Around the Coffee Table

A Tradition Continued

A Tradition Continued

Mike and Phyllis Michaelson Happily Display Their Snow Village for the Holiday Season

This past Christmas season was extra special for Mike and Phyllis Michaelson. Not only were they able to share their holiday village with all who passed by the Celebration Center, but they were able to continue on their yearly tradition of unpacking the boxes and arranging the village together. This year also marks the first time the Michaelson’s could display their village all in one room!

In the early 90’s, Mike and Phyllis had a close friend who owned a Hallmark store. The friend sparked their interest in the Department 56 snow village ,and the Michaelson’s instantly fell in love with collecting pieces each year. The company makes multiple versions of snow villages and when asked why they picked this particular style, Phyllis responded, “We loved the bright colors in our village. It seemed so cheerful and fun!” Every year they would buy a few pieces that eventually grew into the expansive collection they have today. “We especially enjoy the Santa Comes to Town piece that would come out every year,” explained Phyllis. “I would say we have been collecting that particular figurine for over 20 years.”

Mike and Phyllis’s love for the village was appreciated by all who entered their home during the holiday season. They would have it scattered throughout each room in the house, and the grandchildren loved to play with it. The Michaelson’s hope that one day their collection will be passed on and appreciated by their family. “Our son-in-law especially enjoys the collection,” said Phyllis. “I hope someday he will continue to grow this village and enjoy it for many years to come!”

When Mike was moved into the Simpson Center a few years ago, their loving tradition of unpacking the boxes and displaying the village came to a stop. “It just wasn’t as fun doing it without Mike,” said Phyllis. “It was our special tradition we did together every holiday season.” This year, Phyllis approached Friendship Haven and offered up their village to use as decoration during the holiday season. Gladly accepting, the Michaelson’s were thrilled to share the village with residents and visitors alike. It took three afternoons to complete, but Mike and Phyllis, once again, were able to work together to display their village. Mike was responsible for unpacking everything, while Phyllis meticulously displayed the beautiful figurines. The village was up through the New Year, and the Michaelson’s enjoyed the wonderful comments they received on their collection.

Mike and Phyllis have a love story that has spanned the course of over 40 years. After meeting in Estherville and marrying, they moved their family to Humboldt where they lived until their children graduated from high school. They then relocated to Fort Dodge where they have resided since. Together, they have five children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.