SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Christmas is full of family traditions. But one KELOLAND family is saying goodbye to one that's been a favorite to many this year.
A lot of people collect the small Christmas village figurines this time of year. But not everyone takes it to the extreme that Don Dougherty has.
"I thought they were neat little buildings and my kids were very young at the time and I thought it'd be something to put up on the mantle," Don said.
The collection quickly outgrew the mantle. Don has been collecting the small homes, churches, shops and even tiny people since the mid 80s.
"I stuck with the original, the Dickens. I like that period of time," Don said.
Kids and adults alike have been enjoying the Christmas showcase ever since.
"We've had hundreds of people come down and look at it," Josephine Dougherty said.
Something of this magnitude takes quite awhile to set up. Don spends several hours a day, for about a week, carefully placing each item on the large, homemade boards.
"I always accused him of having a girlfriend in the basement because he'd be going down and putting all this together," Josephine said.
Don says organizing the small village people is one of his favorite parts of the process.
"You try to get a personality and select some of those things. Like I was saying, down there in the corner you see the music guys and you got the people standing around listening to it. It's just kind of to create a story," Don said.
This beloved hobby of Don's is now coming to an end.
"I'm getting a little old and I'm tired of setting it up and collecting it," Don said.
That's why this Christmas each of Don and Josephine's six kids will take turns deciding which figurines they would like to take home.
While it is a little bittersweet for the couple, they know they're kids will carry on the tradition.
"We're getting to the point where we need to distribute among our family. And then they'll have those memories," Josephine said.
While most of the collection was on display, Don says he has more figures in boxes that wouldn't fit.
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