About 30 years ago, a shopping trip with a friend resulted in the beginning of a Christmas tradition for Helen Drinkard, California. It was the start of her very own lighted Christmas village.
"My friend and I each bought a church, which became the centerpiece for my village," Drinkard said. "It was on sale for $40, which was a really good deal. After that, I just kept going, hitting bargains the day after Christmas to add to my collection each year."
Today Drinkard's village of churches and houses spans about 5-feet long and 4-feet wide, and consists of 28 buildings. Also included is a plaque painted with a scene of Santa and his sleigh that serves as a backdrop for the village.
For more of this story check out the Dec. 28 issue of the California Democrat.