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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.

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I remember at least a couple of people here discussing their plans to build an animated skating pond. Has

anyone succesfully completed one? What method of moving the skaters did you end up using?

Thought this might be fun to build, and I can think of a few ways to animate it, but I can also imagine a lot of possible difficulties with those methods.

Any advice would be appreciated and might prevent my 'little skaters' from flying off into the night sky.

Gary

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I think I saw that on the tv show Invasion of the Christmas lights, this weekend. If you see who did it, then you can find them and ask how they did it. It was a pretty one. Mine is not animated so I can't help you with that.

Have you done a search on this website for "skate"? That might bring up the information you want.

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Guest Scot Meyers

Im currently working on mine it has been in design and prototype testing for many years but after issues with some of my plans I plan to proceed with a basic turntable design it will be much easier to maintain and easier to store.

Edited by Scot Meyers

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Scott, I'd be interested in your turntable design when you finish. I have had similar thoughts, but no planned follow through. I have several turntables I can put to some good use.

Im currently working on mine it has been in design and prototype testing for many years but after issues with some of my plans I plan to proceed with a basic turntable design it will be much easier to maintain and easier to store.

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Guest Scot Meyers

this is nice but i want to make sure you dont see any mecanisilms thus the turntable idea.

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I really like this!  I had a skating rink using a turntable and it was a big hit, but i think this is equal or better.  Why?  Because the carousel made the "pond" turn, which brings the characters around.  Therefore it looks like a merry-go-round.  Having a stationary "pond" with moving/spinning characters is more realistic i think.

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Guest Scot Meyers

it needs to be a bit faster that a rotating stand. Although i did seriously consider that it would be extremley easy to put together is there a way to speed it up a bit?

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Gary,

 

At my other House I built a skating scene for my yard and it was a huge hit - what I did was I took 2 pieces of 1/2 plywood - cut half circles to make it a 6' circle - connected it underneth with angle iron.  I found the center and put a coupling in the center with a 1 1/2 female on it - then I bought a rotating christmas tree stand - I put the 1 1/2" pipe in it and connected it to the base.  It turned the base perfectly - then I took 1 x 2 pieces of wood and built a frame around the entire base - took chicken wire and stapled it to the frame then I took white burlap and wrapped the wire and stapled it to the frame.  This gave you the frozen pond look with a snow bank look.  Leave an opening in the back so you can get under the skating rink (you will need to get under there from time to time. Now I went to Winfield arts and bought the tall skaters pattern and cut them out of Coro Board. I mounted them on the plywood base - Coro board made them light enough for the skating area to turn.  Then I bought a snow machine and put it on a 12 foot mount above the skating rink and it snowed on the skaters while going around - this was a huge hit.  It is just anouther way of doing the skater scene. 

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