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Well last year i had a blast doing it all which only took like 2 days. All year i have been making stuff and putting it in the basement waiting for this time of year to come talking all year about it and now here it is. This is my 1st year doing a mega tree and driveway arches and to date have about 28 hours of time in setting up. I guess im getting down on the whole thing cause its been day in and day out christmas lights. I never realized how long these mega trees take to do. The wife has tried to help but we have a 17 month old baby so she cant help that much. I already told her i am not adding anything new next year. Im not even done yet and i am already getting the gitters about taking it down in the freezing cold weather. The only saving grace i have got so far is some testing of the mega tree and seeing the smiles on my wife and the kids across the street faces. Has anyone been down this road with getting themselves all crazy. Not to put anyone down but my hats off to all who live in cold climates and brave the cold for all these hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:(

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I get like that from time to time. I live in upstate NY so I know all about tear down in the cold. My display gets bigger each year. I combat it a few ways. I put up a picture of our previous years display on both computers, put up things like my icicle lights early in November when it's warmer, start working on my new stuff as early as I can so I can do small amounts at a time, etc. Things will get better when your little one gets a bit older and can at least stay out of trouble while your wife helps.

During tear down webring everything inside till the whole house is full and then pack it away the right way while we sit in the nice warm house.

Plus, seeing the lights on for the first time each year always makes it worth it for me.

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I am certain a lot of us get like that from time to time. Hang in there, because when you first turn it on and see it you know the feeling of accomplishment you will have. Then when you see everyone else enjoying it it will make it that much better.

I am luck as I live in GA. But I grew up in Western PA and lived there most of my life. I cannot say I miss putting it up or taking it down in the snow and 32 degree or lower temps. Hang in there, you can do it.

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gsxr7500 wrote:

......The only saving grace i have got so far is some testing of the mega tree and seeing the smiles on my wife and the kids across the street faces.

First off, I will say that I am right there with you. I looked like a nimrod when I started putting my C7s on the roof ridges the weekend of October 13th and the icicle lights the weekend of the 27th.... but the thing is, I knew I would need all the time in the world for my new & improved mega tree build (which sure as hell took all last weekend, three days, just to build, not even populate with lights).

Second, I will say that, the part of your message that I quoted above is why I do it. Our boy was 19 months last Christmas when I fired it all up and when he said "oh wow", I was pumped enough to vow to do it year in and year out from this point on.. Maybe you too will get that "oh wow" soon.... and that makes it all worth it...

This year, as I'm working on putting lights on my wire frames in the house and doing random other tasks, he is walking around (now 2 and a 1/2) saying "daddy, good turn Christmas on?".... we keep trying to get him to do full sentences and he is off by one word.... he forgets to put in the word 'lights' ;)

Keep at it!

-Louie in Melbourne

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Listen, I hear ya. I live in Milford Connecticut (www.thathouseinmilford.com) and I put up arches and this year 2 megatrees not to mention about 5,000 lights on the roof alone. I started about the 3rd week in October and I'll be finished this weekend. Last year it took me 12 hours to do the roof...this year only 6. Megatrees: last year 3 hours for one, this year 3 hours for both.

My point is, the more you do it the easier it gets. Next year it won't take you as long because you'll know the shortcuts and have already experienced the pains as to what didn't work.

Mark my word, next year it'll take you half the time even with more lights.

Merry Christmas!:tree:

Chris

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I under stand were you are coming from I have done it for the past five years and now have a five year old girl. Now the thing is the set up gets old fast but the lights never ever do;). It’s my girls that keeps it going, ill hang 1,000 lights and take them out to see it. “WOW”:shock: they say and that makes me put up 1,000 more. So here I am with 20,000 lights and 24 channels of LOR and so tired of string lights and so have plans on doubling everything next year, 40,000 lights and hopefully 96 channels next year. Can’t what till next year and still not finished with this one.:laughing::laughing::laughing:

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I feel your pain with the weather. Why this morning it was 44 degrees here and I had to wear a jacket!!

Seriously, I think from time to time everyone gets discouraged. But I promise you this when people come by your house you will feel very warm inside.

I started building on January 16th and have worked almost everyday since, except I took the month of June off. During the summer from about May till October I work seven days a week unless it rains. Right now I am taking my vacation and will work daylight till dark until Thanksgiving and then back at it on Friday. As I write this have been putting stuff out since mid October. In fact, came home from the mini and started putting snowflakes on the roof. Right now every thing is out except for a few thousand lights here and there. Then five days of wiring everything.

I tell you all of the above to say this. THE NEXT SIX WEEKS I GET PAID!

Every night my heart is filled with joy. Every night I walk outside and make repairs and say to myself, "You made all of this happen". When I see smiles on young and old alike I know it was all worth it.

You will know that feeling soon enough. Then you will not be able to wait till next year.

Oh and taking it down is easy. Less than half the time.:)

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I feel your pain...We are running really far behind this year and have had to abandon some of ourprojects for now. We're only half done wrapping the tree in the front yard with lights...Megatree is not even started...less then half of the LOR programming is done because we have not completely decided how we are setting everything up yet. The weather is supposed to be crappy this weekend (rain/snow/wind).

Adding to the craziness is my daughter's Pop Warner Regional Cheerleading Competition Thanksgiving weekend and the possibility of going to Florida for Nationals again a week later....

One way or another the show will go on. All the lights we intend to put out may not beready on Nov 25th but that doesn't matter... Most of it will be there and we will run our first show on time.

Our friends and neighbors are as anxious to see the display set up as we are...and the looks on their faces when it's lit make all the workand anxiety worth it in the end.

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I was talking to my wife last weekend and told her that I had to work onthe display from 8am to 7pm to get everything done. I mentioned that it was going to "suck" to have to do that. She asked, quite reasonably, "I thought you liked doing this?", to which I replied "NO! I don't!".

She asked why I do it then, if it's not fun. I told her that the hobby and creativity of building all year long (and I do it, ALL YEAR LONG!) and then the reactions when it's lit up is why I do it. But the set up and tear down are never fun. In fact, I said, I bet 99% of the people who do this don't enjoy this phase.

The next day I was on the phone with my friend, who also does extreme decorating, and we were commiserating about set up.

"My wife asked why I do it if it's not fun," I said. "I told her that no one enjoys the set up..."

Before I could even finish he said "No! No one likes that. It sucks!"

So you're not alone. We all say, why do I do this? We all question ourselves and our stupid, pie in the sky plans, while we're on the roof.

Then we turn it on... and WOW!

What we do CANNOT be done by everyone. Many people don't have the time, money, or (most of all) the passion for this hobby. This is (in my opinion) harder than train sets, coin collecting, sewing, sports, gardening, etc. It takes a true level of committment and effort. Remember that when you get down.

Ok, my pep talk is over... get outside and put something up! NOW! :)

Ryan

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If you got a few extra bucks, hire neighborhood teens to help you. When doing my megatree and arches, I often try to have 3 of us doing it, the tasks go much quicker and makes mor eefficient use of time. Last night we were twist braiding our 4 color superstrings for th emegatree, which I could never do alone in a million years.

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justduckio wrote:

...less then half of the LOR programming is done because we have not completely decided how we are setting everything up yet.....

Good! So I'm not the only one.... actually, I have zero of the programming done because I didn't know how I wanted to set up everything.... now I know, because I am setting it up, but there won't be time for programming until it is all done ;)

-Louie in Melbourne

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well, im still having fun working on mine but its been a struggle.not finding lights to expand with that match. broken wires on new sets of lights. not able to find proper clips. its all come together though.. its still fun. but check this out. last year i put my lights up friday after thanksgiving and that weekend. it was in the 30's. the day after i finished it was 70!!! this year i decided to start early because it had been in the 70's and nice. i tried to start on it monday of this week and it rained. i hung c-7's anyways but took them back down cause i didnt like the way they were hanging.. tuesday i spent all evening chasing clips, wednesday i hung some c-7s in high humidityand dense fog. even got some icicles hung. couldnt find any additional ones to match so idecided to take them down and go buy all new ones.thursday the temp dropped into the 30's and im out taking down icicle lights in a pellet like snow and rain lolbut it quit raining and such so yesterday eve i hung all the new icicles. it made it all worth it when i plugged them into the mr.c and flashed them and some super bright trees i have.. and looked at the wife and daughter and the smiles they had. not to mention the big smile i know i was wearing : )

no job is too big in celebrating the birth of christ :smile::smile::smile::smile: Jim : )

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I just started today putting up the mega tree and the rest of the lights. I got a lot done but many more to do. Made some modifications on the tree. This being the second year, it did go up faster, but now I have to figure out how to attach the star that was made for me by some guys where my wife works. They wanted a project, are welders so I gave them a picture. Now I have to attach lights and figure out how to modify the top of the tree to attach it.

No new programming is done yet as I wasn't sure how much of my new projects I would get done. Now I know and time to get sequencing. I have had questions since taking Halloween down, "when do the Christmas lights go up?".

It's getting dark...Back to work...Keep smiling

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rmjohn99 wrote:

What we do CANNOT be done by everyone. Many people don't have the time, money, or (most of all) the passion for this hobby. This is (in my opinion) harder than train sets, coin collecting, sewing, sports, gardening, etc. It takes a true level of committment and effort.

And concrete.

:P

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All i can say all the hard work you put into a display shows in the final display.

You may not notice youre self at first but when a little one says is that Santas house to you it make it all worth while.

and most of all enjoy it while it last's

les m

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I am like a week behind due to family issues (Mother in Law dying) and fretting like no tomorrow.

So today I walked into the State Store (PA is like 200 years behind the times) to buy a bottle of wine for dinner tonight and the lady at the checkout counter asked me when my display was going to light up. I said that I hoped to have everything ready for Sunday, November 25.

she said that was great because she was a bus driver for the school district and that her kids were constanly harranging her about when she would take them by the "Christmas House".

Now I have to tell you... if that is not motivation. I have so kicked myself in the rear end to get everything done. It is so amazing that you go through all these trials and tribulations thinking what is the point and then kids enter the equation and you remember what the purpose is. It is for all the kids out there.. and yes adults too.

So buck it up and get the job done. Ok, for the Cable Guy folks,"Git R Dun"!!

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Now that I'm working in the front yard more I've had a lot of people slowing down and yelling out their windows "When is it going to be done?" or "We can't wait!"

Yesterday, the neighbors' grand-kids sat out front and watched me put lights in the poinciana tree. "Look Mommy! Christmas tree!" I finally had to go turn the lights on their "test" sequence before they would go home with their mother.

Don't make the neighbors' grand-kids cry. :(

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This is my first year and I had to build my drivewayarches, north poles,Bethlehem star, 20' mega tree and so on. I had toorder lights, controllers, transmitter extension cord materials etc. I started hanging lights in Oct. and felt kinda like a idiot as people drove by. But I am so glade I started early as I am barely going to be done this weekend. Been a lot of work, I mean hours and hours. I just finished putting my three LOR controllers together tonight who wee.

One night this week I was working on my mega treeandfamily on bikes rode by andI over herdthe 8 year boysay, "This yardis going to be rocking on Christmas".Kinda made me feel better that someone is noticing.

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gsxr7500 wrote:

Well last year i had a blast doing it all which only took like 2 days. All year i have been making stuff and putting it in the basement waiting for this time of year to come talking all year about it and now here it is. This is my 1st year doing a mega tree and driveway arches and to date have about 28 hours of time in setting up. I guess im getting down on the whole thing cause its been day in and day out christmas lights. I never realized how long these mega trees take to do. The wife has tried to help but we have a 17 month old baby so she cant help that much. I already told her i am not adding anything new next year. Im not even done yet and i am already getting the gitters about taking it down in the freezing cold weather. The only saving grace i have got so far is some testing of the mega tree and seeing the smiles on my wife and the kids across the street faces. Has anyone been down this road with getting themselves all crazy. Not to put anyone down but my hats off to all who live in cold climates and brave the cold for all these hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:(

Uh oh... well whats killing you in time is you are doing things for first time, you get pretty efficient recreating something you used in past years but takes forever doing it the first time. Mine is way out of hand... we got late started and its taking hours and hours often at night in cold night air getting it up. Its approaching 80% as of tonight with most of it coming in this weekend but no one said this stuff is easy. Takes you what seems like hours to pick out the right extension cord lengths and just plugging them in not counting the cost in effort it is to put the lights themselves out.

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gsxr7500 wrote:

Well last year i had a blast doing it all which only took like 2 days. All year i have been making stuff and putting it in the basement waiting for this time of year to come talking all year about it and now here it is. This is my 1st year doing a mega tree and driveway arches and to date have about 28 hours of time in setting up. I guess im getting down on the whole thing cause its been day in and day out christmas lights. I never realized how long these mega trees take to do. The wife has tried to help but we have a 17 month old baby so she cant help that much. I already told her i am not adding anything new next year. Im not even done yet and i am already getting the gitters about taking it down in the freezing cold weather. The only saving grace i have got so far is some testing of the mega tree and seeing the smiles on my wife and the kids across the street faces. Has anyone been down this road with getting themselves all crazy. Not to put anyone down but my hats off to all who live in cold climates and brave the cold for all these hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:(

The past couple of years I thought of or worked on the display the majority of the year also. This year I've had a bit of burnout. Haven't really built anything new though have added some lights. But that's ok. It happens. The display is still going up and it will be better though by not as much as I would like. I think your mind and spirit sometimesjust need a break. It goes in cycles.

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nutz4lights wrote:

justduckio wrote:

Good! So I'm not the only one.... actually, I have zero of the programming done because I didn't know how I wanted to set up everything.... now I know, because I am setting it up, but there won't be time for programming until it is all done ;)

-Louie in Melbourne

do like i do. you cant really set up at night, so, program at night and set up during the day.

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you think its tough now, wait til ya get a little older ! im 50. if i was a young buck like most of you guys are, i'd be finished by now :laughing: nothing good ever comes easy. like so many have said, its the end result that makes it worthwhile. the smiles and the joy it brings to so many is what makes it. take your time, start early and have fun with it. if its not fun, its work ! last weekend when i had the lift rented for putting lights in the trees, i took breaks and gave the kids in the neighborhood that were watching me rides on the lift. it was fun, i got a break and still got the work done !

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I felt really bummed too when I got out of bed yesterday on my day off and knew I had lots of outside work to do. The temp was in the 40s and I am not used to that since I am a Floridian.

I got on the roof anyway with the wind whipping off the water and did Large stars and hung the ice cicle lights. I felt pretty silly since I had been decorating since Oct 31st. The neighbors must have thought I lost my mind.

To tell the truth, I was embarassed doing it.

This is my first year. I worked hard and bought 96 Channels of LOR.

We all know how time consuming this hobby is but, until I got in the yard and worked on my first Mega tree and leaping arches etc. did I see this coming together.

I was really worried about another thing not working properly that I spent so much time doing. I am not sure if I am the FIRST person to do this but, I have animatronic "robots" talking to the audience and singing together during the show intermission. They talk about using your "imagination" to make a Christmas light show.

One robot is a Reindeer and the other is a Wizard who is lifelike and over 6 feet tall.

Well, Last night I turned on my show to either jump for joy or sit and cry as so much could go wrong.

The result: I was jumping up and down. My show went off without a hitch and neighbors whom I had never met came over and said " This is incredible" .

My advice, From a newbie! It is worth it. Bundle up , get a buddy to help, cause this is an amazing hobby. The looks on the neigbors face said it all.

Keep on lighting, Duane

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