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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.
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  • 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.
jason101

any hammers out there??

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was wondering if it was too early to question about the 010 ham this year, i learned alot and saw alot of neat things was wondering if jim,tyson and tim was in for this year on getting the ham going again,, if so count me in thanks jason and teresa

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I was unable to make it to HAM Plus this last year (best friend got married the same day and I was IN the wedding) and I would love to see it happen again. I can only imagine the amount of time and planning that must go into it and would like to offer to help in any way I can to see it happen again. I'm still trying to get to know everyone and want to throw out my services if they can be of any advantage!

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So what about a location? Was KC good enough that we want to shoot for that again? Could we get a few more people if we moved it North, South< etc.? Any ideas anyone?

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My gosh Jason, Jan 2 and you're posting about a 2nd HAM-PLUS. That's quite a compliment. Jim Wright brought up that subject to Tyson and me today, so we're in the preliminary stages of thinking it through.

One thing I would like to see is more "outside" participation with other presenters than just the three of us, plus the Monkhouses. So do we have any volunteers that would like to present a topic to the attendees?

And when would be a good time to hold this event? Last year it was August 9 because of the last minute cancellation of PLUS2009. But this year we've got more breathing room and can pick a time that is most available to the biggest number of people. Maybe we'll do a poll to see what people think.

So Jason, thanks for asking, and stay tuned.

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tim i had a good time at the last one, that is why i drove over 300 miles to come to it,you all had good presentations and i learned alot from it, i am more interested this year in making some kind of coroplast character like one similiar to yours you showed us , the big add on this year is a snowman the size of 14' tall he is a wireframe and valerie from christmas leds has the figures to make him led, we are thinking about making his bottom snowball and the middle snowball chase like a mega tree, we are having some custom led strings made up to do that.. if i get it back in time i might bring a sample of him with me to the ham.. let me know on what you all are thinking count me in for the long haul thanks jason..

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I am in again this year...it was really great last year thanks to all the support from you all and our vendors! Especially for our short time and being the first year....really fantastic!

As far as a time, I think late August or early September, but I'm open for suggestions too.

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Hi all,

Not real sure what the ham is but it sounds like a great place to learn some new things. I think I would be interested in coming too. I'm new to this but eager to learn & grow my display larger each year.

Thanks, Dave

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Hi all,

Not real sure what the ham is but it sounds like a great place to learn some new things. I think I would be interested in coming too. I'm new to this but eager to learn & grow my display larger each year.

Thanks, Dave

Dave- First of all, welcome! You've come to the right place, on PlanetChristmas, to help out with a display of any size! HAM-PLUS is is just a "local hands-on" extension of PlanetChristmas that Tim Dorr, myself and Jim Wright started last year. You can find out a little more on the website here: http://hamplus.org/

I will be posting a Poll soon to try and narrow down a date that will work best for people and we'll go from there! :-)

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I have a suggestion, but it might not be practicle and seeing how I am not doing the work, please do not be offended by the suggestion. I think that there are a few of us who would love to kill two birds with one stone. So, my suggestion of date would be with in two weeks after Paul at CDI receives the "pre order LEDs in, around March I think it is. Just a suggestion, but not to fret over it if it does now align with what is possible

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I agree. It would be nice if we knew when the lights would be in. That would be a great time to pick them up and have the meeting. Plus with what I save on shipping I could buy more lights!

Dave

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tim i had a good time at the last one, that is why i drove over 300 miles to come to it

Well Jason, it is people like you that made the event successful from our (Tyson, Jim and me) perspective. But you really took a flyer by having faith in us, like so many others did that drove long distances. We had no track record to base your decision on, so we appreciate your participation. Also much appreciate you hauling in one of the door prizes.

Look forward to your attendance this year.

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I have a suggestion, but it might not be practicle and seeing how I am not doing the work, please do not be offended by the suggestion. I think that there are a few of us who would love to kill two birds with one stone. So, my suggestion of date would be with in two weeks after Paul at CDI receives the "pre order LEDs in, around March I think it is. Just a suggestion, but not to fret over it if it does now align with what is possible

All suggestions are welcomed. An event like this isn't about those who pull things together up front, but for those like you who attend and take part in the event.

Now I haven't talked with Tyson or Jim about your suggestion, but first you are making the assumption that the lights you buy from Paul will be available in March, even though that is what we are lead to believe. Things happen along the way which are completely out of Paul's control.

But even bigger than that is that March is right around the corner and pulling off an event like HAM-PLUS takes many hours on the front end to organize. Also we hope to get more presenters this year, and those people need time to get their presentation ready.

So from my perspective, it would be difficult at best to pull everything together for HAM-PLUS in 8 weeks. And we want to have the event during a time when we can get the highest participation.

That all said, it doesn't mean that you still can't pick up your lights later down the road, unless you've got a big project that needs attention earlier. And keep the suggestions coming. Look forward to seeing you again this year Paul.

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I agree. It would be nice if we knew when the lights would be in. That would be a great time to pick them up and have the meeting. Plus with what I save on shipping I could buy more lights!

Dave

Dave welcome to PC and I hope you are able to attend this year's HAM-PLUS. We had a super time last year, and know you'll learn a lot from those in attendance.

Just a word of caution is that even though you will not pay shipping charges if you pick your lights up at Paul's warehouse, you will have to pay sales taxes. So when you're calculating how many more lights you can buy, factor in the sales taxes so there are no surprises when you show up at Paul's door.

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So is there anyone within reasonable driving distance of KC that would be willing to help out with the planning and organizing of this years HAM-PLUS? Tim, myself and Jim will be involved, but Tim has several events that also need his attention so he'll be unable to put as much time in as he did last year....and let me tell ya, he did a huge portion the work last year (and that's outside of all but 3 of the presentations! HA!)

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I'm in and willing to help. Shoot me a PM or e-mail and we can work out details. BTW, When I placed my Pre-Order with CDI, they said lights were expected in April or May. I was thinking like the second or third week of June would be best. If Paul is willing to hold the shipments for a couple of weeks, folks could still pick them up when they come in June. Just an Idea.

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Hey Chris-

We are in the planning stages of coming up with a short list of date possibilities for the 2010 HAM-PLUS. Be on the lookout for a Poll probably later today or Monday.

Very glad you "found" us and we look forward to seeing and sharing all your experiences. You've got an aweful lot of channels, where've you been all this time?! HAHAA j/k If you want me to add you to our map (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=115745397958919521187.0004610943562c5d8373f) send me your info (address, name of display, URL, photo).

hello !!!

we would like to attend, never been to one, planning to attend the one in st louis to, can someone let us know when you are having this!!!

thanks chris

independencebulldogs

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I'll second what Tyson said. Sorry we missed you last year, but glad you are planning on attending HAM-PLUS this year. And since you've been a PC user since 2007, and with the number of LOR channels you use, I'm sure you can add a lot of information to the discussion. Maybe even be a presenter.

So stayed tuned for the poll Tyson is putting together so we can pin down a date.

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hello tim and tyson

I have been around since 2007, as far as programing i use lyman rate at xtremedisplays,and help from holidaytehnoligies drew hickman, this is only my second year animated, 1 st year light rama, went from 48 to 128 in 2009 , 12 driveway arches 2 color , 20 ft mega tree, 16 trees and 2 color led icicle,and tons more buy no means am i a genius, i have learned everything threw PLANET CHRISTMAS, but would love to get to know all my planet christmas neighbors, and share ideas and possibly learn more!!! but i know if i learn more , i will spend more money, that worries me, i am not a smart computer user so i dont post much, cant even get my 2009 video on the computer, to show you all my videos, made our local news stations twice this year, as far as 500 + channels thats what i am projecting in 2010, or 100 percent cosmic ribbons, so thanks for the info and i will look forward to meeting you , and hopefully share some of my ideas and , learn from you all

thanks chris

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as far as 500 + channels thats what i am projecting in 2010, or 100 percent cosmic ribbons,

thanks chris

100% CCR is challenging. Tyson used three of them in his display last year, very effectively. I'm hoping we have a presentation on the care and feeding of the CCR. And if Bob-O comes over from St. Louis, he can tell us what he learned in using them in his display.

Hope to see your display added to Tyson's map of area displays, and look forward to meeting you at the HAM-PLUS. You can see some pictures from last year's event by clicking on the link below, as well as see the door prizes that several vendors generously contributed.

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