We are knee deep into
one of our most magical rituals.
The gnome population
has awakened again.
They have emerged from the Blue Suitcase
along with their basket of furniture
and tray of trinkets, food, dishes, and toys.
Now three young architects begin their sprawling
make-shift “open concept dollhouses”
around the living room.
It is time for the enactment of Santa’s workshop….
The full scale migration began a few days ago.
as gnomes and elves began taking over every shelf and cubby.
Brayden made his little world under the coffee table,
illuminated by Christmas lights.
Here is Santa reading his “letters” from the children…..
This is how I like it.
The Ultimate Dollhouse has no fixed dimensions or walls.
It doesn’t cost a couple hundred dollars
or monopolize valuable storage space.
It may spring up inside a piano bench,
in a kitchen cupboard,
on a bookshelf, or behind the couch.
Open concept =
A spacious, overflowing
way to Play.
A way of play
that nurtures a wall-free
relationship with life.
A wide open relationship with blank slate rooms
and ordinary moments.
and different every time.
This style of free play anoints the child
as a true Creator.
Every time an epic playscape begins I relish it with every fibre of my being.
I let them keep their ‘set ups’ for days, even weeks.
I know that someday my 10 year old will be
putting it all away for the last time…
but these magical ingredients always re-emerge in new, captivating configurations.
Wooden blocks. Sea shells. Fabric scraps.
Grandma’s old barbie accessories.
Random finds from garage sales and the antique mall.
Unique components that ebb and flow out of storage like old friends.
They are intimately absorbed, cherished, and familiar —
The building blocks for every possible story.
This was Madelyn’s Christmas gift from Santa when she was 4 years old.
Every year Santa brings more little tidbits “for the gnomes.”
It is such a delightful tradition now.
If I can offer any Christmas shoppers a bit of advice from experience —
Start small and grow your own gnome world or open concept dollhouse
bit by bit, organically, year upon year.
It’s not that I have anything against real dollhouses.
In fact, I swoon for them, and if I had the space and money, I’d buy half a dozen!
(This one I picked up fully furnished for $5 at a garage sale!!)
What can I say?
This is our thing.
This is what we do.
Some families go for sports or music.
We Make Worlds.