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NAPOLEON TOWNSHIP, MI - To the untrained eye, the home of John and Karol Morris looks like any other around the holidays. Dozens of glossy ornaments hang from a giant tree, and a few colorfully wrapped gifts are placed underneath. But when they throw open the door to the basement, the home becomes a Christmas dream come true. The couple said they became more invested in building tables for their models in 2000 after John, a former pastor, retired. It also has brought joy to their lives to see people's faces light up as they look at the trains. A small Lionel train replica circles the tree, filling the home with an ever-present clicking and clacking. A slew of model trains - 16, to be exact - chug along their tracks among elaborately decorated scenes.
It's the reason why they attend annual train conventions and pillage yard sales looking for tiny additions to their basement town.

The walls surrounding the tables are painted to look like the sky, and the ceiling overhead is strung with twinkling lights.
Living in the church parsonage did not give them much room to expand their collection, but when they moved to their current home, their collection grew and grew.
They're members of two national train collectors clubs and said they've met many new friends through conventions.
Once at a convention in New York, she said, they had stopped at a mall for John to buy a belt and ended up leaving with a $200 Lego town to go with a train. Karol said she enjoys seeing the kids' fascination and shows them what buttons to push to make horns blow.
Mountains, ski lifts, a carnival, a castle and even Mount Rushmore sit among 200 to 300 toy cars and more than 1,500 tiny plastic people - which Karol painted. It's something they share with one another, and they've also shared it with the community every Christmas for more than a decade. Toy helicopters, hot air balloons and a Goodyear blimp hang down from the ceiling, floating calmly among the chaos.

Karol made mountains out of insulation board, wood, paper and plaster cloth, painting over them to make them look realistic. 28, the Morrises will host an open house in their home, 10461 Pauline Drive, for the public to see the trains. A train with 27 cars, all candy-themed, circles on the middle table, with some cars holding chocolates and candy canes. In exchange, they ask for a small donation, which will be given to Habitat for Humanity and to a scholarship program through the Jackson Chorale.

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