In 1965 (the year I was born), Old Grandpa used some wooden fruit boxes to make a special gift for our family...a beautiful little church.
He built the church out of these boxes, painted it white, covered it with clear glitter that looked like snow, and used sheets of red plastic to create stained glass windows. He put a music box in it that played "Silent Night" when you wound it up in the back. The top of the steeple could be lifted out, and it had a bell on it that we kids loved to shake (you can see the bell if you look carefully). The entire top could be lifted off, and inside, he furnished the church with pews, a pulpit, and an organ...all handmade. The front doors could open and close, and if you look carefully at this picture, you can see some of the pews.
The church in these pictures is actually not the one we had in my home growing up...it is an identical twin that he made for my aunt and uncle who now live in Colorado. My uncle recently refurbished this one, and added the sign with my Old Grandpa's name on it. My aunt put these pictures on Facebook, and I got such a kick out of seeing them...what great memories they brought back. It's funny...when I looked at these pictures, I could actually smell that old church.
The one I grew up with needs some refurbishing of its own...my brothers and I were pretty hard on it over the years. While visiting with my parents and my brother in Indonesia on Skype tonight, my mom mentioned that maybe my dad would try his hand at building a church like this. Hmmmmm...that would make a great Christmas present for his daughter next year!