Museum bookstore holds one-day sale |

Museum bookstore holds one-day sale

by Ellen Caywood
Gallery of Trees display at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center in 2013.
Special to The R-C |

There is good news and bad news regarding our current cold snap. First, the bad news is that it’s really cold. The good news is that it sure makes you feel like Christmas is coming soon.

This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Douglas County Historical Society is joining in the “Earlier Than The Bird” one-day special sale. In cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Gardnerville the DCHS Bookstore is offering a one-day special 20 percent discount on our merchandise to both the general public and members alike. Come downtown and support all of your local merchants.

In keeping with our countdown to the Dec. 6 Holiday Gala, last week we told you a bit about the history and lore surrounding gingerbread and gingerbread houses. This week we’ll delve into the lore about Christmas trees.

In our research, it seems that every era and country has its own traditions regarding Christmas trees and greens. The ancient Egyptians brought green date palm leaves into their homes to symbolize life’s triumph over death. The Romans decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and placed evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits. In the 7th Century an English monk went to Germany to teach the Word of God. Legend has it that he used the triangular shape of the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. The first decorated tree was at Riga in Latvia, in 1510. In the early 16th Century, Martin Luther is said to have first added lighted candles to a tree. By the 17th Century, it was common in Germany to decorate Christmas trees with apples. And by the late 1800’s, the first glass ornaments were introduced into the United States from Germany. The first ones were mostly balls, but later chains of balls, toys and figures became more common. Today, approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold each year in the United States.

If this inspires you to want to join our museum’s decorated trees and gingerbread houses, you still have time to enter and bring in your tree or house. Go to to download the applications. Installation at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center begins on Nov. 29.

Coming also on Nov. 29 is Small Business Holiday Shopper from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Gardnerville, guests visiting our bookstore (no purchase necessary) will be entered in a drawing to win a $25 American Express gift card. We are also offering a one-day only special of 20 percent discount on our merchandise to both the general public and members alike.

All monies donated to DCHS are 100 percent tax deductible and go to keep our doors open. The Douglas County Historical Society subsists primarily on donations, a small annual appropriation from Douglas County, and occasional grants from public and private sources. We are here solely to preserve the history of Douglas County from the Valley to the Lakes 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

Contact Ellen Caywood by email at