Mamma’s Big, Bad Holiday City!


You’ve all seen Mamma Biscuit’s holiday city before but you haven’t seen it quite like this. You’ve been dreaming about this all year long haven’t you? Visions of a bustling ceramic Christmas city peppered with bottle brush trees have been clogging up your holiday head-space for the past twelve months now and quite frankly, you can’t begin celebrating this season until Mamma Biscuit unveils her famous display! Well, the wait is finally over people because the moment has arrived. I’m not even going to discuss the 20-year history of collecting this Department 56 extravaganza because you all know how I spent the better part of my youth painstakingly obsessing over this ceramic display. Instead, feast your eyes on my newest acquisition: THE CHRYSLER BUILDING! Architecturally, the Chrysler Building is one of my most favorite buildings in New York City so when I saw this giant beauty on display at Max is Back in New Jersey last year, I was over the moon.

Here’s the thing, many years ago, when Fortunoff was in business, Tommy and I stumbled upon the Empire State Building and the Flat Iron Building within their Department 56 holiday display. I was so in awe of the Empire State Building and the sheer height and size of it that I knew I wanted it almost instantaneously! Tommy on the other hand was actually working in the Flat Iron Building at the time and thought it would be more sentimental to purchase that building instead. Now I have nothing against the Flat Iron Building and I actually love it’s old world charm and how it comes to a point where 5th avenue and Broadway meet (Broadway is actually an old Native American trail so that’s why it cuts through the rigid grid of Manhattan at a diagonal) despite the fact that the interiors of the building are a disgusting, dismal display of 1970s municipality! In the end, we obviously chose to purchase the Flat Iron Building thinking that these two landmark buildings would simply be part of Department 56s’ permanent Christmas in the City collection. Boy was I wrong. The very next year, they decided to retire the Empire State Building while still carrying the Flat iron Building for a couple more years until they retired that too. All of this left me disillusioned and in Ebay limbo ever since. The only time I ever see the Empire State Building come up for auction on Ebay, it sells for 600 bucks or more! So you see, when I saw the Chrysler Building last year, I knew I had no time to sleep on my decision because when it comes to Department 56, you either shit or get off the pot immediately! Those bastards know what they are doing when they only make a limited amount of specialty buildings and then decide to retire them after one year of unveiling them. Makes for great exclusivity but annoying for a collector a who needs to count his pennies. At any rate, the Chrysler Building is pure magic in it’s LED glory. It has a very small footprint but it’s super tall and dwarfs every other building on the table.

Now I have no idea where I actually found the time or energy to continue this particular year with our tradition of erecting this Christmas Metropolis but I’m glad I did—and so is Mamma Biscuit. It gives her an opportunity to snack on some fallen snow from the white drape lining the perimeter of this massive display—and you all know how much pugs like to lick up unknown objects from the floor. When most people think of Christmas, they think of the giant Christmas tree and skaters on the ice at Rockefeller Center, the windows at Bergdorf Goodman and the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall but we Biscuits know that you all yearn for something grand and truly magnificent—you all yearn for Mamma’s amazing Christmas Metropolis! So bundle up and let’s take a stroll through this festive city!


We hope you enjoyed your annual digital tour through Mamma Biscuit’s Christmas Metropolis! Only 6 days and 14 hours until Christmas, are you excited or what?


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11 Responses to Mamma’s Big, Bad Holiday City!

  1. Chris S says:

    Hey Biscuit Family, we love your Christmas city!!! The Chrysler building is awesome in all it’s art deco, LED lit splendor. I have to say, it gives the Flat Iron building a run for the money. I know how disheartening it is to see a beautiful building like the Flat Iron, only to go inside to see that they stripped it of any of the original character it once had, sinful. I love the fire house with the old doors and ladder truck outside, it reminds me of my fire department in Port Jefferson. We also have to give props for the Christmas Story Chinese restaurant that you have incorporated into the display (the raccoons on the garbage can did not go unappreciated either :) ). I think for this display alone you guys should get everything on your Christmas lists (I am sure Mamma will be getting all her little hearts desires).
    Merry Christmas, Holiday Pugs and Kisses, Christine, Ramona, Dieter and Winston.

    • The Biscuits says:

      Thanks for the note! We’re so glad you love our Christmas City. It’s truly a labor of love although every year, my available time to put everything together gets smaller and smaller! I sometimes love to just get my face real close into the streets of the city display and imagine myself walking through it . . . all while Mamma Biscuit is by my feet licking up the excess snow falling from the drape hanging from the table! LOL


  2. Kristin Shoemaker says:

    The longer I follow you guys, the more I think how my aunt would love you. Seriously, the trips to the nursery, flea market road trips, Halloween trees, and… yes, she has her Department 56 Village up under her own personal tree (the rest of the house gets a plebe tree) in the bay window in her bedroom. She has done this since… I don’t know. Fifty years? We’re wicked assholes and make fun of her, but honestly, it’s great. She’s a wonderful amount of fun (and is really talented at scoring those little buildings at a discount. She truly LOVES this challenge. I did not get those genes.) She’s also a good sport. We always play “guess what’s on auntie’s seasonal sweater/blouse/shirt/apron” on the way to her house. When one of us yells “I win!” before we greet her officially she knows what’s up and rolls with it.

    Speaking of games… I always thought a variation of 20 Questions… Guess what’s on Penny’s tongue?… would be an interesting twist. Usually it’s lint, of course. She falls asleep and the dust kitties just adhere there, but sometimes it’s more interesting. Paul was using a three hole punch and some punchings escaped, ending up on Penny’s tongue. Then I started to think about those paper dot candies that allegedly had LSD on them, and… just based on that I had my own little imagination powered trip down the rabbit hole.

    Best wishes for a great holiday to the Biscuits!
    Kristin, Paul, Penny and Eddie

    • The Biscuits says:

      OMG, your aunt sounds like my kind of people. You must send me a photo of her Department 56 village so I can see just how obsessed and insane she is, JUST LIKE ME! People who collect and have this hobby are a weird bunch, let me just tell you! LOL Please show her the Chrysler building when you have a chance, I’m sure she’ll love it!

      • Kristin Shoemaker says:

        I am a bit anxious to see it… My cousin’s son is just about the age his daddy was when Godzilla and a few Transformers started visiting the town for Christmas. So long as they stayed stable, static, and avoided rampages, there were a few years it seemed like Christmas in Tokyo. Auntie thought it added a certain flair.

        Best to the Biscuits
        Kristin, Paul, Penny and Eddie

        • The Biscuits says:

          OMG, I would actually enjoy seeing Christmas in Tokyo even more! LOL I might steal that idea one year for my display. It’s good to change things up and keep people on their toes LOL Take photos of it if you can!

  3. bfish says:

    The display is beautiful and the Flatiron and Chrysler buildings are my favorites. The detail in all of the pieces is fantastic but I admit that some are a little more “gingerbread house” than appeals to me. In the non-skyscraper category, I agree with Chris above that the Chinese restaurant with its denizens and raccoons perched on trash cans in front are standouts. I enjoy it when you describe how you set it up and how much space it takes up, etc. — believe that you have to store some or most of it at parent’s house or houses when out of season? (So I guess you can tell that the tour of the Christmas village is a post I look forward to each year.)

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Paula Schumann says:

    Hi, love love love your village. Can you please please tell me what pieces/who makes the fountain in the rounded square, the walls, and the lion benches? I would love to add those to my “little” village :) thanks!

    • The Biscuits says:

      Hey there,

      The fountain and park benches are all one piece from Department 56. It’s from the Christmas in the City collection. I quickly ran a Google search for you and I’m not sure they make this piece anymore. We purchased this many, many years ago and since Department 56 always discontinues their pieces after several years, I’m sure it is no longer available. I also checked Ebay for you with no results. Perhaps you can call Department 56 and ask them if they still have it anywhere for you to purchase.


      • Paula Schumann says:

        Hi ok :(
        too bad. One more for you! Reminds me of my kids (funny story)….there’s a girl wrapping a boy in Christmas lights in front of the Park View Grade School–can’t remember which year I saw it in your blog, but I love it… do you know the name of the piece??? THANKS! Enjoy your stuff, can only aspire!

        • The Biscuits says:

          OH YES, I know that piece well. That was actually a very inexpensive piece from Lemax. Those figurines can be found really anywhere . . . from Michael’s Craft Stores to any suburban garden nursery that sells holiday wares. I’m not sure you can find that piece though because, again, I purchased it years ago! Who knows though, if you run a search on Ebay, you may find it! They are all super inexpensive. It’s the Department 56 figurines that cost the most amount of money and are actually made of ceramic, not resin, like the Lemax figurines. I hope all of this helps. :-)

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