To set up a Christmas village, make a plan that incorporates the space available, construct the base for the village, set up the train tracks, place the buildings and other elements, and add "snow" to the scene. Christmas villages, a tradition that began with the Moravian church, can range from small and intimate to extremely grand, including lights and animation.
- Plan the village, and clear the space
Base the plan for your village on the space and furniture available, making note of where power outlets are if you want your village to include lights. Choose a central spot where many people can see and enjoy the village.
- Construct the village base
Drape white sheets over the furniture being used to hold the village. While a wood base can be used to support the village, a base made of Styrofoam is more versatile because it can be cut into smaller pieces easily. It is also easier to cut holes in the Styrofoam for running electrical cords, and Styrofoam bases are easier to store. Cut the foam to add levels to the village's base, which makes the village more visually interesting.
- Set up the train
If you plan to run a train through your Christmas village, set up the tracks next. Arrange the tracks so they run by the most interesting sights in the village, since viewers tend to watch the train as it moves. Hide cords and wires, and add any extra animated elements to the village.
- Set up the village
Place the buildings, starting with the largest and working toward the smaller ones. Group houses with other houses and stores with other stores. Don't put buildings too close together. Add roads, creating them out of flat stones if need be. Add the people, cars, trees and other greenery, and park benches.
- Add the snow
Add twinkle lights, if desired, and cover them with cotton batting.