(Nov. 29, 2019) Looking to illuminate the Christmas season for the younger set (and the young at heart), Hileman Real Estate, on 82nd Street in Ocean City, is offering a “Holiday Open House” with a lit miniature “North Pole Village” on the first three Saturdays in December, from noon to 4 p.m.
The massive glass-enclosed yuletide scene includes an array of items from the personal collection of Realtor Kevin Heselbach.
“It was always fun setting it up when my kids were little, but they’re all grown now,” he said. “It’s been sitting idle in a closet for several years.”
While the open house is free to attend, with ample cookies and hot chocolate on hand, donations are being collected for nonprofit Hope 4 Recovery, which opened a sober home last year in Berlin.
Heselbach said part of the inspiration to dust off his vintage Department 56 North Pole Series collection was to add some extra zing to the resorts’ yuletide offerings.
“We wanted to do it in conjunction with the whole Ocean City light-up and Festival of Lights in Northside Park,” he said.
The holiday scenes in miniature should prove alluring for both impressionable youths and knowledgeable adults, Heselbach said.
“This is the North Pole Village and its part of the Department 56 series,” he said.
Dating to the 1970s, vintage Department 56 holiday décor, particularly the Christmas village lines, have become highly collectable, with a series of themes still in production.
“We started from the very beginning, so we have some of the original pieces when it was … the North Pole,” he said.
Over the decades, Heselbach continued to expand the scenes.
“There’s little buildings in there that spell out North Pole,” he said. “We added a few other things to it, like the ‘Crystal Palace,’ at the top is actually from the regular ‘Snow Village,’ collection.”
In addition to holiday accessories, such as little candy cane and gum drop lights, Heselbach said what makes the presentation noteworthy are animated items such as Santa circling overhead in a reindeer-powered sled.
“The animation is what makes it so special,” he said. “If you didn’t have the animation, it would just be a display [but] it moves.”
For more information, call 410-723-9450.