Rapid City family shares passion for Christmas in the form of a tiny town

Christmas Town is 130 structures in all and features everything from kids having a snowball fight to a movie theater on Main Street.
Christmas Town is 130 structures in all and features everything from kids having a snowball...
Christmas Town is 130 structures in all and features everything from kids having a snowball fight to a movie theater on Main Street.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 11:40 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Holiday decorations come in all sizes.

Although it may be on the small side, a family passionate about Christmas wanted the entire community to see how they deck the halls.

“The Christmas Village has been in my family for at least 41 years,” said Jessica Williams, the daughter of Jeff and Deanie Jonas, the owners of Christmas Town. “It started under a Christmas tree at my parents and it was just this little tiny thing that we started out with.”

Year after year, the Jonas family village grew with homes, parks, a train, and even a hot air balloon. Now, their village is 130 structures in all.

“The Christmas Town was set up in my Uncle Jeff’s garage,” said Craig Mount, nephew of Jeff and Deanie. “And it was something he spent hours and hours putting up and it was something that we always looked forward to as kids and seeing.”

“My dad would spend hours and hours on it so for it to come to life at the end of it, with all your cousins and all your family, it was a blessing,” added Williams.

This year, 150 hours of work went into taking the town from their garage to the Shops at Main Street Square for the whole community to enjoy.

“I even spent Thanksgiving,” said Eva Gallant, the owner of Y-Knot-Creations. “I worked here 22 hours and slept on the couch and used a piece of batting, not bedding but batting material to cover me so let’s just say a commitment was steadfast.”

“He couldn’t do it this year but he had a lot of help,” continued Williams. “It took a village to make it happen but it was his vision all along.”

“A lot of artistic mediums were involved,’ said Gallant. “Obviously, Styrofoam at the helm and the carving of Styrofoam and then many artistic elements such like glass beads, transfer foil, so all the little things that you see have all a purpose.”

Someday, the ‘key to the city’ will find its way into new hands.

“My papa started it and I was with him ever since I was a little kid in the garage just watching him, helping him put it together in the past years. And I got to be a part of it this year to carry on his tradition,” said Chloe Thome Jonas, granddaughter of Jeff and Deanie. “It’s a huge, huge honor. It is definitely a huge task but I am so excited to take it on and hopefully watch it grow and expand even more.”

While visiting Christmas Town, families can also write letters to Santa and Nerdy Nuts, co-owned by Craig Mount, will select a few lucky kids to receive a gift from the North Pole; “Kids come in and they write a letter to Santa, if they put a return address, Santa will send them something,” said Samantha Polka, events manager for Nerdy Nuts. “And then Nerdy Nuts is actually going to select several letters to send them a real special gift.”