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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.
Lyman Rate

Kansas

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I want to shout out to any who are from Kansas.. I know it's not many but I would love you hear from you!

oh yeah.. FIRST to POST!! YEEE HAWWW!

Lyman

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Hello Michelle and Lyman. Tim here for Prairie Village. Looking forward to seeing all those who add to this thread.

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Michelle and Tim - I am glad to find others from this state that are as addicted to Christmas as I am! I hope to get to visit with you soon (either by pm, email, phone, or in person!)

Thanks

Lyman

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Just did my first animated show in 2007. There are at least 3 of us in the Wichita area. I believe the other 2 are using Light O'Rama equipment. I think I'm they only Animated Lighting customer in the area. Maybe in the state. Just making the move from 32 channels to 112. I'm sure you know the routine. More, more, more. Would be great to get together with some folks that share the addiction.

Steve McKinney

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Did my first animated dispay in 2003 after the first PLUS meeting. The first year I had one 20 foot mega tree and one 16 channel Animated Controller. This year I wil have 9 controllers and approx 80,00 lights.

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I'm guessing you all are using Light O Rama equipment? (Hutch and Augusta). I'm going up with my first megatree and a couple of 3 color four stripe trees. Along with a couple of 3 color 3 stripe trees that are all new this year. Man the channels go fast. Trying to get 4 new songs sequenced. Then go to work on my six stock songs. Need to add a chase to each of them. It's almost June and I'm already feeling the pressure. I don't know how those fellas with 250 channels get it all done. One thing I questioned was how did your shows come out after viewing them in your software. I'm a little concerned that it looks good in the software, but there may be problems once all the lights are hooked up in Nov.

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Steve, I'm not sure there is any secret way to know what looks good during sequencing will look good in real life. While I depend on the visualizer to a point (I'm a LOR user), I still have to play it out in my head while at the computer and also while standing out in the front yard. For the last two years, the results have been what was anticipated during the sequencing phase, so no tweaks were needed. However, with doubling channels to 160 this year, there may be tweaking involved once the show is up and running. Only time will tell.

There are some that actually set up a miniature display in their home to try things out. At this point for me, that seems like a lot of work, but as a display becomes more complicated, there may be mind overload trying to visualize everything and the miniature display might be called for.

I'd be interested in how things develop for you this year, and if the end result is what you expected.

Tim

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Steve,

I use Animating Lightings, "Animated Director" for my display. When I started in 2003 I don't think they had a vizualizer in their software. I started building miniture modes of my display the first year and have just continued to change it each year as I have added controllers.

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Can't say I'm from Kansas but since 2003 I've done the same thing-miniature props to represent show elements and just add as channels increase through the years. There are never any surprises when you go live, just me.....

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I did build a 4 color tree and an a 10' arch. Setup a mini-megatree. I was able to test them one by one. Came up short with hooking all my boxes together to run a sample of each display assign to each box. Got to be kind of a logistical nightmare. So I gave the living room back to my wife and took most of it down. Did think about setting up in the back yard for one weekend test after all my shows are finished. Let the neighbors know how crazy I really am. (Kluper) Maybe we can compare notes sometime. My dad lives just west of Augusta. I'm in the Riverside area in Wichita. This is my place.

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Nice videos Steve. Must have taken a little time to wrap all the trees:)

Tim

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yea it was a job. large tree in the back 50' or so. we striped it with net lights (easy part) and then wrapped the top. tree up front had 2400 led and 1200 minis, but it hard to see the three color in the video. other video's on you tube show that we moved over to the neighbors yard and house a couple of weeks later. great buy on some led's, but it was quite a balancing act to run everything on two 30 amp boxes from AD. think we learned alot. i would be really interested in seeing other locals shows if they're up on the web. still trying to put together a website of my own. whew!

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Kansas in the house here! We're in Gardner (south of KC) this will be the first year animating! I already know Tim D....but nice to see the others on here! I hope more show up! :-)

Steve, what is your test mega tree made of? I assume you don't use it in your actual display? I think it's nice....I'm wanting to do something next year, but want something that's modular or something if possible. Haven't put much thought into it yet though. I'd also like to find some trees like 8' tall that can be stored away kind of like the mini trees. :)

Nothing really on there yet, I just got it going the other day, but our blog address is: http://christmas.tysonh.com

Come drop a line by!

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I'm coming along pretty well. It seems to be going SLOW, but I've been at it between 2 and 6 hours a day for the last 12 days or so. I'd say I'm 80% done enough to light up this weekend (11/22) for maybe 3 or 4 hours a night till Thanksgiving, then run it a little later after that.

Currently it's too COLD to go out and work for my job (lawn service, cleaning up leaves) and I'm not too keen on getting out when it's 20 deg. to work on lights if I don't have too!

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soooo how is everyones displays coming along this year?

kale

Not as well as anticipated. The cold is no fun to work out in, especially when you're doing something that requires dexterity, therefore no gloves. And then there is the problem of lights not working in the mega tree which requires replacing. On top of that, my coro elves tried to fly off the roof in the high winds we had on Thursday, so had to devise a way to keep them up there. So six hours were spent redoing what had already been done, kind of. But with the expected warm-up today and tomorrow, hope to get it all done and tested for the neighborhood preview on Tuesday and lights on for the rest of the world on Thursday.

Enjoy the season everyone.

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It is great to hear from Kansans... I will have to say that I do hope that I can get out and see some of the displays this year. I hope I can!!

Now saying that, I have some disheartening news to share. My fiancee of 5 yrs split up with me and so I have thus moved out temporarily into a small one bedroom apartment. No Window!! So I have only some small stuff to decorate with.

I had to leave a few months ago and when I got back all of my christmas stuff that I had left with her has "disappeared" and she doesn't know where it is. So I have nothing to decorate with or no house to do.

I am on a rebound as I am looking for a job and am trying to piece together what I am going to do from now on!

I wish everyone a very safe and enjoyable holiday season and when you get your display/show up and running put a shout out here of your address, or let us know, so we can come and see your show!!!

Lyman

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It is great to hear from Kansans... I will have to say that I do hope that I can get out and see some of the displays this year. I hope I can!!

Now saying that, I have some disheartening news to share. My fiancee of 5 yrs split up with me and so I have thus moved out temporarily into a small one bedroom apartment. No Window!! So I have only some small stuff to decorate with.

I had to leave a few months ago and when I got back all of my christmas stuff that I had left with her has "disappeared" and she doesn't know where it is. So I have nothing to decorate with or no house to do.

I am on a rebound as I am looking for a job and am trying to piece together what I am going to do from now on!

I wish everyone a very safe and enjoyable holiday season and when you get your display/show up and running put a shout out here of your address, or let us know, so we can come and see your show!!!

Lyman

you need to come by and see that your mini trees are in a good home! And if you are that bored you can put my lights up around here. I was hot and heavy into getting things done for a week and a half, the I bought a new truck friday night and have been sidetracked this weekend and got nothing else done on my display. I had planned to light up sat. night but I had too many failures that I didn't feel like fixing at the moment.

I'll have to give u a call tomorrow, if you number is still the same.

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I made good progress this weekend. Still have tons to get done, and not enough time home to do it, but we're getting there!

Tim - Elves aren't supposed to fly except in the sleigh! Sorry to hears yours tried other routes! Oh and guess what...I'm out of lights! So, like you said/thought, I don't know how to not use them either! HAHA

Lyman - Sorry to hear your news, that is a bummer! Glad you are moving on and looking ahead. It happened for a reason, make the best of it! :-)

Jason - What truck did you get? Hope you get everything done and all goes well.

HO HO HO!

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