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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.
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I was able to fix my issues yesterday:) Cheap cat 5 was my culprit. I replaced all my runs to the controllers. Now I have all day today to try to knock out a couple songs I've got partial sequencing done on.

Dave,

If you need a hand, give me a buzz!

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I broke out the video camera last night. Will post better quality ones later, but here's a sneek peek,,,

NICE !!! You have the Richard Holdman style Star of Bethlehem on the roof. It twinkles nicely to Amazing Grace. What are those really tall trees near the front? mini Poplars?

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NICE !!! You have the Richard Holdman style Star of Bethlehem on the roof. It twinkles nicely to Amazing Grace. What are those really tall trees near the front? mini Poplars?

Thay are actually Maple trees. Darn things have grown about 5' a year!.

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Very Nice! The fades and the star on Amazing Grace look awesome. Those two trees in the front do look pretty tall. It looks like you did a good job going all the way to the very tippy top.:)

Paul

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We'll, how did everybody do this weekend. Thursday was the only day I wasn't in the yard getting dirty. I have had to do an emergency extension cord acquisition trip and now may have to do another. In any case, I attached a little pic of my progress. Most of the static elements are in place. I only have 6 icicle strings, a huge wreath, and 5 snowmen remaining. The display is just switching color themes every 20 seconds or so. Now for the synchronizing.

-Darin

post-8621-129571089322_thumb.jpg

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Darin, your display looks awsome. The house is complete. I still have to put the mini out and the leaping arches out and string up three more mini megas. I am also running short on extension cords. I put in another order last week so part of the display may not be running until later in the week. The display was supposed start tonight but probably not going to happen. Really going to try for tomorrow. Well got go get busy. Looks good. Can't wait to see it in person.

Brandon

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Well I feel like I've awakened from a "Christmas Decorating Hangover".

We got over 12" of snow over the weekend ... it snowed non-stop the entire time and was sub-zero and chilly.

But I got it all hooked up ... and last night I finally tried out the show and 95-98% of it worked first time! I was thrilled. Yeah, one thing wasn't plugged in a few things were not working because I reassigned them in the field and had not update the sequences with the new configuration file yet.

We ended up going out into the car (*it was really cold) ... and watching from there. Well, then my neighbors did the same ... then their sister, then their parents ... then a neaighbor came driving up in his Kubota tractor and proceeded to plow off my entire driveway and then street. Then I noticed my friend on the tractor was on the cell phone, then shortly after his wife arrive in the minivan with kids. So it was a surreal moment sharing this with friends and neighbors kind of impromptu ... but very memorable. I knew a few things weren't working, but nobody else did.

But all in all, it was a proud moment to get so much going in my first year. I was thinking to myself "maybe I DID overdo it" ... but it was impressive and everyone watching seemed very impressed. My neighbors rolled down their windows and were giving shaking their arms up like "Right on!!" ... that was cool. I was also a little embarrassed, since it becomase clear to others just how much work it takes to do one of these shows! My wife was happily surprised as well ... it was the first time she had seen any of it.

So now I can see I'll have days of mopping up work to do, refining things and getting those X10 channels working, static stuff automated, etc.

Need to also figure out if my old DIgital8 camera can film it, or if I'll need to find another way to film it.

Still waiting for my Dad to arrive with the tune-to sign ... I made a temporary one out of coro from an abondoned politial sign, which I then attached a 4 sheet color printout onto and then laminated it with shipping tape ... then pained the backside black. Very low tech.

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Well I've officially miss my self imposed deadline of Dec!. I'm feeling bad because I've told a few people that I'd have it done. The weather and technical difficulties have really messed things up. Unfortunately I'm a one man show and can only do so much.

I'm going to try to recruit some help for next years display. I really need some help, or start earlier. Halloween is getting in the way now. The Halloween display is large enough to not allow Christmas setup until after Halloween is all taken down.

Any ideas on how to recruit some help? All my friends think I'm crazy.LOL

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So far, I have had some troubleshooting every night

Monday night; GFI tripping; solution: unplug those cheap white deer

Tuesday night: FM Transmitter troubleshooting and a couple candy canes went dark; Solution: slap candy canes a few times and switch transmitter frequency to 96.7 (thanks Paul !!) and moved transmitter location.

Wednesday: One section of a leaping arch goes dark. Solution: run finger along arch section to find an intermittent bulb seating. Pulled buld out with cold fingers, straightened tiny wires and re-seated the buld.

Thursday: bypass the motors in those deer, thus demoting them to full static status, but keeping the GFI happy (well, maybe; we will see during the next rain)

Friday: hopefully nothing; pick up Tune sign from sign shop and continue sequencing in order to introduce the music portion Sat or Sun.

I wish to thank my Planet Christmas friends for turning me into a complete Lunatic.

-Darin

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Darin,

Sorry to hear your having problems. Sometimes it feels like two steps forward and one step back. I still can't figure out what is going on with my X10 and the amazing snowing snowman. He might be out of the picture this year. :( Let me know when you get it all going so I can come over and check it out.

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Darin, Man you just having bad luck. Sorry to hear it. Well I got my display running this past Saturday. It great seen peoples reactions even the adults. The smiles it brought the last to nights was really worth all the work. Still have a couple of things left to do, those should be done here soon.

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