Model Christmas Trains

Model Locomotive
Model Locomotive

Many Americans associate gifts, pine trees, and old bearded men with December 25th, but not me. I think of small model locomotives. For one week in late December, tiny locomotives crawl around my house moving through tiny tunnels and passing by tiny villages. At the end of every year my family takes the trains from the containers stowed in our garage, meticulously assembles every scene and piece, and watches them go while drinking egg nog or alcohol. My grandfather set them up when he was a kid, my mom did the same in New York when she was a kid, and I do it now in Las Vegas. The trains are undoubtedly valuable at this point, but I'm never going to sell them. They’re irreplaceable to me. The memories are important, but the trains represent something deeper to me as well. They are the only connection to my great-grandfather and the closest thing to a culture that I have. My family doesn’t care about tradition or culture. My great-grandfather immigrated from Italy but didn’t bring much of his culture over as he wanted to fit in with other Americans and other immigrants. We don’t do anything elaborate at the same time every year, except for setting up those trains. It’s one of the few memories that I have that goes back to the beginning of my life. Culture isn’t something that I value much, but it is still important to who I am, as it is to everyone. This tradition is the one connection to my family’s history that I have, and for that, I’ll always cherish it.

Place(s): Italy, New York, Las Vegas

– Alex

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more