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Dec 14, 2010 4:27 PM by David Ortiviz

Friends spend a month building Christmas village

Two friends in Pueblo have created a Christmas village in their home, that took nearly a month to set up. They've collected hundreds of figurines, some as small as a fingernail. It's a time consuming hobby, that fills their hearts with joy.

"We call it our labor of love village," said Toni Peritore, who built the village with her friend Elaine Flores. The two friends from Pueblo have collected more than 80 buildings. "There's a bed and breakfast, a gas station, we even have a Wal-Mart," said Peritore.

The decorative display also includes countless characters from Ole Saint Nick to kids frolicking in the snow. News First 5 asked Peritore how many items she has in total. "If you include all the little figurines, hundreds," said Peritore.

"Overall we love it," said Flores. The friends started this Christmas hobby about 15 years ago. But back then, the display was much smaller and they could set it up in about a day. "Now at my age and her age, it takes a little longer," said Flores.

"(It took) almost a month," said Peritore. "But we still enjoy putting it up," said Flores.

The Christmas Village covers two large table tops. Family and friends usually have the same reaction. "She goes, there's no way I could do that," said Flores. "Even though it is so difficult, time consuming, to us it is so beautiful," said Peritore.

To them, the village represents a safe place, that brings them comfort. "We shed a few tears," said Flores. They share tears of joy and smiles which is why they're still adding to their collection--if they can find the space. "I think we've run out of room now, everything is full," said Peritore.

The women say they plan to leave their Christmas village up all year long, because it took so long to set up. They only allow family and close friends to come see it.  But we'll stream the video on our website for those who want to see it again.

The on-air story will run tonight on News First 5 at 6 p.m.

Follow me on Facebook at David Ortiviz and on Twitter at @ortiviz

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