From the Desk of Ms. Lit Town

North Pole Village

Why Does Santa Live At The North Pole?

Did you know that there is no time zone at the North Pole? And there are no permanent settlements there, mainly because there is no land mass, only ice sheets that range from 6 -10 feet thick. The Soviets established a research camp there in 1937 but abandoned it a year later.In the early 20th century, the North Pole was one of the last places on Earth yet to be “discovered.” That changed in 1909 when, in the same September...
on June 19, 2023
Department 56 on CBS News

Department 56 Featured on CBS Morning News

We were honored and thrilled to be featured in a holiday themed segment of the CBS morning news over this past holiday season. Miss it? That's OK... you can check it out here:
on July 05, 2022
Making A Village Video Featured Image

Making A Village

An all new video on the Department 56 production process!
on March 03, 2022
New England Village

Why We Retire Pieces

In 2020 Department 56 made a really tough decision, something that they hadn’t done in many years – they decided to retire a whole Village, the New England Village which was first introduced in 1987, and in 2021 they retired a second Village, Alpine Village, which had been offered since 1986. Oh, no, you say! Would this be a trend? Was this the start of the end of all Villages? The short answer is “no.” While our artists loved designing...
on February 17, 2022
What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

Over the years we have been asked this question quite a lot? Department 56 is an unusual name for a company, How did you come up with the name for products we have grown to know and love over the years? Where does the name come from? Let’s take a look at the history of our company and how the name came to be. Back in the early 1970s a talented floral designer named Ed Bazinet worked for a Minnesota...
on May 06, 2021
Remembering Lynn Maderich

Remembering Lynn Maderich

  It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Lynn Maderich. Lynn was part of the Department 56 family and has designed a great number of our Village figurines for over 20 years. Lynn was also a gifted painter in the fine arts and won several awards including many for her favorite subject, horses. She was a perennial winner of Blue Ribbons at our Minnesota State Fair - I think every time I met with her she...
on August 25, 2020