LACONIA — Jane Miner is now reunited with the Christmas Village houses that she started collecting about 10 years ago while living in Florida.
More than 100 of them are now proudly displayed along shelves along the walls of the hallway in the upstairs apartment she shares with her son, Bruce, and daughter-in-law, Julie.
"'I'm so glad to have them back.'' says Miner, who passed them along to a relative around the time she moved back to New Hampshire seven years ago to live with her son.
The Christmas Village houses and small figurines also made their way back to another home in New Hampshire, remaining in a Concord home until early June when the family which had them downsized their home and found they lacked the room to continue storing and displaying them.
''I asked Bruce if we could bring them back here and he was more than glad to do that. Ever since then he and Julie have been working to make a display area for them,'' says Jane.
Bruce Miner says he has spent the last eight weeks making shelves to display the homes, which feature a variety of winter scenes and figurines, from bakeries, drug stores and doctor's offices and even a Walmart, to figurines singing Christmas carols and engaging in a snowball fight.
It's taken him a lot of hours and planning to accomplish the task, which Bruce says is still not complete as he is adding a water scene to complete the display.
''I've worked a couple of hours every night after work on this as well as every weekend. We wanted to have them all up before Christmas,'' he says.
Bruce, who is currently the paint shop manager at the State Hospital in Concord, says that he is making good use of the carpentry and building skills that he has built up over a lifetime of working in construction.
''I didn't want any electrical wires showing, so I built subfloors to house them.'' she says. He also uses magnets to keep the figures from tipping over.
Julie, a health care unit coordinator at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, says that she thinks the display adds a really festive atmosphere to the home and likes it so much she might want to see it stay up on a permanent basis.
''It really catches your attention. It's been a lot of work, but it's all been worth it,'' she says.