Published December 23rd, 2011
|The Spirit of Christmas: Local couple builds a village, |
holds to tradition and brings new meaning to ‘family’
By Michelle Hermann
Christmas becomes a multi-level big deal for a lot of folks. There is
love for family members and celebrating the joy they bring into your
life. There are traditions as well, some don’t really have a beginning
and some are deep-rooted in faith.
This is the story of a local couple whose love for each other and a
love for Christmas traditions sparked a growing creation spanning 18
years and all the available space of several living rooms.
It also includes faith based traditions for the 12-days of Christmas,
common to the Catholic Church and it appreciates the caring and concern
of extended family.
Neither Walter or his wife Cindy had any idea they would amass the over
250 individual pieces making up the mostly hand-made Christmas village
which spans one end of the couple’s living room at their current
residence in the Desert Greens community on Wilson Road.
The first tradition, which began with a train set up at the base of the
couple’s Christmas tree, now has several houses, shops, train
stations, train cars, roads and vehicles, landscaping shrubs, special
lighting, children and animals, two ice skaters in constant motion and
The trains are a main focus of the village and several of the
cars are Thomas Kincaid collectibles. The trains even make stops at
each of the train stations.
The couple adds to their collection each year with Walter and Cindy
collaborating on the design layout. Since the village comes apart in
sections and the houses, shops and landscape are not permanently
attached, the village changes every year.
Cindy said most of the buildings came from Michael’s, a craft and
novelties chain with a presence in Las Vegas. The backgrounds, base,
scenery and other items were designed, crafted and hand-painted by
Walter, who is a retired commercial artist. He said he used particle
board and styrofoam to get the topography for the mountains and perches
for the hilltop houses.
“We don’t do anything else,” Cindy said. “This is our Christmas to each other.”
Cindy said every year, Walter brings the pieces from storage and
carefully and meticulously arranges the village and each year something
is added from each of them. It’s a labor of love and for Walter, the
reason is simple. “I am a kid at heart,” he said. “I just love
Walter has also brought the 12-days of Christmas into their
relationship. Cindy said Walter gives her a gift each of the 12 days
preceding Christmas. “He was raised Catholic, and has continued the
traditional giving to his family members,” said Cindy.
About family, Cindy said living in Desert Greens has brought the
couple’s neighbors into their “family.” She said they are just as proud
of the Christmas village as anyone.
The neighbors have also become self-appointed protectors and caregivers
to the Rudenkos, who have been rescued by neighbors while on the
highway between here and Las Vegas when they had a breakdown. Neighbors
also assist when something is needed from the grocery stores or
“They are always there for us, and for each other,” Cindy said. “We
absolutely love this place, and we couldn’t ask for better neighbors.
This is what a neighborhood should be all about, regardless of the
Walter is currently under the care of Nathan Adelson Hospice volunteers and staff.
Snow! January 3rd
More Snow Photos
Chrismas Lights 2010
Girls Gone Wild in Vegas
The Pahrump Linedancers float placed third in the Fall Festival
parade. Carmen Dempsey is an active member of this group.
August 2009 - Good News!
The well casing on the golf course well is not broken,
only a hole in the pipe. All fixed.
Grape Stomp September 2009
2009 - The
bad news is our well water pump motor for our golf course went out. It
was replaced by a new 25hp 480 volt 3 phase unit and new wiring to
it.The good news is our water level is at about 40 feet and the
well is 210 feet deep!
Snow at Desert Green December 2008
Vervil Party July 2008
Dee and Grahams Baja presentation
Wild Life June 2008
Wind Damage June 2008
Flowers June 2008
Yard Sale May 2008