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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
LightsByGreg

Philly Area Mini - July 11, 2009

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This year's mini is a go! It will be held at my house again.

We are planning for a one day event so far. It will be held Saturday, July 11, 2009.

Sign up details:

If you plan on attending the mini on July 11, please send an email message to:

[email protected]

Please include your name and city/state. Also if you will be bringing family/friends, please let me know how many. I will get back to you with location and other details. Also, make sure you check this email frequently, because I am not going to mess with PM updates again this year.

The format will be a little different this year, We are planning the group to stay together as a group and not spread throughout the house.

The preliminary idea is to have the morning as a compare and contrast group. Because everyone is basically using some form of Vixen, either DIY or one of the pre-built system, we will have a common thread between us, but yet we can see the benefits of choicing which hardware to use.

The afternoon will be a show us what you brought. That could range from either your new LED strings to some really cool prop you built. We can have a how-to on soldering to how to make a new spot light holder.

If anyone would like to show something during any part of the day, please drop lbro a PM at doityourselfchristmas.com/forums, or email me and I will forward to him.

I am working on some vendors to send in some prizes again this year. We will correct the confusion from last year on this one.

Thanks, we hope to see some new faces this year!!

-Greg and the rest of the Philly Mini Team

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Hey everyone, I now have some more free time so I am going into Mini-Planning-Commando mode. What I want to know is, is there something you would like to see in person at the Philly Mini?

For example, is there something you see online, but you want to know what it is like in person before adding it to your display? Is there a decorating trick that you aren't so sure will work in your show? Do you want to learn how to solder? (I do!) Is there a computer program that seems way too complicated? Perhaps you want to learn about all the software products from seasoned users.

Keep in mind, this does not have to be limited to a DIY item - it can be anything from the Christmas Community. While I cannot make any promises, I can try to pull some strings to get some more experts to show up and demonstrate what they know best.

Please throw out any ideas you have, and I will to incorporate them into the mini. Let's make this the best mini yet!

Thanks,

Greg

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Hey everyone – we're less than a month away from the big day! This year's event is going to be smaller than last year's, but that doesn't mean it will be less exciting! I do have a couple new items to show off, but I am going to need your help as well (to make the planning go more smoothly).

Because there are less people coming this year, it is more difficult getting people to bring items. We need you to bring stuff to make this a successful mini. It can be anything, as long as it deals with Christmas. For example, you could show off your new LED strings or a cool prop you built. We had a few requests go for things people would like to see, which were:

1.Mega Tree Freestanding Base (with parts from HD or Lowes)

2.Mega Tree

3.Welding

4.Soldering

5.DIO Cards

6.SSRs

7.Software product demos + Sequencing Basics

If you want to show off any of these things, or have something else you want to show off, please respond to this message so we can work out a rough schedule. The show-off time will be in the afternoon, after the meet and greet and the comparison of hardware and software. Also, please let me know if there is anything else you'd like to see.

Here are the event details:

Date and Time: Saturday, July 11: 10 AM - ?

Sign Up: [email protected]

Thanks everyone, and I look forward to seeing you on the 11th!

-Greg

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I'll be there and bring what I can. Dawn has opted out so I'll be there stag... Girls?!? AL, MJ, Jen?!? I took that Friday off so work can't pre-empt this trip...

Jeff

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I'll be there and bring what I can. Dawn has opted out so I'll be there stag... Girls?!? AL, MJ, Jen?!? I took that Friday off so work can't pre-empt this trip...

Jeff

I just can't get enough of those skulls

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This has all the makings for another great day. Everyone signed up is really talented. Bring your cameras and notepads. The bunch that met at Jeff's were the best group of people I've met in a very long time and like Steve posted somewhere, I can't stop talking about the event. Looking forward to meeting more life time freinds.

That said -- cancell plans and get to Greg's!!!

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Everyone who signed up just received another email with the address and phone details. If you still would like to come, or did not receive the email, please let me know by emailing [email protected]

Thanks a lot, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday!

-Greg

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