Extreme Christmas Village with over 100 houses - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Extreme Christmas Village with over 100 houses

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A holiday display in Michiana is bringing Christmas joy to the whole community! An Edwardsburg woman has created a Christmas Village, with a population of 600.

In the words of Janella Dierickx-Suida, "Christmas is everything good. It's just everything good in the world."

Dierickx-Suida remembers growing up in a home where Christmas wasn't very much celebrated, and that left an impression on her on childhood. So to make up for it, the Edwardsburg resident says she relives her childhood every Christmas.

"I've always been fascinated with miniatures. I found some little houses and a little train and I thought, 'This would be really neat to put up!' And that's what started it all," Dierickx-Suida recalls.

And that was the beginning of her "Christmas Village", that started as a single row of five houses and a train. "It grew from there, from maybe five houses, and I have well over 100 now. And 600 little people," she says.

That Christmas town worked its way up to a village, and then to a city. Janella says each house costs between $30 and $60. With over 100 pieces, that totals to about $3,000. She's coined it "Janella's Christmas Village" complete with: a country side, downtown, carnival, fisherman village, farm, ski resort, casino, and even a 50's replica.

So how long does it take Janella to recreate her village every year? She says, "If I couldn't do anything but that, it would take me a week, probably a week and a half."

The Christmas village is over 30 years in the making and Janella says she already has an idea of what she's going to add to it next year. "I promise myself faithfully every year that it's not going to get any bigger. But my husband has come up with a way to make it larger and give me more space. So I think I'm going to add a zoo," she says.
    
Janella says nearly 100 people come by every year to see her village and everyone is welcome to stop in and take a look. "The fact that there's so much enjoyment from people that come, including mine. And that's what's worth all the work, it really is," says Dierickx-Suida.
    
However, there is one person Janella is concerned about visiting her village. She says it's the electrician. "Well I wouldn't want an electrician under my tables. It's a jungle down there because if something goes out, I have to go all the way through to the back."

Janella told FOX28's Faran Fronczak that her electric bill in the months of November through February surprisingly only goes up about $30 a month. Janella begins to set up her village every year after Thanksgiving and tears it down in mid-February.

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