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  • 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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where to find "dolls" to animate

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I plan on animating some figures for my display next year (as you have probably seen in previous posts), but now I am curious where I can find dolls to use as elves. I was thinking of looking on ebay for old dolls or My Buddies, or something like that that I can use, but am not having a ton of luck (at least at a reasonable cost). I plan on cutting into them to give them arm joints, so they don't need to move naturally, but what do other people use? I am thinking I probably need something in the 24"-36" tall range.



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Look for Christmas dressed dolls, usually about 2 or 2-1/2 feet tall. they should be on sale right now. Then you can dress differently if you want.

Be sure they are vinyl so you can cut them. also, join Freecycle in your area (freecycle.org) and after you have offered something (the rule) then you can ask for something. ask for walking dolls or dolls of whatever height you want. you may not find any right now but keep asking every month, someone will eventually reply. also keep an eye out for estate sales and yard sales.

Too bad you didn't ask this back in August, I could have sent you more than you could use. but those are all gone now.

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Thanks Darlene, I haven't seen any in the store, but I will keep an eye out. The freecycle tip is a good one, because I don't mind if they aren't in Christmas clothes (that was low on my priority list), but that would be a plus if I found one. I will keep looking around.


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Thrift shops are a great idea! When my mom passed, we gave away most of her stuff to Goodwill, AmVets and freecycle. Not everyone knows about freecycle, so they just take stuff to Goodwill. Dolls there will be very cheap!

Edited by Darlene Pino

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