One Maine family’s Christmas diorama 40-years in the making

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 6:18 PM EST
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ORRINGTON, Maine (WABI) - You may need a map to navigate through Grammy’s Village.

The town has over 100 houses and 1,000 people and continues to grow each year.

“It’s a labor of love. It takes us about three and a half days, right after Thanksgiving, to put it all together. But, it’s something that everybody looks forward to when they come to visit us,” said Pauline Miller.

“I love it. The family loves it, and we all love it. And, it’s a lot of work. And, everybody says I’m crazy, but I said it’s a fun way to be crazy,” said Phillipa Libby.

Frozen in a moment in time, the diorama depicts not only the holiday spirit, but the family that brings it to life.

“Somebody came yesterday to visit my mother and they brought an Opera House, and being a music teacher, I can’t wait to figure out where to incorporate that in there,” Miller said.

This special family tradition goes back to the 1980s.

“My father, way back when there was a store like Lowe’s or Home Depot or something like that, and after Christmas, they had these four buildings on sale. And he thought, that’s really cool. I’m gonna buy those,” Miller added.

In his memory, they keep adding it to every year.

“The ones with the white roofs, they’re really much more expensive houses. My father purchased those, and every time you look at them, you think of him and the love that he had, even though he would tell you that he was a bah hung guy who hated Christmas. All of this is his fault, but he still would say I hate Christmas. Bah humbug, you know,” said Miller.

The love for Grammy’s Village stretches across generations in the family.

“The kids come on Christmas Eve and all the grandchildren and they just they have a blast, where they’re looking around and see what’s new and playing with the trains,” Miller said.

“Every year at Christmas. We have 40 to 50 people here, kids three and four generations for Christmas. And, it’s just a wonderful, joyful evening to be here, and everybody that comes there has never seen it before are absolutely amazed,” said Libby.

While the exact specifications of the village change from year to year, its job to help friends and family get into the holiday spirit remains.