A surge in demand for the miniature models is driven by a desire for tradition and comfort in testing times

Christmas traditions may feel timeless, yet our choice of decorations can reveal a lot about our cultural preoccupations. In recent years, tinsel trees topped with plastic angels fell out of favour and were replaced with real pines, holly wreaths and baubles made of glass or wool. And this year, the favoured adornment for many British mantelpieces is set to be a group of twinkly Christmas houses and windowsills.

The miniature ornamental buildings – usually featuring a candle or an LED light shining from within – are now available for every budget and aesthetic whim. A simple set of cardboard houses from Flying Tiger Copenhagen costs under a fiver, while a Georgian townhouse in hand-painted Wedgwood pottery is £120.

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