Every household and group has its own holiday traditions. For years the Learning Resource Center of the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence has hosted a large catalog of books and periodicals. But as Christmas approaches it also plays host to an extensive holiday village display complete with festively decorated buildings and streets lined with miniature people.
This elaborate display is the work of one now retired LRC staff member, David Lawrence. The village was built up over dozens of holiday seasons by Lawrence.
“It started around 2005,” recalled Lawrence. “I was adding to my Christmas village at home and realized I had some extra buildings I couldn’t fit in the display and decided to bring them to the LRC.”
Over the following years the village grew to include houses, shops, school, Church, and even a library. The streets filled with miniature children, carolers and dogs.
“The first few years the village was set up under the LRC Christmas tree. But over time it snowballed as I brought in a new buildings or figures each year until it grew to take up a table you see today.”
Many students from the NCOLCoE are away from home and extended family, and the Christmas village offers something that reminds them of home and family and something the children can enjoy.
The village is composed of 22 buildings complete with lights and window displays, snow covered trees and nearly 30 figures of people and pets.
“We enjoy having it on display.” Jane Benden, LRC librarian said. “It’s nice to look at and everyone seems to stop and have a look. It was very nice of David to donate them so we could keep them on display.”
Benden was responsible for establishing the village this year with Lawrence’s absence. She said that many academy students who visit the LRC stop to admire and comment about the village.
Lawrence retired in early 2022, but donated his village to the LRC where it is still on displayed. The current LRC staff plans to keep displaying it for years to come. Lawrence said “I just hope they enjoy it and it makes them feel good and helps them enjoy the holidays.”