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Dickens Comes to Elizabethville - abc27 WHTM

Dickens Comes to Elizabethville

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Bob and Leona Shaffer love decorating for Christmas. And, their Elizabethville home shows it. But, it's in their sun room where you'll find their seasonal pride and joy.

It's a 19th century Victorian England Christmas season, captured in miniature. Over a thousand pieces of Department 56 collectibles that would make Ebenezer Scrooge smile. It's a make-believe setting with real life inspiration.

"When we bought that one, that always reminded us of the Lutheran Church up on Market Street in Sunbury." said Bob, pointing to one of five miniature churches in the display.

It's a project the Shaffers begin putting up in early October, starting with a foundation of cardboard boxes and lots of imagination.

"You have to start there in the back and get your elevations, said Bob, gesturing to the back portion of the display. "And once you have that, you just elevate whatever you want to come down to whatever you want to do on the ground floor."

They have no plan for the layout when they begin and every year it changes.

."You just have to get started. Then it takes off from there," said Leona.

Bob and Leona tackle the construction as a team, sharing ideas along the way. But, someone has to be in charge.

"Is there such a thing as a boss when you're doing this?," I asked. "Right here. Right here," said Bob, smiling and pointing to Leona.

The Shaffers began collecting and displaying the miniatures in the mid 1980's, and, as the layout expanded, so did the number of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren enjoying it. Granddaughter Chelsea Peters was one of those youngsters.

"I remember laying out here thinking the display came to life and I would make up a story and everything," said Peters.

The Shaffers say they're not done collecting and they always enjoy sharing their village with family and friends.

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