Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, which means it is now socially acceptable to decorate homes for the holidays. Many are content to string up a few lights or stick a plastic snowman on the coffee table. Fortunately, Trish Garrett is not one of them.
In a series of photos posted on Imgur, Garrett's son Nick illustrated his mom's extremely elaborate Christmas village and how it took over an entire room in their home.
Yahoo News spoke via email to Trish Garrett about her "labor of love." She said there are approximately 80 homes and buildings, hundreds of trees, as well as figurines, fencing, light poles and more.
How long does it take to create? Garrett joked that this year it took her "approximately 60 hours and four bottles of wine." First she rearranges the furniture so she'll have enough table area to build on. "Then we start taking the boxes out of the attic, unpack and then I start to organize all the houses on tables, group all the little figurines, trees, roads, etc... and each evening through the wee hours of the morning for several days the creative process takes place."
Here's the progression from beginning to the finished product:
Here's a second photo, this one of "Mom" hard at work. Note the beginnings of the village in the upper right corner.
OK, now we're getting somewhere. Apparently taken the following day, this picture shows the village taking shape. But more is still to come.
Even the Grinch would think this is pretty cool. Though it's hard to judge just how big the set is, a safe assumption places it somewhere between "massive" and "enormous."
Below, the final product. Not pictured: Little kids having nervous breakdowns in its presence. Garrett said, "The children's faces light up, they immediately sit down in front of the village and start picking out different things and pointing to them. Some of the favorites: an actual water fountain, carousel, ice skaters, the miniature playground equipment, all the little figures of the children playing, the fire house with the firemen, and the pet store with the puppies."
Reddit uploader tunny949 wrote on the message board, "She does go kinda overboard, but she loves it. She has all sorts of visitors come over to see the house/village. She cooks for them all and has presents for any kid that comes over. This is her time of year."
Kids love the village, but so do the adults, Garrett told Yahoo News. "We have had grown men sit in front of the village for hours in total amazement! We host many small gatherings with family, friends, clients, neighbors, etc... and have had carolers, girl scout and brownie troops, bible study group, and thanks to the social media, now friends of friends that want to bring their children to see the village! This past weekend a child ask me if I were friends with Santa and I told her yes, and that I was going to make sure to tell him how good she was when she visited the village. I feel like Mrs. Claus!"
Is she ever tempted to leave the village up all year long to save herself the work? Absolutely not, she says. "It used to be in our formal living room, and everyone use to say they would put up double doors and just open it up for the holidays! Then when our son and daughter moved out, everyone would say, just turn one of their bedrooms into a Christmas Room. No! It wouldn't feel special."