Monday, November 30, 2009

A New Christmas Tradition - The Enchanted Village at Jordan's Furniture

My family and I spent Black Friday in a furniture store- which sounds silly doesn’t it? Let me explain. Jordan’s Furniture in Avon, MA, is now the proud host of the Enchanted Village, “a true New England tradition.” While most people were out shopping, we hiked to Avon, to see the Enchanted Village, the Laser Lite Show and the 4-D MOM (Motion Odyssey Movie Ride) The Polar Express all showing at .....ummm.....a furniture store.


The Enchanted Village of St. Nicholas is the original holiday exhibit created in 1958 that was once displayed at Jordan Marsh. The Jordan Marsh Company commissioned a Bavarian toy maker to create 28 fully decorated holiday scenes with 250 “magically” animated figures.

Jordan Marsh displayed the Enchanted Village in its Downtown Crossing store throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. The display became an integral part of New England’s seasonal celebrations. In 1972, Jordan Marsh closed the display, ending the traditional trip to the village.

The village was reopened at Jordan Marsh in 1990 for eight years, until 1998 when the village was sold to the City of Boston for a City Hall Plaza display. Eventually it was the lack of funding that forced the auction of the Enchanted Village in 2009.

The Enchanted Village at Jordan’s Furniture

Jordan’s Furniture purchased the surviving pieces of the village and restored the collection. The village is now on permanent display at Jordan's in Avon, MA and is open (free-of-charge) for all to see during the holiday season.

The “old” Enchanted Village still has that magical Christmas charm. The scenes came to life with moving adults, children and even toys. A bakery, a general store, and a cozy view of a mom reading to her kids by the fire, were just a few of the many displays. My kids enjoyed the bursts of “snow” that would come down (every five minutes or so). We all felt the Christmas spirit as we enjoyed our walk through the Enchanted Village.

Lite Show

The Laser Imagination Theater Experience or Lite show was worth the forty-five minute wait. With the help of experts in laser technology, Jordan’s Furniture developed a “one-of-a-kind arrangement of high-powered, solid state lasers and Hollywood-style special effects,” set to a musical tribute of Christmas songs.

The colorful lasers, shot from each side of the theater and projected onto the ceiling and wall, were in perfect sync with each song’s tempo. The result was a pretty amazing show.

Eliot Tatelman

If you are from New England, you have probably seen the TV ads for Jordan’s Furniture. Eliot Tatelman is the “famous” white-haired, pony-tailed owner seen in the commercials. He was all over the place that day! We saw him at the Enchanted Village, and there he was, greeting us as we walked into the Lite Show Theater. Even though no one else seemed to be awe struck at the sight of Eliot like we were, I still thought it was great to see him- like a thank you for choosing to spend our time at Jordan’s Furniture on Black Friday.

MOM - The Polar Express
THE MOTION ODYSSEY MOVIE (MOM) RIDE is the four dimensional movie that “engages all of the senses.” Each MOM rider gets a pair of 3-D glasses and is seated in a theater seat that actually moves. The movie is actually a condensed 20 minute version of some of the most exciting scenes.
There is one scene where a herd of caribou are blocking the train tracks. The lead caribou snorts in protest and we felt a mist in the air, as if being sprayed with caribou snot. My kids roared with laughter, they really got a kick out of that.
At one point the train is out of control, shooting down the steep track at high speed…I admit I screeched like a little girl! I wanted more, but the movie ended (much too soon) with the little boy hearing the ring of his sleigh bell (yeah!) and Santa taking off at midnight.

Before the mad Christmas rush that seems to happen earlier and earlier each year, it was nice to leave the shopping lists behind and to get a dose of the Christmas spirit at Jordan's Furniture. My kids are at that tender age where they still believe, which makes Christmas so much fun not only for them but for us too!


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