Gift Ideas for Your History Lovers (or Yourself)

The December program page lists events coming up this weekend and the rest of the month. Next week's post will include info (to the best of my knowledge) on site schedules around Christmas and New Year's. With luck, the January program page will be available next week as well (depends on the elves).

UPDATED 11 AM 12/15 to add Pennsbury ornament info
Luminaries and lighted fences at Daniel Boone Homestead's Christkindlmarket event (via Facebook)
We are in the midst of a multi-holiday season where the exchanging of gifts and the sharing of bounty are part and parcel of the festivities. That can be fraught with expectations, disappointment, resentment, frustration, you name it. Commercialism runs rampant. (As does, apparently, a tendency toward Dickensian language. Just me? Ok.) To combat the seasonal angst, we at Trailheads HQ have pulled together a list of suggestions to make your holiday gift-giving more meaningful, if only because your purchases help to support the programs and operations of the sites on the Trails of History. (I suppose you could also shop at other museums and historic sites, but they can get their own blog.)

A number of sites on the Trails of History are collection points for the U.S. Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" program. I have seen info from Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, the Pennsylvania Military Museum, and the Railroad Museum of PA. There may be others (please let me know and I'll add you to this list). New, unwrapped toys will be shared with children in these communities - you can purchase items at the museum stores to donate or purchase elsewhere and bring them in. Collections continue through Dec. 20. (Search the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation website for locations in PA.)

Last weekend's Christmas Tree Ship event at Erie Maritime Museum included Santa, reindeer, and festive lights on the rigging of U.S. Brig Niagara (via Facebook)
If you have a history lover on your gift list (or want to treat yourself), why not a gift membership at your favorite Trails of History site? Or a "buy one, get one" membership deal from the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation? Or tickets to one of many popular beer and/or wine fests, which often sell out ahead of time?

Tickets to Ephrata Cloister's annual lantern tours would make a great gift.

From State Museum of PA Facebook page
If you're in the Harrisburg area today, the Museum Store at the State Museum is having a pop up sale.

Cornwall Iron Furnace was recently featured in a Lebanon Daily News article about gift ideas at area museums. Your favorite Trails of History site has loads of creative and imaginative items, many of them locally made and one-of-a-kind. You don't have to worry about sizes, either.

Thanks to the work of the Friends of the Joseph Priestley House, a modern edition of Dr. Priestley's 1799 Letters to the Inhabitants of Northumberland and its Neighborhood is now available. The new edition updates spelling, typography, and punctuation for contemporary readers who want to learn more about Joseph Priestley's views on politics and religion (the original was written in response to his critics). Read more about the book and find out where to get it on the Joseph Priestley House website.

And Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum has continued to add photos to its Museum Store Holiday 2017 album on Facebook. Lots of lovely things there.


Just saw this lovely ornament on Pennsbury Manor's Facebook page and had to share!

Wishing you lots of light, warmth, and friendship (and food!), no matter what you're celebrating.


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