LAYTON -- Walk inside Todd and Beverly Larson's home, and you just might think you've arrived in a winter wonderland.
The front room is filled with tiny lights, buildings, businesses, cabins, lakes, a ski lift, waterfall, train and even the North Pole.
Hundreds of tiny figures are ice skating, skiing and shopping. Elk, moose, buffalo and deer are trudging through the snowy hills and peering from behind pine trees. A church with a manger out front sits in the center of the town.
The Larsons' Christmas village is roughly 20 feet long and 7 feet wide. All of the items are handmade except for a few of the figurines.
It even has its own power source, Todd Larson said.
It all started in 1964, when Larson's family lived in New Zealand. Their Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward held a contest to see who had the most creatively decorated Christmas tree.
"My dad, Don Larson, went to pick up a tree, but when he got there, there were no trees, just new-growth branches laying on the ground," Larson said.
"He and my mother gathered up the branches and took them home, and they made a little Christmas village out of them."
When the judges came around to check out the Larson tree, they were so impressed with the village, the family won the grand prize.
"That contest started a family tradition that has lasted 47 years," Larson said.
"My dad is 86 years old now and lives in Taylorsville. He has handed the village down to me, and I've continued to add to it each year."
The village still has the original church building Don Larson constructed, several skiers made from pine cones and toothpicks, and a variety of other buildings Todd and his parents built together, including a post office, strip mall, ski lodge, barber shop, igloos and a general store.
"Every year, we would have around 2,000 visitors come to the house to see the village," Larson said. "And now that the village is in my home, the visitors are still coming."
Larson said it takes him an entire month to assemble the village. Each year, he buys approximately 30 bags of cotton to use for the snow.
Each of the nearly 2,000 lights has to be checked and carefully placed in a certain sequence.
"It's a lot of work. It takes hours to put it together, but it's a lot of fun. It's something I really enjoy, and the reactions you get from people make it all worthwhile," he said.
"When I tell people I have a Christmas village inside my home, I think they assume it's a little display sitting on the mantel."
Larson always adds something new to the village.
This year's addition is a Superman figurine that hovers over an ice sculpture that looks like it could be the superhero's lair.
"My goal is to get the ski lift actually running," Larson said. "That was my dad's dream, and before he passes on, I want to get it operating for him."
Larson said visitors are welcome to stop by his home at 278 Dawson St. for a personal look at his village.
The best time to see it is around 5 p.m., when everything is lighted, he said.
"I'm happy to share it with the public," he said.
"It's something that is very dear to me because it turned into a family tradition, and family is very important.
"In this day and age, we need to wrap our arm around family and create those bonds and memories. That's what life is all about."