Luxstone Square resident Dave Kyle has been building a Christmas village collection for over 35 years. His collection features over 200 little light up houses, over a thousand accessories like cars, street lamps, people and trees–and is estimated to be worth thousands of dollars. This year will also be the first time it will be viewable for his neighbours to enjoy.
In his decades of collecting, Kyle has built up the display that houses his Christmas village slowly over the years, using his skills as a cabinet maker and master wood finisher to construct elaborate cityscapes made out of styrofoam and construction material. He bought a photography backdrop off of Amazon and decorated a room in the house he and his wife rent in Airdrie.
Kyle dedicates a few hours of his spare time after work to the Christmas village, and his skill and craftsmanship shows. Mountains have been finely sculpted out of styrofoam and are covered in buffalo cotton to simulate snow. Egg cartons have been recycled into cobblestone streets. An epoxy resin lake fits perfectly in one of the village's neighborhoods. Miniature light fixtures line side streets and put off a warm glow that can be seen from the street outside the village's display window.
“[I] just allow my inner child to come out,” said Kyle about his Christmas village hobby. “I do this every year.” Kyle said he builds the Christmas village for kids and that he has placed small details throughout the village for viewers to find.
Kyle’s passion for collecting Christmas village houses originated with his grandfather, who had his own Christmas village collection, although it only consisted of five houses and a few people and trees.
“I used to just lay there [and look] at it for hours,” said Kyle about his grandfather’s Christmas village.
This year, Kyle has set up his Christmas village display so anyone can see it through his window. Because of that he knew he had to dream up a big, showy display.
“Last year we missed out on over 70 houses that we couldn’t put in our display, but this year we got everything in it … Everybody can walk up to the window and take a look, that’s what we encourage.”
According to Kyle, his display is one of the biggest in the Christmas village collecting community.
Even though Christmas is just a month away, Kyle is still thinking about ways to improve the display for before the season ends. He plans to build a train tunnel and add a smoke billowing steam locomotive, as well as hanging a Santa’s sleigh from the roof.
“If people want to get rid of their old Christmas stuff, we’ll take it,” said Kyle.
Many of the houses in the Christmas village come from making finds at thrift stores. Kyle said this method of acquiring pricey Christmas houses has saved him and his wife a lot of money.
In years past, Kyle set up the Christmas village throughout his house. He said that the village would occupy he and his wife’s living space for months at a time. Now that the village has a proper display area, they won’t need to worry about a house-wide Christmas village, said Kyle.
“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” he said. “If I would spread this out into a normal scale, we can actually fill up the whole house.”
Maybe next year.