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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Rich in Las Vegas

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Rich in Las Vegas last won the day on January 7

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About Rich in Las Vegas

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    Distinguished Member

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Our local HOA has an annual Christmas light contest and my neighbor wins it every year. I can't compete with the extent of his display but use some of the more unusual lights like IC controlled strips and waterfall lights. It gets a little more elaborate each year but I doubt I can keep up with his array of the more conventional prodicts.
  • Location
    Nevada
  • Biography
    Retired chemist who likes to dabble in LED conversions for home and auto. I didn't put up elaborate displays in the past but have begun to add to a simple set of Christmas lights recently after Goodwill opened an outlet store nearby and the selection for cheap displays got much better.
  • Interests
    Active in Scouting and cycling
  • Occupation
    retired
  • About my display
    Really just getting started but use LED lights almost exclusively. I convert old incandescent displays to12V LED before using them. This was mostly small stuff (candy canes) until this year. My favorite strip light is IC 6803 LED strip lights with 133 built in programs for use on eves.

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  1. I bought a used Christmas tree and decorated it with the other kind of waterfall lights plus a bunch of old Christmas balls and stuck it out in the front yard. My desert trees don't adapt well to much more than stringing lights on them. It doesn't rain often in the desert in winter. On those few days when it does rain I don't light this particular tree because it has metal arms and I don't want to potentially trip the GFI. Most of the trees that end up at my local Goodwill store this time of year sell for $2 to $5. That included a 7 foot tree that I bought right after the new year. It originally sold at Kmart with a $159 sticker still on the box. If it only lasts a year, that's OK. It's a bear to find room to store the box though.
  2. Did you refinish the pumpkins too? I came across a pair of rather faded GFP pumpkins (078 - 12002U) at a garage sale while out cycling my neighborhood. I picked one up to look for the mold marks when the seller offered it for a dollar. I declined because it was so faded but had second thoughts when I realized I have several amber chip-on-board LED lights left over from doing an auto conversion. So I went back and bought one of the two pumpkins. It's a 25 inch tall mold. I can install up to 800 lumens of amber light so a coat of paint shouldn't inhibit the illumination. My question is what paint works well on these molds? I have a small spray gun so I can use any paint that can be thinned.
  3. Yes it will. One of the online reports about the way the new tax on consumers would affect us specifically mentioned Christmas lights. Nearly all of them come from China. However it doesn't apply to goods already in transit so if retailers purchased the products way ahead and shipped by last Friday it will not matter this Christmas. Look out for next year.
  4. No, no, no! I can't find enough space to store the Halloween and Christmas displays I acquired over the past year. I had better not get started on any more celebrations. Seriously, I was able to set up the Christmas display over time but putting it away after New Year's day is a much harder task. I don't recall seeing anyone put out more than a flag or banner for St. Patrick's day.
  5. Golf carts are weird when it comes to batteries. A lot run on 6V but some on 8V and others on 12V so you need to look up your cart on a battery website or open the battery compartment and look at the voltage. You can get LED strip lights in 5V and 12V. Powering the 5V with an inexpensive buck converter would work but if you have 6V or 8V, then 12V strips are out. Budget controllers for these strips will work on 5-24V so any system you have is OK. I'm sure this would be a fun project but if you are going to order stuff from overseas, start thinking about it in August at the latest.
  6. Rich in Las Vegas

    Sales

    Watch Craigslist as well. These plywood cutouts showed up just today. 10 bucks each. I( probably couldn't make them for near that price.
  7. Wow, thanks for the clarification. The seller has it listed as a 30" snowman but I thought that might just be an error in measurement as all of the three manufacturers I spotted list it as 31". The colors match the green 31" TPI version on blow-molded.com right down to the color of the broom. However the broom is upside down and looks to have the tip missing or broken off. The seller first listed it 17 days ago, bumps it up every few days and hasn't reduced the $50 asking price so far. I already have a couple of snowmen in various sizes but this one is still tempting.
  8. Rich in Las Vegas

    Sales

    I set up the tree mentioned in the previous post and to my surprise the warranty card and instructions in the box said "General Foam Products". It was made in China with the Kmart branding on the box but no mention of GFP on the outside. I'm guessing that Kmart must have been a big retail outlet for GFP products. I bought a GFP Santa blow mold in November and it had Kmart tags still on it. The seller said he bought it at Kmart about 3 years ago but never displayed it. All of the Sears stores in Las Vegas will be gone by the end of March and only two Kmarts are still in business. In any case, the tree is complete and will be a beautiful addition to my display next season.
  9. Rich in Las Vegas

    Sales

    Don't forget the thrift stores. They need to get rid of Christmas items too. I considered buying an artificial tree for use outside before Christmas but didn't get around to it. This morning I stopped in at the Goodwill Outlet store and found two trees, a 7 foot tall "birchwood spruce tree" and a 7.5 foot tall "fir" tree. The original prices were on the boxes - Sears/Kmart $159.99 and Home Depot $88. I bought the 7 foot one for $2. The lady at the cash register told me that somebody had purchased six trees at the store the previous day. It wasn't designed for outdoor use but if it only lasts for one season that is OK.
  10. Could this be one of the earlier versions by Polaron? I looked at the pictures in the archives showing the various iterations of this snowman from Polaron thru Empire and finally to General Foam. The only one with a broom attached seems to be the Polaron version. The broom is upside down and someody has added something to the brim as well but the body is definitely the 31" snowman made by the three companies.
  11. Have you checked the fuse in the plug for continuity using a meter? All of the new Christmas light sets are fused. If it is not a fuse, there are two considerations in changing the plug. Some are polarized - one prong is neutral, the larger of the two, and the other prong is "hot" and is smaller. Be sure to maintain the same polarity with the wires if you replace a polarized plug. If both prongs are the same it makes no matter which way you connect the wires. An old light string is a great way to get a fused plug. If you can find an old light string with the same type of plug, just cut the wires and splice in the new plug. I like to solder the wires, dab a small amount of JB Weld epoxy on the connection and cover the repair with shrink tubing. It is waterproof and the JB Weld adds extra strength to the connection.
  12. I think the county would take issue with any alterations to the pole. The light and cable are attached where the pole splits so that the light is out over the street. These are sodium vapor lights but I don't find the light is so bright that it detracts from the displays. That kid would have to be a pretty good pitcher to aim and reach the light. It's way higher than the old bare incandescent lights that illuminated my childhood neighborhood.
  13. My neighbor, the guy who must spend about a grand each year on his display, uses the streetlight in front of his home as an anchor for one end of the cable that supports a Santa plane while the other end is attached to the top of the house. He also spiral winds large lights around the pole from top to bottom. Apparently Clark County does not mind as he has been doing this for several years with no consequences. I also have a similar light in front of my home but there is no way I am going to get anywhere near the top. Instead I strung a rope between the garage eaves and the light pole and hung a bunch of lights and ornaments off the rope. You can see from the pictures that we really don't have large front lots so things get a bit crowded plus I had to cut down two large bushes just to have a view from the street for things nearer the house. Picture one and two are his home. Picture three is mine. Sorry but it is afternoon and much of the display is in the shadow of the garage.
  14. Rich in Las Vegas

    Sales

    I stopped by the Walmart store about an hour ago. It was fully stocked with all of the battery operated items mentioned a few weeks ago. All that was left were three yellow hanging bells and a hanging Santa face. There were a fair number of less desirable inflatables (Christmas skunk, wiener dog) and quite a few projectors all at 50% off. I walked out empty handed. I would have bought a lantern if it was still there.
  15. Thanks for the heads up. It's $25 with shipping. Too late for this year so I will consider it for next fall. In the meantime I will keep my eye out for local sale including the Goodwill outlet store where things really start showing up in January. I began collecting last February and LED retrofitting anything that had incandescent lights as part of the display. This is the first year I had people complement my display and had cars stop for a look. Of course the real attraction is the plumber that lives four houses away who probably spends a grand each year acquiring new attractions. I call mine the recycled Christmas display since almost everything is somebody's discards. They sure do get rid of nice stuff. This site has been a real help in considering what and how to display. Now all I need is to find someone to donate an LOR setup to Goodwill!
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