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2009 Christmas Display

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I'm happy to say that I am happy with my whole display this year, for the first time in many years. I've always been pleased with various sections of the display, but this year I feel I've achieved something that is, for me, special. I attribute a lot of it to my switch to almost all LED lights, which along with use of CFL and LED bulbs in many of my blow molds has enabled me to decorate to my heart's content! Here're some photos: (Note, I took 3 or 4 sets of photos at various stages of completion; I have made no attempt to make them chronological, but the ones with snow on the ground are clearly the most recent set.)


This is my Nativity "set". Purists will no doubt be aghast at the mixing of various brands and sizes, but I think it works very well together. I have already been crucified for my use of a spare TPI Joseph as a shepherd, but I ask you: "Why would a carpenter be carrying a shepherd's crook?"


A Nativity closeup. The stable is a commercial one still sold by Menard's. I'm hoping it will last a few more seasons.


Directly behind the Nativity is my igloo scene; it can be seen easily as one passes my driveway. I have always adamantly opposed the blending of polar bears with penguins, as they are quite antipodal! (Look it up!) However, I hypothesize that the penguins saw an igloo on their television and have since built one of their own, despite igloos' usually being found only in the Arctic.


Another view of the igloo and its occupants.


The next part of the display, the Bear Grotto, is hard to show all at once, so here's an establishing shot, showing the Nativity, the Igloo, and finally, the Bear Grotto.


The bears here all live in Peace and Harmony, despite being many different species: polar, brown, black and Pooh bears are all represented. The penguins, though, are way across the driveway!


A different view of the Bear Grotto.


Since these shots were taken, I've found another bear to join his mates in the Bear Grotto, but cold weather and laziness have impaired my desire to get him out there.

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Next over from the Bear Grotto is Flying Santa. He is taking off from my front yard, probably headed up to my roof. He's not up there thanks to my acrophobia. I have a very short video of Flying Santa in action, but I can't figure out how to post it here. Under the reindeer and sleigh are 3 incandescent 140-light chasing sets, used to simulate the motion of the reindeer's legs and represent the flying "magic". Again, I have mixed up brands and sizes of deer, even going as far as repainting some of the antlers, so they don't all look identical. The smaller GV reindeer are in front of the larger Empire/GF reindeer.


Rudolph in the lead has, of course, been modified to accommodate a candelabra base fixture with a big red bulb. I did that many years ago when he was the front of only 5 reindeer; I figured the rearmost four represented a pair each. As Rudolph is presumably the smallest of Santa's flying herd, I'd love to modify my extra GV deer for a red nose, but I would hate to see an Empire Rudolph go to waste.


This photo shows the Flying Santa and reveals most of the front of the house and helps orient you as to where the Christmas Village, Licensed Characters, and Snowman Family are located.


Here's the Christmas Village. I've located it back toward the house so I can find it more easily if it gets covered in snow, but it can be seen between the Flying Santa and the Snowman Family as one drives by. I like that it kind of hides in the background, waiting to be discovered. I also think having it away from the street adds to the "forced perspective" of looking like the Village is off in the distance. Yes, that's a Haunted House hiding between the Church and the Schoolhouse.


This is my ever-growing snowman family. I've eliminated the non-BM snowmen for the first time because I finally have enough 'molds to fill the space.


That's a Christmas countdown sign to the left, illuminated by an LED spotlight.


Just like snowFLAKES, no two snowMEN are exactly alike. Yes, I have several repeat blow molds, but they at least have different paint schemes or other details.


I posted similar pictures of my Licensed Character area on a how-to earlier this Fall, but this is by far the best view of these suckers I've been able to capture.

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Here is the Santa's Workshop part of my display. I am constantly searching for new things for Santa's elves to be building, as well as the elves themselves.


This is a closeup of the left side of the Workshop.


I have accumulated an awful large number of Toy Soldiers for a future project. This is the first year I put some into the Workshop. As originally planned, they were supposed to be stacked in a 4/3/2/1 pyramid, but they didn't stay put very well, despite a lot of effort.


This is the right half of Santa's Workshop AFTER reconfiguring the newly-constructed Toy Soldiers. I like the look of the pile better, and it was easier to illuminate, too. The rubber duckie family is new, too. Last year I just had the largest one which is DEFINITELY a blowmold; I only added a hole for a C7. The others are bathtub toys that have had a single minilight shoved up each duck's cloaca.


The last part of the display is my Lovers' Lane. It is also set back away from the street, so it can be seen between Santa's Workshop and the edge of our property. Children who spot it are rewarded with seeing Mickey, Minnie, and Mrs. S!

There are other blowmolds hidden about the front yard, but they are harder to represent photographically in any meaningful way. As I said before, most of the lights themselves are LEDs; I reluctantly used multis left over from an unsuccessful bulb swap experiment as "background" color, while single-color light strings were used more as foreground elements. I'm really happy with my results this year, and I hope you enjoy the photos. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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Guest A.F.NUT

Well I really enjoyed my tour! Im not sue what I like the most? Santas workshop is great with the toys, never would have thought of the pile of soldiers being made and the ducks! Like that too! The nativity looks great too. I have a hard time mixing sets but admire those who can. I always thought the TPI Joseph colud be a shepherd and I think it works perfect! I can tell your into the details and it shows! That's what makes it so nice. Looks wonderful! Tom

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Well, Gregg, I've heard that, too. If I make an exception for Jesus, then obviously Mary and Joseph can't go out until Christmas Eve, as presumably they arrived hours, not days, before Christ's birth. Likewise, the shepherds didn't arrive until they were summoned by the angels to see the newborn King, so they can't go out until Boxing Day. Similarly, the Three Kings probably left weeks or months in advance when they saw the Star arise in the East and didn't arrive until the Epiphany, so they can't be displayed until January 6. Did the Star start standing over Bethlehem before, during or after Jesus' birth? And the angels? Were they there the whole time, or were they out doing what angels do? And the drummer boy? He's not even in the Bible! Lessee, that leaves a stable, an empty manger, animals (but not sheep, who likely travelled with the shepherds), maybe the Star, and some angels flitting back and forth. Sounds like a pretty boring display to me. Did I at least get Mary and Joseph on the "correct" sides? (Kidding because I am quite sure it doesn't matter whether Mary or Joseph is at the right.) Maybe I should have Jesus facing straight out? Sorry, Gregg, the more I write the more I realize I'm sounding sarcastic when I don't mean to. Suffice to say, this is my "artistic" interpretation of scripture, and is merely meant to suggest a moment in time celebrating the birth and early life of our lord and saviour.

On a more practical note, I don't have the time or inclination to put Jesus outside at midnight on Christmas Eve or whatever the appointed time is supposed to be. I had seriously considered (very briefly) having the wisemen travel slowly across the lawn to their final place by the stable on January 6. I hope you'll forgive me for not following through on that one.

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I LOVE the nativity that is really neat it looks like a normal indoor nativity with all kinds of shepherds i love it! i cant say enough.. and the little village is soooo neat i wish they made little houses so you could make a town like that. i wanted to that but the school house was just so darn big and i got a better mold trading it anyway :P very very very nice display im jealous :P

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Guest A.F.NUT

I always thought it would be nice to wait and put Jesus in the manger on Christmas eve, but my thought is, The way he is so overlooked by all the commercialism anymore. I think it's important he be there through the entire season to remind everyone of why we do all of this. This is why my Nativity is always front and center of my display and the fun stuff is kept away from the scene. Tom

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Dr hoyt looks good as far as the nativity goes the only thing i see wrong is Jesus he should not be put out till christmas day.It is something i read last yr .As he was not born till christmas day as we celibrate it


That is a Catholic/Orthodox tradition that is more for Liturgical purposes (in Church) than it is for display purposes, although some of the faithful do the same in their home Nativity sets. I'm Catholic, but I don't tend to practice that tradition because having the Christ Child in the Nativity centers focus back to the true Reason For The Season.

That being said, I'm not going go out into the snow after Midnight Mass to install the Baby Jesus into the display and have to dig through all the snow to plug him in.

BTW, great display! Love that old Beco Nativity!

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Guest Matilda

WOW! It's terrific! Thank you for the wonderful tour... That was fun! :D So much detail and thought about the staging of the molds! There is something so right about massing the snowmen... It just makes you laugh out loud when you see them... feels good. I really like the Christmas Village theme... very clever (and I don't see a 'haunted' house... I only see a glimpse of a stately Victorian Mansion in that Christmas scene ;)). Oh... and a 'Lover's Lane' and a 'Bear Grotto'... I love all the individual scenes.

Thanks a million for sharing with us. Your hard work and delightful witty sense of humor are evident in your display... Congratulations... very well done! :)

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Guest A.F.NUT

I got to thinking on that haunted house, with a little creativity that could be converted to a really neat Christmas village house! Cut out the halloween things in the windows put in clear plastic mabye some wreaths on them, some Christmas colors on it. A lot of possibilities there. And I know just the right person that is great at conversions! Tom

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I have seen this display (several times already) in person. The pictures really don't capture just how wonderful it really is. I have sat in my car, just looking and smiling, for 15 minutes at a stretch..and I will go back again I'm sure. Hoyt, you did a fantastic job, I really love it. The PTV area is an absolute delight, the tv conversion is just a riot.

Mixing up the reindeer, good for you! I always did until this year too. :D

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Thanks. I regret to announce that two of my camels were taken overnight. I called the police and they took a little information and drove away. I TOTALLY expected a 24 hour a day police presence with helicopters and dogs and shovels and rakes and implements of destruction. And a full-on CSI-style investigation with 27 8x10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one 'splaining what each one was. I guess a police report alone will have to suffice.:(:mad::eek:

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I am enthralled with your display.

So many details to look at. Of course the snowman group put a smile on my face, as well as the line-up of rubber ducks. The lights under the reindeer are a nice touch. It's ALL spectacular. Each vignette is so well thought out and organized. Pure delight. Thanks for sharing.

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Guest Christmas Is 4 Me

Absolutely beautiful display and a great job arranging your display.:D I am sorry to hear about your nativity camels disappearing. I understand how you feel!! The cops are useless in matters like this. The cops in my area did nothing (take a police report--Big Deal--never did get Tigger back.:eek:) when my Santa's best Tigger was stolen several years ago. :mad::eek: I am new to pc however not new to decorating.

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