Gift Guides, Events and Holiday Cheer

Jewish Doctor's Christmas Village Grows into 18th Year

Jewish doctor's wife loves Christmas as much as he does

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dr. Barry Firstenberg has one of the most impressive snow villages in his living room. He started collecting the homes 18 years ago after he received a handmade ceramic Christmas house from a cancer patient. (Published Thursday, Dec 20, 2012)

    A Jewish doctor has quite a unique hobby -- building a large Christmas village.

    Dr. Barry Firstenberg, an Irving oncologist, began building a snow village in his living room 18 years ago after he received a handmade ceramic Christmas house from a cancer patient.

    "It started out as a little table behind the couch and it kept growing and growing and growing. We used to laugh because some of our biggest fights at Christmas would be over living room real estate," said Firstenberg's wife, Elva.

    Neighbors started taking notice a few years ago and the Firtenberg's living room has since become a growing attraction.

    "Every year we get on our golf carts and go caroling through the neighborhood, and this is our first stop to come see the village," said Sharon Roewe Lyons.

    Elva Firstenberg said the village continues to grow every year and she has been getting deliveries of new additions every day for the past three weeks.

    "He'll bring me in here and he'll say, 'Can you tell where my new one is?' And I'm like, 'You've got to be kidding me. No!'" she said.

    Firstenberg said her husband works on the display by himself, sometimes as late as 3 a.m.

    "At night the lighting, of course, is not as good. Another doctor gave him a miner's cap with the headlight in the front, so he'll be in here with the miner's cap on, working away," she said.

    Firstenberg said she is thankful that her husband loves Christmas as much as she does and hopes the tradition will continue for many more years.

    "Every year I'm afraid he's not going to have the energy to put it up. I mean, I pay someone to do my Christmas decorations, and my Jewish husband does this all by himself," she said.