This has been one of the most spectacular falls in Carson Valley history. The colors have been beautiful and they have lasted. We sure hope you have had a chance to get out and enjoy the colors and the great weather. Now we are getting ready to take those colors inside as we prepare to decorate gingerbread houses and Christmas trees for our Holiday Gala.If you haven’t already, go to historicnevada.org and click on calendar/events to take you to the Gala and applications for your participation in both contests. You or your group, organization or family can apply to decorate a tree or to submit a gingerbread house. It’s loads of fun to see how creative you can be and to help us decorate the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center for the holidays. Speaking of our annual Holiday Gala, December first will be here before we know it. If you are a member of DCHS and would like to bake cookies for our Cookie Walk, please call 782-2555 to sign up. If you are a cookie buyer, be sure to get there right at 10 a.m. on the first when the doors open because our Cookie Walk always sells out early. After you get your cookies, grab the kids, the dog or even the parakeet and show up on the front porch for your photo with Santa. Each photo is professionally taken, printed and delivered to you almost instantly. Just sit for the photo and check out all the trees and gingerbread houses while you are waiting for your finished photo. If you like what you see, order more. They’ll be printed while you wait. As you walk around the museum checking out the decorated trees and gingerbread houses, remember that you can vote for the trees and houses of your choice. Each tree will have a decorated can into which you can put your vote. Your ballot will consist of money – quarters, dollar bills, whichever you wish to use. The tree which gets the most money votes will win, so vote early, vote often and vote generously. Those of you who have been in the valley for a while may remember that DCHS used to sponsor a Students’ Day on the first Saturday of each month. We still do and you are invited to participate. All students are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult family member. Prizes will be given to each student who completes a museum scavenger hunt. Our next Student Day will be Jan. 5. (Dec. 1 doesn’t count because of the Gala which is open to everyone.) In the space of this column we have just traveled from early November to January of 2013. That’s just about how fast the time will fly over the holidays. We at DCHS hope you attend our Gala and enjoy all the fun things we have for you. And remember us when you start your Christmas shopping. Our gift store is filled with unusual items for everyone on your list, including DCHS memberships for the whole family. All monies donated to DCHS are 100 percent tax deductible and go to keep our doors open. The Douglas County Historical Society receives only occasional financial assistance from our county and state governments. We are here solely to preserve the history of this wonderful valley and to make sure you have the opportunity to enjoy it. If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, please call the Douglas County Historical Society at 782-2555 or visit our website at www.historicnevada.org. Contact Ellen Caywood by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.