The Van Splinters have an entire room where their collection goes on display every year.
It all started in 1991 when Monica Van Splinter's husband, Michael, bought her three pieces of the Lefton Colonial Village.
Over the years their Christmas village grew until the company retired the collection at the end of 2010. The Van Splinters owned roughly 170 houses, over 1,000 little people and a couple hundred trees. Van Splinter was drawn to the Lefton Colonial Village due to the diverse colors.
“Christmas was always big in my family,” she said.
Every October, the Van Splinters begin to arrange their Christmas village, which takes them two-three weeks. After the village is complete, an open house is held for friends and family. The village remains up until the end of February.
When you have as much as the Van Splinters do, collecting each individual piece can get pricey. That's why they always checked the after-Christmas sales to help add shops and other pieces to the village. But as much as the Van Splinters love their large Christmas village, they had to downsize when they moved to Florida.
There wasn’t enough space in the new home to display their collection as they did in their old home. They're still in the family, though — the pieces went to Van Splinter's daughter, Karen Mellow, who lives in Oregon.
Anyone who visits the Van Splinters can see how much they treasure the holiday. The decorations in their home include more than just the village; the entire home is decorated from top to bottom in Christmas decor, including some handcrafted pieces.
“I always made Christmas special.” she said. “Some people think I’m crazy, you gotta love Christmas to enjoy it.”