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Note: This is an archive of "Papa" Ted Althof's online tribute to cardboard Christmas "putz" houses and their history. At Ted's request, this archive was established in early 2012. Except for critical updates and announcements, it will remain as Ted left it in October, 2012.
For more information, please scroll to the bottom of the page.


Note from Editor: This is a note Ted published in 2011 when he had learned of a cruel prognosis and was trying to figure out how to focus his remaining energies. As it happened, he some good months yet to come, interspersed with some very bad months. But this is a snapsnot of a moment in which Ted betrayed an uncharacteristic vulnerability. If it seems like he personally lost the will to go forward with his life's work, you should know that within a few weeks of writing this note, Ted was asking me to make and publish this archive, and he was asking Rob Whitfield to keep the original site going as long as he could. With his other friends, he talked cheerfully about putz houses and related subjects as long as he could hold up his end of the conversation.

As Ted requested, the entire site, including this note, has been included in the archive - it was Ted's way of passing the torch and of hoping that some aspect of his legacy would remain. I post this page and a few similar pages elsewhere on the site with both a sense of loss and a sense of compassion for the many others who face similar challenges without a means of expression. - Paul Race, 2012


A Turning Point for Papa Ted's Place

I know that you - my loyal friends - have been wondering whatever happened to "Papa Ted's Place?" I am still here, though it would not appear so. It has been a confluence of heavy-handed things.

I had a tough time finishing 2010. Houses of the Month just stopped coming in. It was becoming ever more evident that just about everything truly significant about the little houses had been said. Oh, yes - little points of minutia will turn up here and there for years to come, but the main story has been told. This charming era has been set down for those who care .. and even some who will come to care. People always have and always will have fascination for miniaturized emulations of the world. This is how they did it in the first half of the 20th Century. But I just basically ran out of stuff to say.

Then Eternity called my number. Earlier this year a diagnosis of Non Small Cell Lung cancer, stage IV. Since then, that battle has become a full-time job. There is real hope, but it keeps me busier than I have ever been - with tasks i have never hated more.

I can't really get excited about material things anymore. Nothing in this life is really ours at all. But i still have a goodly stock of doors and windows for those who need them. I will try to post any amazing photos of Christmases past that come in. Exceptional putzes, Letters from Folks and things like that.

And, actually, I am looking for ethical, responsible people to help me dispose of my collections of vintage toy trains and Christmas lights and Christmas houses. Ornaments. I am here all alone and none of my family cares at all about such things. I need help.

And I need your prayers. Hope has come up for me in the form of a new clinical gene-targeted vaccine that shows great promise, but there are insurances and bureaucrats to fight. It's very expensive. So prayers by all means! I am a believer in that. Keep them coming!

Love to you all,

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For information about this site, please contact us at:

Copyright 2000-2012 Theodore H. Althof,Jr.Except where noted, the contents of this website and all it's pages and submissions therein contained are the intellectual property of Theodore H.Althof,Jr. All rights are reserved. (Background musical selections are,of course, excepted.)

This archive was set up at Ted's request in early 2012, and, except for critical updates and
announcements, will remain as Ted left it in October, 2012.
The archive is kept online with the help of volunteers from the following affiliated sites and resources:
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit our collection of resources for collecting, restoring, and making your own cardboard Christmas houses. Return to the OldChristmasTreeLights Welcome page Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Visit Papa Ted Althof's extensive history and collection of putz houses, the largest and most complete such resource on the Internet. Craft and collectibles blog with local news of Croton NY.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Free building projects for your vintage railroad or Christmas village. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories.
- Trains and Hobbies -
Visit the Internet's largest resource on choosing and displaying Christmas trains. Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages.
Learn about backyard railroading with Family Garden Trains
Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
Resources for O gauge and On30 model railroading
- Music -
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips. Own a guitar, banjo, or mandolin?  Want to play an instrument?  Tips to save you money and time, and keep your instrument playable.
The struggles and influences of early Jesus Musicians and others who laid the groundwork for the Christian music and worship that is part of our lives today.