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Did you know?
  • 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.
Leroy

Lots to Learn

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Friends:

The more I read here the more overwhelmed I feel. I have so much to learn.

You folks have your own language. How do you use a strobe in a show? What is a 'minute tree?' My list goes on and on.

How can I learn all this stuff? The nearest user I can find from our state group is do miles away. I don't see myself driving there to meet them.

Please offer suggestions about how to learn all this stuff.

Thanks

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Don't worry, you have lots of time to learn as you go.

If you do as iresq suggests, it will all be obtained in time.

It will require a level of involvement and study on your part.

The terms are always evolving and you don't have to know them all either.

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Guest showtime

Time, search, research, time, reading, time, ask questions, study, wash, rinse, repeat.

Lol I agree I myself will be trying to go to LOR this year. Now that I can spend more time here learning from everybody!:)

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See the thread for minute trees:

http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php?t=25769&highlight=minute+trees

re: running strobes

The strobes usually are plugged into C9 strings, rather that the traditional C9 bulbs (usually not mixed). You can use store bought C9 strings or make custom C9 strings yourself, with different spacing, to accomplish the effect you want.

A C9 string can be spliced to contain anywhere between 1 and ??? bulbs (maybe 110-117, since they are power hogs and usually 7.5 watts each).

I think for strobes, you would have between 1 and 25 on a C9 string, typically, since they can surge to higher power use at times in a somewhat random way.

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Guest Lightzilla

Watch videos of peoples display, watch how to videos, read the threads that interest you the most, and learn. All the questions you asked and more are found in many threads.

And of course any other suggestions others have offered or will offer.

Try to use your own creativity.

I personally am dropping my two mini mega trees (11ft tall) from the show next year and I am going with 1 or 2 "Marty Slack" Fans 32 channels each fan two colours. The snow dictated to me this past Christmas season that that would be a wise decision.

My mini mega trees go on the front deck and there is about 30 inches of snow on the deck and no where to move the snow. So the Fan idea or the Fire stick idea will solve that issue and then I can remove snow.

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I think of it this way.

Last year I put up a bunch of white mini-lights and I discovered PC. I read a bit and leraned a bit.

This year I used C9s for the first time. Reading here, putting them on the roof, not having enough extension cords, blowing fuses, I learned a alittle more this year. I also started with a few inflatables this year.

This coming year, I am going to read more, learn a bit more. Next year, my display will be better, bigger, and brighter.

I want to learn at this point because frankly, I cannot afford a mega display right now as I am finishing my PhD and my wife almost has her teaching degree. In a few years when I can afford it, I will know what I'm doing.

Its a process.

adam

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I decided to get back into decorating two years ago after my newest wife and I bought a house. I had done a small static display at my old house 7 years earlier, but I began to think about going dynamic. I started researching how do do it in November, and quickly discovered that wasn't near enough time! Instead, I bought a Mr. Christmas on Ebay, created a 4,300 light display using the six preset channels, and used the time to learn about how to set up my display and look at other displays to play for the next year. Unless you have already bought a light controller, this may be something you should consider.

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I think of it this way.

Last year I put up a bunch of white mini-lights and I discovered PC. I read a bit and leraned a bit.

This year I used C9s for the first time. Reading here, putting them on the roof, not having enough extension cords, blowing fuses, I learned a alittle more this year. I also started with a few inflatables this year.

This coming year, I am going to read more, learn a bit more. Next year, my display will be better, bigger, and brighter.

I want to learn at this point because frankly, I cannot afford a mega display right now as I am finishing my PhD and my wife almost has her teaching degree. In a few years when I can afford it, I will know what I'm doing.

Its a process.

adam

Well put. It is a process. And a journey. Ask a lot of questions along the way.

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As always this stuff does get verrrrrrry addictive. So start small and only add a few things every year. If you see something you like write it down on a suggestion list for something to do for you display in the up coming year. That way you can have all year to plan a certain item for your display and you are not rushed at the last minute and left with something that is not what you wanted to do. Just take your time and experiment with things that you like. We all have our own opinion on what looks best. Just remember that it is YOUR DISPLAY, you cant always please everybody just make sure that what you put up pleases you.

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Friends:

The more I read here the more overwhelmed I feel. I have so much to learn.

You folks have your own language. How do you use a strobe in a show? What is a 'minute tree?' My list goes on and on.

How can I learn all this stuff? The nearest user I can find from our state group is do miles away. I don't see myself driving there to meet them.

Please offer suggestions about how to learn all this stuff.

Thanks

Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is doing a Christmas display. My advice is simple, read, read, and read some more. Start out small and decide what you liked, and didn't, in your own display this year. Your house and yard is unique to you, but you can get ideas from looking at pictures, videos, and asking questions. And most importantly, do not let yourself feel pressured or overwhelmed. This is a fun and rewarding hobby, so enjoy the ride..its the journey in large part..not just the destination.

Before you know it, you will be up and running.

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What I like best is the fact that there will always be another year to add things, change things, and build things. We plan to move in the next couple years...so NOW, when we look at houses, not only will we be looking at the house, but also how a Christmas display will look on the property!!! HA!!

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