Miniature Christmas display reflects collector’s interests

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PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) – It’s a Christmas tradition that’s been around for more than 25 years. Timothy Bockenstedt started collecting Christmas miniatures in 1994, after seeing a miniature house on display at a friend’s house.

“I started with, here in the middle, with 8 houses,” Bockenstedt said. “After the holidays I went Christmas shopping and a bunch of the houses were 75% off and it gradually went up from there.”

Bockenstedt’s collection now numbers around a hundred houses, around 800 trees and 600 to 700 figurines. the screen is 22 feet long and takes 30 hours to install each year.

Bockenstedt said he typically installs the screen in mid-December and leaves it there for about five weeks.

“A lot of my friends, they come over and they tell me I should leave it all year,” Bockenstedt said. “But for me, I like setting the village up at Christmas, for me it’s part of Christmas, seeing the snow.”

Many decorations reflect Bockenstedt’s personal interests.

“Having a sweet tooth, my favorites are cookies and chocolate,” Bockenstedt said. “Before Katrina, I was a great dancer. I still love to dance, but we can’t (due to the pandemic). My favorites here are the country scene, the dance hall and the animals. And it took time, but I finally found a football (scene) that is my bread and butter. I love football.”

This love of football is reflected in the rest of the displays in his home. His tree is adorned with football-themed decorations. He also collects football-themed Christmas stockings. His love of Disney characters also overlaps with the soccer theme.

“And it’s getting harder and harder to find them in stores,” Bockenstedt said. “You basically have to go online to Amazon or eBay and the same with the stocking stuffers, but I like the challenge of going to a store and finding it.”

He said the quality of the thumbnails has improved over the years, adding more and more detail.

The houses in front are the houses I bought in 1994, and they were just porcelain with a light inside,” Bockenstedt said. “And then over the years they’ve gotten a bit better and in the last four or five years they’ve gotten very detailed.

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