[caption id="attachment_6326" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Carl and Jan Elliott standing with their Christmas “tree” that contains around 75
houses and miniature scenes.[/caption]
Carl Elliott’s lack of space for holiday decorations has turned into a tradition enjoyed by all of us at Emporia Presbyterian Manor.
Carl created the Christmas “tree” made of several levels of holiday-themed miniature houses. At the top is a nativity scene and silver star. The tree has been a welcome and festive addition to our main dining room for a number of Christmases.
Carl started collecting the houses about 10 years ago. He and his wife, Jean, would display them under their Christmas tree. As Carl scooped up more of the miniatures -- usually from yard sales -- he added a shelf, placed the tree on top, and put houses on two levels.
The collection grew more. Carl added more levels. Soon it was more houses than tree! He wanted to add lights, too, so he put his love of tinkering to work. “The challenge was to make it so I could light it. You can’t have extension cords running around and around,” Carl said. “I did a little thinking, and I realized the fan on your ceiling has a light in it. It works the same way.”
Today, Carl’s Christmas tree stands about six feet tall. It has about 75 houses and miniature scenes. The shelves move on bearings around a center post, which contains the wires, and a low-power motor rotates the tree. “It takes about four minutes to make a rotation. It isn’t fast,” he said. “You don’t see it moving unless you look for it.”
When Carl and Jean moved to Presbyterian Manor, they discovered there wasn’t nearly enough room for the tree in their apartment. So they offered it up for the whole community to enjoy. Now, Carl said, employees start asking him in the fall when he’s going to put it up.
We hope Carl and Jean’s tree adds a little extra joy to your Christmas!