LaFleur’s Lego Christmas Village Showcased at Martin Library

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Shannon Taylor, Editor

Renee LaFleur has built an entire Lego Christmas Village which is currently on display, showcased by the Martin Public Library. Some might say building Legos is “just a hobby” however, for LaFleur it’s much more than that.

LaFleur said that she always loved building with Legos as a child, but she grew away from it as an adult. Then, when her daughter Eleanor was old enough, legos became a staple in their household. “I excitedly bought sets that we built together,” LaFleur said.

When Eleanor became sick, the two of them would build Lego sets in the hospital and LaFleur’s siblings bought her the Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set to build while her daughter was undergoing a bone marrow transplant. 

“It was then that Lego became more than a building hobby, it became therapy,” LaFleur said. She then started using Lego to distract her from the all-encompassing medical matters that dominated her life. 

When Eleanor passed, LaFleur said she needed something to help her cope with the overwhelming grief she was experiencing.

“Lego allowed me to practice mindfulness–focusing on the pieces, their color and texture while using breathing exercises guided me through some difficult moments. It allowed me to step away from the pain for a few moments,” LaFleur expressed.

From there, LaFleur discovered the online Lego AFOL (adult fans of Lego) community on Instagram and began creating her own builds which she called MOCs (my own creation) which differentiated them from sets.

LaFleur said that she still enjoys building sets, but she gains more pleasure from figuring out how to create what she envisions. 

“I build what is meaningful to me and in memory of Eleanor. I built a bedroom that envisioned she could have. I used her old sets to build a grocery store, and I built a brew pub named after her–EJ Brews,” LaFleur said. 

LaFleurs favorite builds are the greenhouse and Great North Woods Cabin, which she said is an homage to The Great OutDoors. She is currently working on creating a replica of her maternal grandparents Iowa farmhouse.

The Christmas Village, which is showcased at the Martin Library is also meaningful to LaFleur, she said. 

“Eleanor loved Christmas and it’s been hard for me to celebrate the holiday since her death, but I am able to with Lego,” LaFleur stated.

LaFleur built the Gingerbread House together with Eleanor. Home Alone was one of Eleanor’s favorite movies, so she built the house because of her. 

“I know she would love the village I created,” LaFleur said.

LaFleur said she exhibited her creations at Brick Days in Omaha, NE, which is a convention for Lego fans. 

“I’m excited that the Martin Library let me share my Christmas Village with the community. I hope to do more of that in the future. My lego creations are so much more than a hobby to me,” LaFleur said.

Martin Public Library said that LaFleur’s village will be on display at least until New Year and that they hope to have more of her work displayed at a future date. 

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