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Must see: Christmas villages take over homes

4:21 PM, Dec 24, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS -- Every year we see people go all out on Christmas decorations and lights on the outside of the home, but there are some that turn the inside of their home into a Christmas village. We were invited to check out three West Michigan residents and their Christmas Village collecting hobby.

Karen Dunn of Ada has just about every surface of her house covered with a miniature Christmas village.

"I started out with one small yellow house and I thought I would get four or five," explains Dunn. "I now have over 200."

She only has room to display about 80.

Cheryl Balder of Grand Rapids spends three weeks setting up her village in her basement.

"People collect villages, but a lot of people collect a specific type of village," explains Balder. "I collect anything that I think fits."

Cheryl creates village zones in her basement--a small town, an airport, a ski area, and farm.

Jim Robinette, owner of Robinette's Apple Orchard and Winery, has his collection at his place of business to be seen all year long. "I think I have about 120. It draws a lot of attention from visitors," explains Robinette. His village is a multi-tiered sprawling town of hundreds of buildings and people. It can be seen the winery basement at Robinette's.

The price of this hobby can be expensive: a building can run $50 to $120 and when you have over 100, "have a very understanding husband, because it costs a lot of money," says Cheryl Balder.

"Nobody has called me crazy, but I have called myself crazy several times," explains Robinette.


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