Q&A: Central Office Employee, Donna Gallant, Provides Holiday Cheer with Annual Christmas Village


Since 2014, CHA Senior Purchasing Agent, Donna Gallant, has provided a spark each holiday season for passerby’s of her desk located at the CHA central office.

Gallant has been with the agency for 35 years.

How did the tradition start?

“I created a Christmas Village at home and had some leftover pieces, and thought, it would be nice to decorate the office. It’s a nice change of scenery from binders, paper and office supplies.”

What inspires you to create a village year after year?

“I have always enjoyed miniatures. And when you look at it eye level, you can almost see a miniature cityscape.”

How often do you add anything new and what is worthy of being added?

“I have over 50 buildings, and due to space, I have not added to my collection in the last couple of years. If I buy a building, I have to like the design or it might have some special meaning to me.”

What thought do you put into your placement of each figure in the layout?

“I change the layout of the buildings each year. I like to have people strolling through the street, or  heading to the store, resting on a park bench, etcetera. I also like to have a centerpiece. This year I am using my fiber optic water fountain.”

How often do colleagues stop and admire your work? What do they say?

“One of the things that I have enjoyed about this village is the number of people who stop by to admire it and share their stories of families who have a display as well. The village is a nice break to talk with staff besides work-related items.”

This might be an obvious question, but what is your favorite holiday?

“I decorate my home for most holidays, but Christmas has always been special. Besides the village, I have a nativity scene because of my religious beliefs, I have carolers around a Christmas tree because of the music at this time of year and I have an array of snowmen, santas, and nutcrackers scattered around the house for whimsy.”

“For the past several years, I help decorate my sister’s tree and she shares the memories of the various travels she has taken and the ornaments she bought while traveling which is very special.”