My informant related a tradition that runs in her family every time Christmastime comes around. When she was very young, she, her mother, and her sister all went shopping together at a department store. There, they were all amazed as the beautiful decorations. They wanted to bring back a bit of the splendor so her mother bought them a Christmas diorama. The diorama came with fake snow, a church, a schoolhouse, a house, and a man and a woman. It became a tradition to add a new piece every year during Christmas.

My informant says that this tradition brings together her and her family. Because everyone is so busy during the rest of the school year (she has two older siblings, but who were in college well before she was), the diorama gives all of them an “excuse” to spend a lot of time together. They spend several weeks before Christmas shopping together and searching for a unique piece to add to their diorama. The diorama is only shown in the house during Christmastime, and it sits on her mantel in her living room. She says that every time she or the rest of her family looks at it, they remember all of the Christmases they have spent together since many years ago.

My informant says that this tradition might have been brought on by something her grandmother did. Her grandmother had a quilt that she made after she married her grandfather. Each year, her grandmother would add on another piece of fabric from a special item that would remind her of times she spent with her family. My informant feels that her mother based the diorama idea on her own mother’s tradition.