The latest in Carson City's series of Christmas ornaments depicting historic downtown landmarks - the St. Charles Hotel - is now available for purchase at local stores and businesses.
The 2009 ornament is the eighth in the series, said Carson City Redevelopment Chairwoman Robin Williamson, and costs $15 each.
"We started this program to encourage shoppers to come to our downtown and support our local shops," Williamson said. "It has become a holiday tradition for many families to buy the newest ornament every year."
Sue Jones, owner of the Purple Avocado, which sells the ornaments every year, said she starts the season with 300 ornaments, but usually ends up selling more than 600.
"We have lots of customers who are collectors, so we keep a list and call them as soon as the ornaments arrive," Jones said.
"A lot of people get them for their kids to collect. I know we send one to our son in Washington, D.C., every year. He looks forward to them as a little bit of home coming his way," she said.
"Sometimes people buy a lot of one because they have special memories relating to that building, like the Laxalt Building. Maybe their parents worked there,"
"Another thing people do is buy them for people who have moved away or even for newcomers," she said. "It just makes for a really neat Christmas gift."
One customer buys 25 every year and has them individually gift-wrapped, she said.
In 2002, the Downtown Redevelopment Citizens Committee decided to highlight unique Carson City buildings, which had historic and architectural character, and each year, a limited number of ornaments is ordered.
At many of the places where the ornaments are sold, there still are some of the previous years' ornaments, including:
• 2002 Laxalt Building
• 2003 Nevada State Mint
• 2004 St. Peter's Church
• 2005 Bliss Mansion
• 2006 Capitol
• 2007 St. Teresa of Avila Church
• 2008 Governor's Mansion
The ornaments can be purchased at the Purple Avocado, 904 N. Curry St.; Due Sorella, 202 N. Curry St.; the Legislative Counsel Bureau Gift Shop, 401 S. Carson St.; La-Tea-Da Tea Shoppe, 108 W. Telegraph St.; the Nevada State Museum Gift Shop, 600 N. Carson St.; the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau Gift Shop, 1900 S. Carson St.; and The Firkin & Fox, 310 S. Carson St.