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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.

xander35803

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Everything posted by xander35803

  1. Thanks, that's a lot of good info. I think i'll give it a shot!
  2. I've been doing a "retro" display for a few years now (mainly featuring blow molds) and I would like to try a cutout project for the upcoming season. Since my art skills are none, I am leaning towards the already printed/glue them on/cut them out type projects and I like this classic one: http://www.u-bild.com/projects-holiday/007.htm I was wondering if anyone had done this type of project using Coro instead of plywood. I realize there would be trade offs (coro requiring some additional bracing comes to mind) but the lower cost of the coro, the easier cutting, not having to sand, etc. makes me want to explore it as an option. Is this feasible? Can you glue poster paper to coro? What other problems/challenges would there be? thanks
  3. I haven't taken many photos thus far this year but i do have this one. the frame is made of slotted metal that you can buy at lowes/home depot. it bolts together easily with screws and wingnuts so i can break it down in small sections to get it through the windows shown (that way i don't have to use a ladder). it looks like it is leaning away from the house but that's because of the slope of the roof. the verticals for making the deer "fly" start at 2 feet lengths and go up to 6 feet. the resulting frame is very lightweight, breaks down for storage and is extremely sturdy. i use the sandbags (filled with large "egg" rock gravel instead of sand) shown. the frame is on its fifth year and has never budged in high winds and pouring rain. the biggest drawback is the cost; the slotted metal is very expensive; i probably have at least as much money tied up in the frame as in the molds (based on the fact that i bought the molds new back when general foam was still cranking them out). i hope that helps. if you have any more questions let me know. thanks for the interest
  4. yes it is an aluminum tree; its similar to the one we had when i was a kid (ours was only a 6' but this one is 7'). i also have a vintage color wheel but i took it offline this year (the motor is going out on it and it uses a huge spotlight bulb (hot!) that i don't like to leave unattended) and replaced it with an LED multicolor bulb that does a color fade that nails the color wheel effect. You can't see it in the picture but i replaced the tree's stand with a poloron tin litho stand. These trees are a pain to decorate; the branches don't stay in the trunk very well and they don't support much weight so it was slow go getting the ornaments hung. The blue teardrops are poland glass but the rest are jewelbrite plastic ornaments (which are lighter weight and less prone to break)
  5. Cardboard fireplaces just scream "60s/70s" don't they? This one was made by toymaster; and it does have the "flicker" feature described above. I purchased it on ebay a few years ago. I originally wanted to get the model that also has the cardboard chimney but then i wouldn't have the place to display the centerpieces.
  6. Yes, it's the Poloron set (except for the camel). Finally got the wise men just this year; just need the shephard
  7. I apologize in advance for the quality (or lack thereof) of the photos My yard is a paradigm...it's a big front and side yard so there's plenty of room for decor but the yard slopes sharply from the street so i have to get creative in displaying things (like building elevated platforms). Here's the front yard which goes for a vintage theme
  8. Here's some of my Vintage/Disney stuff on display this year
  9. Here's my Lemax/Dept 56 village for 2017: Here's my Walt Disney World setup for 2017 Not a village but my Rudolph display for 2017
  10. thanks...i guess i must have set it to auto-off accidentally
  11. I live in Northern Alabama and blow molds are pretty rare. If you do see them, they are usually an old mold in front of the house of any empty-nester...I almost never see the newer molds. Perhaps nostalgia will have them come back eventually (waiting for a version to appear in a Sharper Image catalog "''''genuine replica of the decorations you loved as a child!!..Now with energy efficient lighting and ecco-friendly paint...only $195!!". One of these days, I'm going to put together a display that has a large blow-mold snowman standing next to a wireframe snowman next to a "holograph" snowman next to a snowman inflatable with a sign overhead that says "The Evolution of the Common Snowman"...
  12. This is my first season adding a modest LASOC driven display to my static display. With the static display over the years, once I've gotten things set up, as long as I made the stuff strong enough to handle the wind and I don't get hit by vandals, it's pretty much hands-off until I take the display down. It seems with my LASOC display I have to fiddle with something on almost a daily basis...a string of lights is out or my transmitter isn't broadcasting or the LASOC didn't come on when it was supposed to, etc. With the static display, I can be confident that when I'm not at home, the timers will handle everything for me. But with the new stuff, it seems like i have only a 50/50 chance of coming home at night to a working display. I figure that's the nature of the beast but I was wondering with all of you that have the Mega Displays...do you find that even after spending all of your countless hours setting things up that you still have to work on the display during the Xmas season to keep things going? And are you guys able to use timers or do you have to be home to switch everything on every night?
  13. Finally got around to adding a Crane transmitter to my LASOC Sunday night...I quickly realized that you can't use a timer on this thing since it resets itself to "off" when power is removed. So I simply leave it on 24/7, which means it doesn't broadcast any music until the LASOC comes on at dusk. This morning as I was leaving the house for work I tuned my car radio to "my" frequency (come on...you all do that too!) and...nothing. Turns out the Crane had turned itself off. Didn't have time to fiddle with it so I was wondering does this thing have some sort of "feature" where it turns itself off after a given time? And if so, how do I disable it? Thanks!!
  14. ...and replying to my own post...I also wanted to point out I've seen some really crappy attempts at LASOC displays the last few years...people just plugging stuff into channels without really trying to take advantage of the sequencing. The funniest was a house with a pretty decent attempt at a display...plenty of lights on the house and a yard full of inflatables. He also had a LASOC and had everything plugged into it...and I mean everything...the inflatables were deflating and inflating in time with the music. Not sure if that was intentional or someone was pulling a prank.
  15. Why wouldn't you be proud of that? it looks really nice. The LAS certainly has its challenges that you have to work around. I have my first setup this year using the same hardware and it is a challenge to make the most of what it can do. And although I know it doesn't compare to the super setups out there, my setup was fun to do. Over the weekend, I got my first feedback from an "audience"...a family was driving by and the kids saw the lights but couldn't hear the music very well from the street (i still haven't set up my FM transmitter so I've been using the speaker.. but I hesitate to play it so loud it annoys the neighbors) so the dad rang the doorbell and asked if I would crank up the volume so the kids could fully enjoy the show. I'm beginning to see how you can hooked on this stuff....
  16. Yeah..based on what pix i could find on the internet, the Poloron set looked very nice. Thanks everyone for the inputs.
  17. Hi...I've always loved blow molds and this is the first season I've started displaying any outside. Currently I've been concentrating on snowmen (due to the variety of molds available and the fact that it doesn't seem right to have a dozen Santas in your yard). For the off season, I'd like to hunt down and purchase a blow mold nativity set. I want the "large" figures and I'm assuming I'm pretty much limited to tracking down used sets on e-bay (I haven't seen these type of sets for sale anywhere in years). So my question is what's the "best" looking of the large nativity sets? Poloron? Empire? Other? Thanks.
  18. I have a brand new LASOC and I have all of those problems...I use an X-10 timer to turn the thing on/off and every time I turn it on, it just sits there with the power light on and no music or light sequencing (I think its an undocumented "sleep" mode feature). Turning the power switch off and then back on or using the X-10 remote to cycle power off and then on again always works...except when it then decides to go into "Chipmunk" mode and play too fast. Cycling power again fixes that problem and all is well. Also, about every third time the thing comes on, it only stays on for a few minutes and then goes into "sleep" mode...again, cycling the power fixes that and I've never had it "sleep" twice in one night. I think the thing is just made cheaply (i mean, come on...I paid $60 for it) and i use a work around. I program my timer to power on, wait a second, turn off, wait a second and come back on again. That is to get around the initial "sleep" problem. Then the timer waits another 5 minutes, shuts power off, on, off and on again in case the thing went to sleep again. Then its set for the night. Not elegant, but it serves so far. This is my first try at a non-static display; seems like every night I have to go outside and make sure the LASOC is doing its job and checking for dead mini-lights. And my display is pretty modest...for you guys with the mega-displays, real-time maintenance must approach a full-time job!
  19. Ok, quick reviews on stuff I used for my display. First the LASOC is pretty awesome for the price. The music sounds decent and even with just the built in speaker it
  20. Greetings one and all!! I love PC and because of all the cool ideas that abound here I decided to try my hand at doing a more creative outdoor xmas decorating this year. Since I'm somewhat on a budget, I decided to start out with a small display in my front yard built around the Sounds and Lights of Christmas thingy. Make a long story short, my final plans were two six channel pvc arches, 6 tomato trees (different channel each) a six channel mega tree (an upgrade of the tree I made from a portable basket ball goal with a 15' extension pole last year...easiest thing ever...took about 30 minutes to build and set up then) and two of the corro trees from Holiday Corro. Not to bore with details but it took me much longer to wrap lights around pvc and play "lite brite" with the corro trees than I anticipated so i was running about a week behind on getting the display up (i wanted to get it up the weekend before Thanksgiving and then have a week to get the bugs out of it). Part of my mega tree upgrade was to add more lights (of course) and to add a pulley stystem to get them to the top (last year, i attached the lights to the pole while it was laying on the ground and then erected it...which made the strings get tangled so i wanted to do something better this year). Unfortunately, just as I got the lights hoisted half way up the "mast" with the new pulley system, the rope jumped the pulley...which would mean leaning the pole down and starting all over again. Instead i went for a ladder...and promptly ended up falling off and severely injuring my calf (torn tendon)....so the mega tree was "retired" for this year and i had to wait another week to work on the display. I've got everything in this display up (including some inflatables) except the corro trees...ran out of extension cords (i bought twice as many as i thought i would need but ended up short anyway). Anyway, without the megatree i wanted something else in the yard (at ground level)..ended up with some simple staked lights on teh ground. was going to make a snowflake out of staked lights and light individual channels but my main challenge is that my front yard slopes severely from the street to my house so only the "top" of the yard near the street is visible to cars from the street...really limits the "canvas". Anyway...this post is too long...I'm going to do a couple of more with quick lessons learned and also on my other display (which is retro).
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