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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.
  • 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.
DanoNJ

Jack in the Box

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Newest member of the animated family. I made this out of 1/2 ply and a stuffed prop I found at the flee market. It's motorized by a wiper motor powered via a 5v wal wart. Some pics in progress.

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Guest Scot Meyers

Hey Dano

THats pretty cool. can I make a suggestion. run the rod from the motor thru the bear so it looks like the bear goes up and down and not like its bowing.(just a suggestion)

Also

Put a light in side the box so when it opens the bear will be illuminated.

Great job!

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Dano,

Great job on the bear-in-the-box! looks great and seems to work pretty good too! I think Scot has a couple of good suggestions there as well.

Are you going to put any lights on the outside? Rope light would look good I bet.

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Thanks, all. I attempted the rod idea, just didn't work out well. The lid with the toy is just too heavy for the motor to operate well. I actually added springs in the back to help 'lift' the lid. As for lights, there will be a spot on it and a lamp from an old microwave (which is 110v AC) on the inside to help in illuminating the project. I still want to tweak the thing out a bit, possibly reducing the bow effect, but just had to post it now!

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Dano,

For future projects, instead of springs, use counter weights. It's easier, and less work. As a spring is compressed the rate changes...With counter weights it is relatively even forces.;)

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I was going to use the counter weight, in fact may still. I have a lead bar around here somewhere... good idea, Gary.

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Dano,

Great job. I have a suggestion for the bow effect. What if you attached the bear with hooks? It appears you have glued his head to the box lid. If there were a way to allow his head to hang off/on the lid, then he would hang vertical through the cycle and not bow over.

If your wife is like mine, you'll want to use hooks so you can change out the bear for a ghost, skeleton, witch, or something for Halloween. I know, I know, that's another list.:giggle:

Still, you did a great job. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Good Luck,

Terry

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He is actually attached with a wire w/ another holding his shoulders back, thus the way he returns. I actually didn't notice this before. I'll try the hook idea.

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you know i am doing this also this is the first opening present i have seen can i use a feeding doe motor or a waving arm motor and would love instructions on how to attach motor and arm and stuff very new to this

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You

can i attach a wiper motor to red elc wires to make it 110 if so howwwww pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

You can use a power supply that puts out 12V DC to run it on 120AC. Just make sure the power supply is large enough.

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Hey Dano -

Nice job... it looks great! One other suggestion would be to make the lid out of Coro to cut down on weight. If you would... please post another video when you get your changes made... you've done a really nice job on it!

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Guest Scot Meyers

Dano i would suggest building it from coror that would make it light enough for the motor to handle the roof and the bear

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