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Did you know?
  • 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.

BThis

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About BThis

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    I love nearly all of them, though the original one's probably the best.
  • Location
    Dallas, TX
  • Biography
    Born in south Louisiana but a Texan now. Nearing retirement.
  • Interests
    Learning to weld. Woodwork. Gardening. Reading.
  • Occupation
    Writer
  • About my display
    Just beginning.

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  1. Fantastic idea about the fishing line, qberg! I had to repair the Denton stone wall on the front of my house a few years ago when it separated from the structure. So I don't want to attach this to it. Instead, it will hang from a wooden beam under the eve at the peak of the roof. I didn't think of heavy fishing line--that's perfect! Big J Illinois recommended 1-inch or 1-1/4 inch PVC. Since it will be on its own--not on the ground and with nothing to stake it to, I guess I'd have to heat it to get it to bend evenly into a circle and stay that way.
  2. Thank you again, Big J Illinois! Good advice, but I'd rather not have the wires exposed. The wreath will be well lit and folks will be close up, so it would show. Maybe I could put a square or diamond-shaped brace behind it, like in the attached diagram? But I don't know if PVC would be stiff enough, or how to attach it. I suppose if a wire "X" would work, maybe thin metal like 1/4-inch rod might be enough? I really don't want it to sag. As an alternative, I'm thinking of using 1/4-inch steel rod in four circles plus a square/diamond brace as in the attached pattern. Maybe with a slightly thicker rod for the outside circle. The 20-foot 1/4-inch rods weigh only 3 lbs, so if I used seven of them it would still weigh only 21 lbs without the garland. Do any of you wireframe experts have a feel for what would work here?
  3. Thanks, Big J Illinois! I didn't consider PVC because I didn't think it would be rigid enough, especially after the wire version I made drooped. It wasn't rebar, it was concrete reinforcing grid of 4-inch or 6-inch squares, made of something like 1/8 inch wire. I cut single rows of the stuff, leaving the cross-pieces attached, then welded them into a double circle. It was beautiful on the garage floor, but Sag City when hung. I don't have support--this will hang in front of a stone wall that I don't want to drill into. Suspended from a beam that protrudes under the eve. I was thinking of using the 1/4-inch steel rod that Zman mentions in his Wireframe PowerPoint. Maybe with a thinner gauge rod to connect the two concentric circles. I just want to be sure it'd be stiff enough. PVC would be cheap and easy, but the sagging you mention is what I'm trying to correct from my previous effort.
  4. My first project: I want to start with a huge 8-foot diameter, 12-inch wide wreath for the front of my house. A frame wrapped in lighted garland. What gauge(s) of steel wire/bar do you recommend? I'm thinking thicker wire for circles connected by thinner wire. Do I need multiple circles to keep it stiff? Would it be better to make it 3D/half round? I'm trying to keep the weight down so I can hoist it myself. Before I found this fantastic site I tried cutting up some concrete reinforcement wire and welding a circle--but it sagged with the weight of the garland. A droopy wreath isn't the effect I'm after. Then I tried bending conduit unsuccessfully (not round, not flat...). Now I've found @Zman's amazing site and downloaded the presentations. I already have a small welder and very basic welding skills. My question is, what gauge wire do I need, and what wire frame pattern, to keep an 8-foot wreath round? I'd rather use wire to keep the weight down--but, tell me if I need to use conduit! I can get any metal from www.KingMetals.com here in Dallas, and I have plenty of metal conduit since I use it in my bowling ball garden. I'll be most grateful for suggestions and advice.
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