Golu has been a tradition in my parents house and now in my house as far as I can remember. So atleast 49 yrs :). I used to have a blast keeping golu with my parents and grand parents and was always responsible for a new theme in my home while growing up.
I continued the tradition when I came to US and started keeping Golu from 2005 in US.
My kids are now part of the theme creations and that is the best part of keeping the Golu and explaining stories to my kids and other kids who visit.
This Year, we kept 17 Steps of Main Golu, and added the Viswaroopam Theme. In the Viswaroopam theme, we recreated the Hastinapur Palace/Kurushetra war scene, Geethopadesam scene, and finally the Viswaroopam ( with an spinning Sudarshana chakra). I realized a few years ago, that using electronics/robots keeps the boys engaged and so we did the spinning Sudarshana chakra this time.
The second theme is the North India Dhaaba set with colorful lorries ( home made).
The third theme is the Mysore palace with Dussera procession. We created simulated fireworks as another addition.
Apart from keeping the Golu, we had a very festive 9 days of celebration with people visiting, and singing their favorite songs and prasadams for everybody. This is a tradition and festivity we look forward for every year as a family.