For Robert and Joy Lewis, collecting Christmas ornaments has been a passion since 1967, when the couple purchased their first Dresden ornament. Made of fine pressed paper, Dresden ornaments were produced in Germany from the 1880s until World War I, and today, the couple's extensive collection includes several of these and other holiday collectibles.
Among their favorites is a collection of German handmade animal ornaments the couple uses to construct a rustic winter scene. Each year, Robert and Joy arrange the menagerie, surround it with a miniature picket fence, and set it atop a rolling landscape made with a damp sheet of moss that is molded over boxes to simulate hills and valleys. Potted paper-whites, miniature orange trees, and narcissi appear to spring from the moss to decorate the arrangement and provide color. To give it a sense of perspective, Robert and Joy place larger animals in the foreground and smaller ones in the back, creating a whimsical and exquisite holiday scene.