picture with a cat. Really warm, beautiful. Thank you for your giveaway. You are really awesome.

  9. I cannot tell you how happy it made me to see the pic of your cat next to the village. We used to have two cats named Kirkwood & Sam (my first furbabies), and they would do the same thing. We called them Kirkzilla & Samera. I'd love to be a part of the giveaway! adkroll (at) yahoo dot com

  10. Thank you all for your kind words! And I appreciate Barbara for inviting me to share my love for Christmas, Austen, and, of course, Mr. Darcy.

  11. Love Darcy as a pirate! Can't wait! Thank you so much for the giveaway!