Gardnerville’s bubble-blowing bear returns

The bubble-blowing bear is just part of Roy Nisja's home at 1366 Chichester Drive.

The bubble-blowing bear is just part of Roy Nisja's home at 1366 Chichester Drive.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.


Children waved and a couple wandered up to check out Roy Nisja’s Christmas decorations before dark on Thursday.

Displaying 41 years of accumulated Christmas cheer, the Bear House is in its fourth year in Gardnerville, having started here in 2018 after Nisja moved to 1366 Chichester Drive.

“You’re welcome to come up look closer because there’s a lot of stuff,” he said to the couple. “I get frustrated when people come by in car and sit there for 15-30 seconds and drive away. ‘Well, you missed about 70 percent of it.’ I know it’s cold because I’m out here.”

And Nisja is out there talking to visitors about the display. When he’s not in attendance, an information sheet about the Bear House is available. Nisja is also collecting donations to help the Tamarack Fire victims.

Nisja, son Donn and grandson have been working on the display over the last year, adding some new mobile displays.

“People come by and it makes them happy,” he said.

In addition to a multitude of stuffed bears, there are all sorts of moving objects cut out of wood and painted.

“Every single one of these he and his wife cut out and hand-painted,” Nisja said.

One night, I was sitting reading the newspaper, here comes Donn with a bear,” Nisja related. “I’m going to make it blow bubbles, Dad. 48 hours later that bear sat on the front porch blowing bubbles on the porch. I defy anybody to find another one in the entire United States. I don’t think it would happen.”

The 87-year-old Nisja is setting up a television to show a video from fellow Carson Valley United Methodist Church goer Nancy Deis talking about the meaning of Christmas. It can be seen at

Residents across Carson Valley are decorating their homes for the holidays.

The Record-Courier is publishing addresses from people who don’t mind having visitors. If you have a display you wouldn’t mind sharing, please email and include the words holiday decorations in the subject line.


1366 Chichester Nisja Bear House

1981 Lacy Court in Ruhenstroth

1409 Marlette Circle, Gardnerville Ranchos from 5-11 p.m. nightly.

1419 Shasta, in the Ranchos, which has synchronized lights to a radio station.


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