This is a page about the Edwards Family Christmas Village. I say family because many people from our family contributed in many different ways. This started in 1991 when I wanted a couple of Christmas houses. After Christmas I got four of them. Well the bug bit me! Each year the collection got bigger and bigger. From just four houses it grew until it covered two shelves across our living room. Then I built the first four level unit. Then the second. We moved to wilmington for two years and one year it did not go up. But the next year i built the fiberglass pond. When I first filled it with water it leaked. So I lined it with plastic that year. The next year I added more coats of fiberglass resin. When we moved back to Lewes, we had a small porch the we enclosed during the winter. We set it up in there. The porch grew double the size and the village did too! Then I had to add additional widths of shelving with bump outs to hold everything. At this time it was taking two months to set up and a month to take down. Some of my health issues occurred while it was in the porch. A couple of times friends including David Beebe and sons, and Mark and Becky Huling helped to put up the shelving. More than once June was stuck taking it down since I could not. Frankly it became a burden putting it up and taking it down. We kept joking we were going to add on to the house for it. Finally someone got the idea to relocate it to a shed I moved from my parents house. One more set up! This time I installed many many outlets, and my grandson James helped to glue the background lights. Our daughter Susan and Kelsey Huling painted the floor for us. Over the years we were often asked if we would take a donation for it. We did not build it for that purpose. But in 2013 Susan suggested that we accept Donations for a local charity. Since I always had a lot of respect for the work that Jusst Sooup does I called Dale and asked her if we could collect for her. We were only open two nights in 2013 and both nights the weather was awful. One night the rain was so hard we could barely see. But people came out and a new tradition was begun. In 2014 we were open for two nights on each of two weekends.
And we continue.... In 2016 the village had outgrown the shed. So my son and I closed in a lean-to I had on the back of the barn. I told everyone this was it. One more move and I was done. It would not grow anymore. It took six months to move it to it's new home where everyone is much more comfortable. You no longer have to go outside to visit the village and you can see it in broad daylight because the room is dark when the lights are out.
Needless to say it continues to grow. Last year (2017) we added three new shelves with a section of Rehoboth beach including Dollys, Thrashers, Kor Bros, the boardwalk and the ocean with real waves. You can even smell the popcorn and french fries. We also added remote parking with a Hay Sleigh ride to the village. We added a pellet stove to the barn so it is much warmer and comfortable. My son says” I told you so “ since he told me the village would grow into my tool room. I lost. This year (2018) we added four freestanding trees. These trees are each a different theme. First a village tree with you guessed it more village. The second tree is all nativity scenes. The third tree tells the story of the birth of Christ thru when they returned from exile in Egypt. The fourth tree tells the life of Christ from when he was 12 and visited the temple until the ascension.
We are open for two weekends, the first and second weekends of Dec. The first weekend we also are open Sunday Afternoon for those who do not drive at night. We also open by appointment for a number of senior centers and nursing homes. This helps them as it is can be difficult to maneuver a wheelchair around a lot of people. We continue to offer Hotdogs, Russian Tea, Coffee, Hot Coca, and homemade chocolate chip cookies all for free. If you are able we accept donations for Jusst Sooup Ministries. Canned goods, toiletries, good warm clothing, soap, combs, brushes etc.
You can call us at 302-645-9380 for more info.