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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.
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Bill Hoffman

Scooge is alive and well in Athens, Ohio

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As some of you may remember, about a week ago I was blessed with a visit from the State Highway Patrol and the Sheriff’s office. Evidently someone complained about the road being blocked for 30 mins, which is really not true, but they told me it still had to be investigated. ]They were real nice, and told me there was nothing they could do, because I was within my rights, but they had to at least let me know somebody complained. We live on a County road, right outside the city limits, and there are houses about ¼ mile past us. There are only about 5 house in our immediate neighborhood, and some of them help set the display up, so I know it wasn’t them. Anyway, the people out past us probably got mad because they had to slow down from their usual 60-65mph, when the speed limit is only 45. The State Patrol even said it wasn’t congested when he came out, but he had to move the cars on, because it’s illegal to pull off and sit unless it’s an emergency.

Anyway, last night we had at any given time about 40 cars, on both side of the road. At about 7:30, here comes the State Patrol, with lights flashing and horns blowing. He forced the cars to move on, and not only that one time, he kept coming back, because people kept coming and pulling off. He did this several times for about 45mins., then he left. After he left, it was right back to the place it was before, and kept a constant traffic flow until the show shut down at 11.

Tonight, Santa is going to be here with some elves passing out candy canes. Since the way my area is set up, they have to pass them out to the road to the people in the cars, I hope we don’t get arrested.:? Wish us all luck.

Bill

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If you are doing nothing but setting up a display, I don't think there is one thing that can be done about traffic backing up to see it! After all, you might have set that display up only for your own enjoyment, and "gosh darn those people for coming along and looking into your yard." However, if you have people on the road handing things out, I think you are tempting fate and I personally would not do that, especially if there has already been a traffic problem.

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Actually, the only time i believe that it is truly illegal to park on the side of the road is when you do it on the interstate and it is not an emergency. The other thing is the right away is measured from the center line of the highway. If you can find out what that measurement is then anyone who parks beyond that distance is with out a doubt legal and can stay. It varies from state to state and type of road. For instance here in FL neighborhoods are 25' from center of street and two lane county roads are 50' from center.

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Looks like you might need to investigate adding on a parking area like Mark O used to do. He lived on a state highway as well if I recall correctly, and had some accidents there...

-Tim

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if youre on a big chunk of land and have the room, throw down some rocks and let all the cars make you a semi-circular driveway ! then next summer, throw some concrete in the rut and viola, problem solved

thyno

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Here's what happened last night. Santa showed up, the elves showed up, the traffic showed up, and the cops didn't show up. We only had one incident, and that was a couple of teenagers driving by yelling profanities as they passed.Everyone else had a great time, and we got some memorable pictures. I still need to think about the whole viewing situation, but for this year, it's almost over. It's not the perfect location for this, but not sure what else I can do. There is just no place feasible to pull off to watch, and the land isn't there to put in a turn around, or parking area. My only alternative would be to house the display at another location. That's what I will think about for next year. I could buy the property across the street, tear the house down, and build a giant parking lot. I figure it would only cost me maybe $250,000. Would that be too extreme?? lol :P We still got tonight to get through, traditionally this will be the busiest night of the year for us. Here's a couple of pics from last night.

Bill

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Andrew,

If you drive by tonight, or even next week, let me know, and I will make arrangements with my neighbor so you can park across the street and watch. I sent you my number, but I've been in and out all day.

Bill

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Bill Hoffman wrote:

I could buy the property across the street, tear the house down, and build a giant parking lot. I figure it would only cost me maybe $250,000. Would that be too extreme?? lol :P We still got tonight to get through, traditionally this will be the busiest night of the year for us. Here's a couple of pics from last night.

Bill

Bill,

That is too funny. There is a house across the street from us where the guy does very little upkeep. The yard is a mess and he still has plastic tarps on the roof from hurricane Ivan (Sept 2004). My wife made the same suggestion that we buy the property, use the old house to store the display, and build a parking lot in the front yard. So, I don't think it is too extreme at all.:D

Dennis

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After seeing your display tonight, Bill, I don't think that any Grinch could ever match its power! It's wonderful... though I must admit that there is a bit of a situation with traffic. :? I hope that it all works out naturally... sometimes things like that just 'do'! :cool:

If there is anyone else here in the Central / SouthEast Ohio area, you *MUST* stop by Bill Hoffman's place sometime soon.

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Thanks for the kind words Andrew. It was nice to meet you and your sister, under normal circumstances (instead of the hectic time at PLUS). Sorry if I talked your leg off, but I am very passionate about Christmas lights. :)

Thyno, Santa just talks in his regular voice, I think that's the only one he knows. :}

Bill

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