A Christmas tradition
As if children need a reason to be excited about Christmas, Tom and Mary Ellen DeValk make the holiday extra special for the little ones in their family. The couple have 18 grandchildren and six (soon to be eight) great-grandchildren who look forward each year to the Christmas village that Tom painstakingly builds each year.
“Every year it’s a little different,” Tom said. “I really enjoy putting it together, and then listening as the kids discuss which house is theirs, and where they are going in the village.”
The miniature town is in the porch, safely behind a plate glass window, with a sofa in front for easy viewing. Mary Ellen said it’s about a seven hour project.
“At first we built the village in the house, inside an artificial fireplace,” she said. “But then we put in a real fireplace and had to move it. It’s much larger now and at night when it’s lit up it really looks nice.”
There are moving parts, including boys throwing snowballs. The pair will pick pieces up at garage sales throughout the year, adding to their collection, never knowing for sure what the result will be when the display is complete.
It is, as they say, a labor of love; one that brings smiles to the faces of visitors regardless of age.