Serving Roseau County for over 100 Years - The Official Roseau County Newspaper

Timeless Christmas Collection

by Jessica Jones

"It started with me buying just a couple at Christmas time, but then the kids started giving them to me as gifts...actually I've been given a lot of them for gifts", reminisces Joyce.

Joyce Hulst is a beautiful, kind woman, and her husband Joile Hulst, (often referred to as Joey), is a lovely man; both with great stories to share. Joyce said one time when they were first dating, she asked Joile's mother how she came up with the name Joile, and his mother said it was from listening to her favorite soap opera on the radio. There was a set of twins on the radio soap opera named Joyce and Joile, and she loved the name Joile because it was so different. What a surprise that years later Joile would marry his very own Joyce! As both their names begin with the letter J, so do their four children and their two pets!

Joyce has the most amazing collection of Christmas houses that I've seen thus far! She has an entire room dedicated to displaying them. "I can't get anymore," Joyce says, "I have no more room left." Joile said he was an electrician, and he did his own wiring in the room with the Christmas houses. He said he put extra outlets up high all over the room, and Joyce was asking why he was installing all of them, and he just said, "you'll see". Now years later all of these outlets are perfect for all of these Christmas houses! "We can run all of them and other stuff and we haven't blown a fuse", Joile proudly expresses, "see, I was planning ahead."

According to Joile the merry go round, which plays a variety of tunes, was the first of the collection and, incidentally, happens to be a family favorite. "That was the oldest one, and the prettiest", states Joile. He then says, "my second favorite is the Ryeman Auditorium from Nashville."

Joyce's top two favorites are, of course, the merry-go-round, and the Replica Ice Castle. "I also got the Replica Ice Castle, (which was displayed life-size), downtown St. Paul back in 1990 when the Superbowl was in town", excitedly shares Joyce. Thinking back Joyce also states, "I worked at the Dairy Queen when it was first built here in Roseau, so of course I found the Dairy Queen one down yonder, and of course it doesn't look the same as the Dairy Queen here, but I had to get it just the same."

Looking at this beautiful collection is amazing! There are so many intricate details on each and every one of these miniature Christmas models. There was one with bumper cars that actually moved around to one with a water wheel that actually spun and had the water running through it! There were miniature models of currently well-known places such as Cracker Barrel and Starbuck's, to older nostalgic places such as Red Owl and Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

Low and behold, Joyce even has a Polaris Christmas model! It is perfectly fitting, being that Roseau is where the original Polaris began. The Polaris one was purchased 20-25 years ago at the Wahlberg Jewelry Store. "I bought one for myself and one for each of my four kids", exclaims Joyce, "I knew someday they would be a collector's item!" Each one of the J. Hulst immediate family members is the proud owner of the perfectly petite Polaris Christmas model.

Although Joyce has one room dedicated to this amazing collection of Christmas miniatures, they are also seen scattered throughout other parts of the house...each unique and wonderful! If you ever get the chance to pay a visit to the sweet Hulst couple, with the matching initials, make sure you get a tour of the Timeless Christmas Collection!


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