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  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.


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Everything posted by Chuck

  1. The good news: the PlanetChristmas forums are about to undergo a big change. The bad news: people hate change and the new PlanetChristmas will have a different look and feel. When: February 1, 2018 Some details: The forums you are reading now be switched to the 'Archive' mode on February 1m, 2018. It's a fancy term meaning everything will stay online but no new posts, messages, classifieds or registration will be allowed. The search engines will still be able to find everything you've posted over the last 20 years. Much of your PlanetChristmas account information will be copied to the 'new and improved' PlanetChristmas. When you first attempt to log in you'll have to reset your password. The new PlanetChristmas merges the forums and DIY website. You'll also have the option of social media capabilities. Much of what you like about Facebook you'll be able to do in the new PlanetChristmas... minus the never-ending Facebook ads and unwanted news articles. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of groups. The forums will begin with a clean slate. No more timely topics about Christmas Expo 2011 .) Sharing pictures and videos will be easier because a degree from Geek University won't' be required. Classifieds are being revamped to make things simpler to understand. ...and a lot of other features I haven't discovered yet. But... for some of us old-timers (I'm one of them) this big change could be frustrating at the beginning. Buttons and links will be in different places. Strange terms might have you scratching your head. Getting all your new options set just right will take trial and error. Think of it as one step back to be able to jump three steps forward. Are you super-worried about any of this? Feel free to share your concerns with me: chuck@planetchristmas.com Stay tuned. This is going to be fun!
  2. 20+ years ago the original PlanetChristmas chatroom was born. Let's just say it was lonely for the longest time. The chatroom evolved into forums as traffic increased and over the years we've used several different packages with more and more features. Then along came social networking. I thought Facebook and Twitter would be a flash in the pan. I'm thinking I got that wrong. The goal is to keep PlanetChristmas relevant but I need your help. What would you like to see added/changed/jettisoned in the PlanetChristmas community for 2018?
  3. You're experiencing one of my biggest frustrations with the current forums... lots of features but the user interface can be super-awkward. Behind-the-scenes on the administrative side there are constant mental gymnastics required for what should be minor tasks. Urrrrgggggggg. What does the PlanetChristmas Forums future hold? The current forums will be switched to the 'Archive' mode meaning the threads will be accessible to all but no additions will be allowed. That's secret code for: Google will remember you forever The current users will be moved to the new forums where we'll start with a clean slate using many of the suggestions from this thread. Please keep the suggestions flowing.
  4. I was watching ABCs Great Christmas Light Fight the other evening. Someone had built a giant Christmas tree out of discarded traffic lights. My first reaction was... now that's just weird. Yet here I am thinking about it days later. I don't remember much else about the show. It reminded me... Christmas is about lifelong memories and family traditions. I've done a lot of Christmas displays in my lifetime. People don't remember there were 26,230 lights or how the nativity scene was so tastefully done... but they are quick to comment on the lighted tricycle hanging from a tree or the dozens of blow mold snowmen in a Christmas tree formation. Want something people will remember? Think quirky. What makes your Christmas decorations quirky this year?
  5. I get this request regularly. As I remember, you can edit your text for an hour after the original posting but then it's locked. Why? Troublemakers have been known to say something inflammatory, get everyone all worked up, change their original post and then claim 'it wasn't me!' The stories I can tell after 20 years... But, I'm looking into a different way of handling this. You can make edits but the original text remains available to be read. What would you like to see added/changed/jettisoned in the PlanetChristmas community for 2018?
  6. I watch ABC's Great Christmas Light Fight to get inspired and to pick up on trends. In my humble opinion the TV decorating world seems to be segmenting itself. Air Blown displays Blow Mold displays Computerized displays DIY displays Quirky displays (note I listed these in alphabetical order to be politically correct) I'm wondering if these should be natural groupings in the PlanetChristmas world?
  7. Every few years I attempt to consolidate some of the similar categories and end up getting blasted behind the scenes. Now that I think about it, some of the current categories originated with the original 1996 forums. I'm currently leaning towards archiving everything and starting with fresh categories in 2018. Would also modernize the classified ads section and simplify how we share videos and images. Also, add a few more social networking/Facebook-like features. What would you suggest for major categories? I'm open to any/all suggestions.
  8. Singing Snowman

    Submitted by PlanetChristmas forum user.
  9. Want a sneak peek at the November 2017 issue of PlanetChristmas Magazine? magazine.planetchristmas.com/Magazine/November2017
  10. The PlanetChristmas staff is starting to think about the next issue of PlanetChristmas Magazine. This double-themed edition is tentatively based around Pixels and Blow Molds, though we won't shy away from any decorating topic. But... We need articles! It's your chance to become "published" and probably even world famous! Interested? Send an email to Chuck Smith with your article idea(s): chuck@planetchristmas.com Don't worry. We'll make you look great!
  11. Hmmmmmm. Not feeling much love on this topic. Interviewing Mel is certainly a good idea but we have about 70 more pages to fill with content. The PlanetChristmas staff is working on the next issue of PlanetChristmas Magazine. This double-themed edition is tentatively based around Pixels and Blow Molds, though we won't shy away from any decorating topic. But... We need articles! It's your chance to become "published" and probably even world famous! Interested? Send an email to Chuck Smith with your article idea(s): chuck@planetchristmas.com Don't worry. We'll make you look great!
  12. Latest as of September 5, 2017: Hopefully the big changes to the PlanetChristmas forums are behind us. Everything is basically the same except the opening page is a bit different because it consolidates several pieces of info into one place. Email notifications have been sporadic. We just changed the email host and initial tests look good. Keeping all fingers and toes crossed. We're about to bring back the blogs. Now you'll have a place in a dedicated Christmas community to talk about your passion... CHRISTMAS! Stay tuned. There's more to come!
  13. If the PlanetChristmas forums and/or website is acting a bit odd for you, don't panic. Techies are making some changes in the background. Take a break, have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and check back a bit later. This post will disappear when the gurus are done supposedly making our lives better...
  14. 20 years ago the internet was bloody-cutting-edge and no one knew what a forum was. PlanetChristmas entered this brave new world. Let's just say it was pretty slow in the beginning but with time we got that fixed. After multiple meltdowns/refreshes/upgrades, the PlanetChristmas forums are still going strong. We could have surrendered the forums to Facebook years ago... it sure would have been easier for PlanetChristmas but Christmas decorators are special people in our book and don't deserve getting lost within a faceless giant constantly devising new ways to sneak really irritating ads in front of you. Behind the scenes, at PlanetChristmas we've been building the infrastructure to combine the website, magazine and forums into one entity. The overall look and feel will be like what you're used to here in the forums... though the color scheme might be refreshed and there will be more options. You'll start seeing changes later this month. Why is PlanetChristmas changing again? We have another 20 years planned to help you put smiles on faces while making lifelong memories and family traditions. Stand back. There's work to do!
  15. We upgraded the main forums software yesterday to the latest/greatest available. No good deed goes unpunished. Seems we broke TapaTalk and some other features. Urrrrgggggg. Please stand by while we work through some issues.
  16. We upgraded the forums yesterday to the latest/greatest. No good deed goes unpunished. Please stand by while we work through some issues.
  17. We continue to beef up security here on the PlanetChristmas forums. Behind the scenes there are constant updates to the applications but now we're also going to secure browsing. Look carefully at your browser address bar and you'll see https://forums.planetchristmas.com. The 's' means there's an encrypted connection between your computer and the big forums computer in the sky. Happy safe and secure browsing at the PlanetChristmas forums!
  18. Long story short... the PlanetChristmas forums are now on a different big computer in the sky. What should have taken just a few hours ended up taking about 36 hours. Sorry for the site being off-line... but things should be returning to normal.
  19. I went to visit the Christmas Ranch over the weekend. While my wife and I were walking around watching the lights, eating a funnel cake and enjoying the camaraderie of others, I got to thinking how this was truly the Christmas experience. Driving home I started trying to define the Christmas experience. Oh my gosh. Easier said than done. Is Christmas based on the number of lights? The quality of the music and/or food? How much I like being around uncle Eddie? I really don't like Uncle Eddie. What do you think?
  20. The entire staff of PlanetChristmas wishes you a very merry Christmas!
  21. Got something Christmas related to buy/sell/trade? We've brought back the Classified Ads system to the PlanetChristmas forums. The old version faded away because the software was no longer maintained by the author... but our patience has been rewarded and a new Classifieds section is part of our community again. Look at the top of this page for the tabs: Forums, Videos, Gallery, etc. You'll see a new tab cleverly called Classifieds. Go for it. The system has some rough edges. Short term classified listings are free. Long term... we're still figuring it out. Some of the wording is a bit odd to Americans. Financial transactions are handled between the buyer and seller. PlanetChristmas is simply providing a listing service and makes no guarantees for the product nor endorses any party. Ready? Here's a shortcut: http://forums.planetchristmas.com/index.php?/classifieds/ Let us know how to make Classifieds better!
  22. Better than ever before, the new and improved November 2016 PlanetChristmas Magazine has hit the streets! Here’s a peek at what’s inside: Top 10 show tunes anticipated for 2016 Cutouts the easy way Cold weather tricks Peppermint Arch Smart pixel megatree Old is new is old Build a controller shed … and so much more! See the magazine right here: Magazine
  23. The staff is working on the next PlanetChristmas Magazine but we need more stories. Now is your chance to write for a digital publication read all around the world and in the process maybe become famous! We're looking for articles centered around Christmas decorating. It can be anything from building a pixel tree to fixing a broken ornament. We're also looking for time-saving tips with a goal to get more people decorating for this holiday season. Know how to store a lot of lights in a small space? We want to know how you do it. How do you keep track of a zillion extension cords? Share your tricks with others. Fixed a broken figure in a nativity scene? No doubt others have had the same challenge and can learn from you. Inquiring minds really want to know! If you have a new Christmas-centric product, want the world to know about it and can write a story describing how it can be used, then we're interested. Our only request is to save plugging your company until the last paragraph of the article. Scared about writing? Don't be. Write what you know about and it will be easy. Don't worry about how many words or the length of the story. PlanetChristmas editors will make sure you look great. Send us an email if you're interesting in writing for the magazine: articles@planetchristmas.com
  24. For Tapatalk users: The PlanetChristmas forums are Tapatalk enabled, again.
  25. The PlanetChristmas elves have been busy installing about a zillion updates to the forums. Most are security related but there have been a few that have changed the overall look and feel a bit. The elves are still tweaking so don't panic on anything just yet. More to come.