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  • 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.
CraigH

Trying not to feel disappointed

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The first year display is up and running with my 32 channels. Overall, I like it, learned a ton (emphasis on TON), and am pleased with the final result. However, it is hard not to feel like it pales in comparison (Brad Boyink and his display is about 50 miles away only).

Has everyone else been there? You have to start somewhere and to stay on budget, there has to be limits. Mine is 1 or 2 controllers each year along with maybe 6,000 LED lights. So you can only do so much a year, right?

I keep telling myself, the first year is for learning, you have to start somewhere and by keeping it smaller, you can build and add something new each year so it keeps getting different within a reasonable size. I also keep trying to remind myself that I had fun all year working on it and that is more of a reward than anything else.

Is this how everyone feels their first year or two?

BTW: Videos are linked here, off my main page.

http://webpages.charter.net/craigs_christmas/2010%20Videos.html

or directly:

http://www.vimeo.com/17202442

http://www.vimeo.com/17202550

http://www.vimeo.com/17203843

http://www.vimeo.com/17202937

Just getting a reality check. Thanks.

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Dude,

Your display is beautiful. I see lots of videos of houses that have more lights and controllers, but they are not as tastefully done as yours. I would much rather watch a sequence done on a display like yours rather than some of the bigger ones that look like a hodgepodge of Christmas images. More isn't always better. (Take cheesecake, for example. One piece - good. Five pieces - bad.)

Don't be disappointed at all; your display is awesome even if you don't add another thing. I'm in my second year of animation and here's what I do: Think of your display as a painting. No one else has what you have so there's no comparison to be made.

Have a great year and keep up the great work.

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I thought your videos are very good. I too feel your pain as this is my first year as well and I have only 16 channels but then I tell my self thats not why we put lights up right. We do it cause we love the season. If I make one persons Christmas brighter (no pun intended) It's worth it........

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We have a saying around here on PlanetChristmas..crawl, walk, then run. I think you did an outstanding job for your first year! Your display looks as good, or better, than some I've seen done by people who have been using LOR for years. I'm sure next year as your confidence builds, you'll be feeling even better than you do now. You should take a bow, your display is beautifully done, give yourself a pat on the back and have an Egg Nog (the grown up kind) :)

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Great job on your display!

Don't get discouraged by others....

There is and always will be someone who has a lot more time, and money to throw at their hobby. That's great for them and you really need to go see these displays because they are incredible motivators. However, your display no matter how big it is great as well. You should go out and talk to the families and kids that see your display. Then hear what they have to say!! That will be your reward if you think your display is not as good as you think....

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wow! everyone pretty much said it,

Your display is tight like a tiger, Like someone else said, I would rather look at a smaller well designed display then a mesh of a bunch lights. but ehn again...My favorite is hearing the kids all excited outside so loud I can hear them in the house. Makes me smile and remember why we do this...

so no matter how it loooks, your bound to raise the kind of attention needed from the ones who really matter.

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Neat, I see NOTHING wrong or inadequate about your display. I daresay you've just about reached the "balance point" - where there is TOO much going on. Its not about the quantity of lights/channels; but rather how to "tastefully" maximize the amount of space you have without making it look like a Used Car Lot for Christmas decorations.

Keep up the great work!

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how to "tastefully" maximize the amount of space you have without making it look like a Used Car Lot for Christmas decorations.

Keep up the great work!

So well said!

I love Christmas lights! But so often I see Homes that look like they were 'bringing the lights out of the attic' Tripped and fell....then just plugged them in and said okay....the lights are up!

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Thank you one and all - I needed that!

You are right that the key to success is being able to answer yes to any or all of the following:

- Did you have fun getting things ready, building, setting up and figuring things out?

- Did it make someone happy when they saw it?

- Is it your best work?

I can answer yes to all three! I can't wait for next year! Thanks again for the very flattering comments! I love PC and you all!

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I feel the same way you do. You have done a great job. This is my first year and I have 48 channels. My problem is I am going all LED and it has been super expensive. I could have triple the amount of lights, if not more, than I do now if I wouldn't of chosen all LED lights. On the positive note, I have some bright lights :).

I wish I could get more, but I am like you and there has to be a spending limit. I was excitied about mine at first, but now that it is up I feel different. I am kinda bummed out because I want more.

I just wanted to share my experience so you wouldn't feel along. I'm right there right you :).

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This is my first year, and I think the same thing that I have to start somewhere. My display started this past Friday night and I have been shocked at the people that are already stopping and watching it. I'm running 32 channels with approximately 6000 lights, mostly LED, and being the first year, I spent alot on upgrading the electrical system. The neighbors love it and I'm really pleased at the way it turned out. I found several glitches the first night, but I corrected them and everything is running good. I just have to get a good camera to record and then upload them. Best of luck to all the Newbies like me. Its one big learning experience and one that I have truly enjoyed thanks to everyone's help on this website.

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Your display looks great! I have been trying to learn about how to put these lights up for about four years. I do this on a tight budget s I am now finishing graduate school and my wife is just finishing college. I really do think that quality can be a greater factor than qualtity. I use about two thousand mini-lights, about three hundred C9s, about 100 C7s, three great infaltables, and a few small blow bolds. Care and planning goes into every bulb. I use no LEDS. I use at least ten different colors of C9s to really have a variety. I use some antique lights mixed with mostly modern. It is not the biggest display in Green Bay, but I think it looks alot better than as someone put it, just taking the lights out and throwing them up. The best compliment I could get was today. I went to my daughters class today- she is in Kingergarden. One of her classmates told me that he loved my Christmas lights! That to me means more than somebody else who does lights telling me its good. Just think of all of the happiness that your display gives to people, especially people who cannot afford to travel fifty miles to see that huge display you mentioned.

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Your display looks fantastic.

I couldn't get my display up this year due to several problems and that has me bummed out big time.

I started out running instead of walking and went full blown with over 80 channels and 15,000 LEDs my first year. Then had 220 channels and over 21,000 LEDs last year.

It really was tough getting it all together and going and I really need to refine things now and tighten up my sequences and take a closer look at my setup and yard to make things flow better through the display.

You are on the right course and keep going the way you are and things will go great for you. Do a little more each year and take the time to think it out and work towards a basic goal for your display. You'll be happy if you do.

Have a Merry Christmas 2010.

Bill

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