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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.
donbaldi

All I Can Say Is Wow.

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Hello all -

Really, all I can say is wow. i joined up around the holidays, but with the madness and mayhem I didn't have time to really look around. Now that the holidays are over and things are returning to normal, I have taken the past few weeks and looked around at the many different topics and ideas that are located around this site. I have always been a Christmas light fanatic, and have dreamed for years about animating my display and really going over the top. This year, time and wallet willing, will be my first attempt at going "really big" - though my idea of big I think pales in comparison to same of the photos and shows that I have seen here. I live in South Jersey, am 34 years old, recently purchased my own home (and yes, one of the main criteria for buying a home is its 'Christmas light potential') and am really excited and looking forward to the upcoming season. I had no idea what was possible with some of the software that is out there.

Just to give a little more info, I think I am going to go with a light-o-rama 16 or 32 channel system to start with. I have seen the PlanetChristmas system on L-O-R and am wondering if that is expandable to 32? I will also do a little more research on this as I have just found this product through this site. I would one day really like to get into sequencing but I think for the first year I will leave it up to the pros while I get my feet wet. There are some 'non main-stream' Christmas Carols that I enjoy very much and think would look wonderful in lights. I don't think starting with 32 channels is too much, do you? I don't know if I'll ever get into the dozens or even hundreds of channels I have seen on here, but who knows?..... I wanted to do a mega tree and arches, but again I think my first year I am going to try to build just a couple, maybe three arches and go from there. I love the idea of the mini-trees, can you guys give me ideas of what sizes you use? I saw in one topic there was an ebay listing for 4' trees, that seems like a decent size, I was thinking of getting four or eight (single color only probably) and incorporate them into my show as well.

I have always had a passion for lights, since before I can remember. Finding this site and all the great people on here has really enhanced this passion (for better or for worse!). Just wanted to say thanks in advance for all the ideas and support that I am sure I will gather from here (and a big thanks for all the ideas and suggestions i have gotten just from reading the current posts!)

So I'll do my best at not repeating questions too much, and try to read more (as I have gone through a lot here, but there is still much knowledge to be gained) and do my best to help out in any small way I can. I did have one quick question regarding the use of music - as long as I bought the CD, I can use this in a show - is that correct?

Thanks again for a terrific site and it definitely makes me feel better knowing that there are others out there who enjoy this is much as I do.

Don

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Hello all -

Really, all I can say is wow. i joined up around the holidays, but with the madness and mayhem I didn't have time to really look around. Now that the holidays are over and things are returning to normal, I have taken the past few weeks and looked around at the many different topics and ideas that are located around this site. I have always been a Christmas light fanatic, and have dreamed for years about animating my display and really going over the top. This year, time and wallet willing, will be my first attempt at going "really big" - though my idea of big I think pales in comparison to same of the photos and shows that I have seen here. I live in South Jersey, am 34 years old, recently purchased my own home (and yes, one of the main criteria for buying a home is its 'Christmas light potential') and am really excited and looking forward to the upcoming season. I had no idea what was possible with some of the software that is out there.

Just to give a little more info, I think I am going to go with a light-o-rama 16 or 32 channel system to start with. I have seen the PlanetChristmas system on L-O-R and am wondering if that is expandable to 32? I will also do a little more research on this as I have just found this product through this site. I would one day really like to get into sequencing but I think for the first year I will leave it up to the pros while I get my feet wet. There are some 'non main-stream' Christmas Carols that I enjoy very much and think would look wonderful in lights. I don't think starting with 32 channels is too much, do you? I don't know if I'll ever get into the dozens or even hundreds of channels I have seen on here, but who knows?..... I wanted to do a mega tree and arches, but again I think my first year I am going to try to build just a couple, maybe three arches and go from there. I love the idea of the mini-trees, can you guys give me ideas of what sizes you use? I saw in one topic there was an ebay listing for 4' trees, that seems like a decent size, I was thinking of getting four or eight (single color only probably) and incorporate them into my show as well.

I have always had a passion for lights, since before I can remember. Finding this site and all the great people on here has really enhanced this passion (for better or for worse!). Just wanted to say thanks in advance for all the ideas and support that I am sure I will gather from here (and a big thanks for all the ideas and suggestions i have gotten just from reading the current posts!)

So I'll do my best at not repeating questions too much, and try to read more (as I have gone through a lot here, but there is still much knowledge to be gained) and do my best to help out in any small way I can. I did have one quick question regarding the use of music - as long as I bought the CD, I can use this in a show - is that correct?

Thanks again for a terrific site and it definitely makes me feel better knowing that there are others out there who enjoy this is much as I do.

Don

Welcome Don!

Welcome to the insanity.

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Yeah Don, I would suggest before you pay someone to sequence for you, give it a shot.

I joined in December of 2010 and started with the expectations of going huge --- 16 to 32 channels... LOL. I thought it was huge as well but like you, I have seen some of the displays on here and now know even my current plans of 64 channels plus 2 fire-fly's is small in the big picture. However I started by downloading the demo version of LOR. It allowed me to get a feel for the software. By doing that I was able to program my first song - 16hrs later... LOL.

However after that I bought the software, with buying it you get the beat wizard. This option along with my experiences learned in the first song I was able to program my second song in under 6hrs. And since then I am now working on song 10 and 11 with an average of 4-6hrs each song. I'm also programming 64 channels with an aditional 96 channels of firelfly. So a little bit more than 16 or 32 channels. I say give it a try. You will find it's very rewarding. And because you are starting so early you can just pick away at it all year and I bet by winter next year you will have all your songs ready to go.

The other thing that I noticed made a big difference was once I bought my equipment. At that point all my questions about how it worked went away. The LOR system truly is a plug and play set-up. Very easy to use.

One thing I would recomend that I didn't do is make your plan ahead of time and stick to it. I changed mine a couple times after several hours of programming. And that was a pain doing channel configs after programing was complete and adding pieces and deleting pieces in a finished sequence.

Also the second recomendation is to choose your eye catcher display items and do enough of them. I thought 3 mini trees would be enough but after programming I've expanded to 6. I also thought a 3 channel mega tree would be enough but I've changed it to an 8 channel per color. I also added arches after the fact. I had to add controllers to do this so it was a fair bit of work to integrate into my sequences. One of the mistakes I also made was wasting channels on Non Eye catcher items like 2 channels on each bush in my yard even though they are all in the one corner and might as well be one bush. Or 3 colors on stuff like the front door but only a 2 color mega tree. So when you make your plan keep in mind that the show stoppers are the big things light Mega Trees - Tree Toppers , Arches, Mini Trees. And when working with limited channels you need to choose which parts of your display are most important to what you are trying to do.

You mentioned wanting to do 3 arches and a Mega Tree with possible mini trees. So for the average channel counts for those your looking at 8 channels per arch (Some do 4 channels per arch), 8 Channels per color on your mega tree most are at least 2 colors and 1 channel for each color of your tree topper, mini trees just depend on the # of mini trees and colors you use. I would suggest no less then 5 but more like 6 or more, and 2 color. So that is 32 to 64 channels, plus your house... so roofline, windows, doors, yard trees, blowmolds, wireframes. The number will climb fast. If your looking to go over the top then your probably thinking like I was and to make that happen It took me 64 channels.

Hope this all makes sense and saves you some of the headaches I encountered.

And welcome to the fun.

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Welcome.

32 is probably a manageable number of channels. remember that sequencing will take 3 times longer than your estimate if you want to keep it tight. Also, be sure to choose songs that you will be able to listen to hundreds of times without getting sick of them because you will listen to them hundreds of times.

And most important, start early and pace yourself so you don't get into a time crunch in November. This is supposed to be fun, keep it that way.

Enjoy and good luck.

Mickey

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Also, be sure to choose songs that you will be able to listen to hundreds of times without getting sick of them because you will listen to them hundreds of times.

Good Point!

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Extension cords! You need lots!

Arches will take around 7 channels each so 2 will take a 16 channel controller.

I hope to add 4 aches if I can get the lights.

I used upside down tomatoe cages for my mini trees 6 are 2 channel for each tree 12 channels and another 6 are 2 colour but only 4 channel, 3 on one side of the yard is one channel for each colour.

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WELCOME TO PC!!!!!!

This is my first year doing animation and after going through this site for a year I feel like an expert, but I know there are another 6 million things to lear...good luck and feel free to ask me anything...if I cannot provide you with the info I will point you in the direction of the person that can help!!!

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Welcome to PC, Don!

DO NOT, under any circumstances, underestimate your ability to sequence! Sure there is a little learning curve, but you should catch on pretty quick! My first song took me 10 hours to sequence, but that's only because I'm the kind of person that HAS to have the timing RIGHT ON. So, don't get discouraged if it takes you longer than 4-6 hours for your first song. That just means you want it to be REALLY good! Also, it helps to listen CLOSELY to the music and CHOREOGRAPH your lights to the music! Make the lights dance to the FEEL of the song, not just blink to the beat or every word/melody. Look up Richard Holdman's light display to get what I'm referring to. Or you can look at my videos as well (the link is in my signature at the bottom).

Good luck and have fun! We are all here to help! The forum is a FANTASTIC resource of info!

Edited by disney-fan-reborn

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Don,

Welcome. You can do like I do. I make a trip every other week (750 miles round trip) I have my MP3 player with me and plug it into the radio and listen to Christmas Music every trip and visualize how I want it sequenced. I get that picture in my head and go to work on the sequence. I have several wire frames to build, 12 boards to solder, and a bunch of mini trees to build. I did buy 25 or so tomato cages at a store last fall when they closed them out for 50 cents each so at least I have those ready to go.

One thing to remember is get on here or the LOR forum and ask questions. There is not a stupid question that you can ask. I am sure if there was I have asked it. People will help you or point you in the right direction. When you find a link that is of help bookmark it for future reference. Most important is have fun and enjoy the insanity of this hobby or as my wife says obsession.

Terry

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I would suggest downloading the LOR software and start playing with it ASAP. Find a free sequence, load it up, study it to see how it plays out, and start your own sequence. The software intimidated me at first, and now two months later I am loving it.

As suggested, come up with a good plan as to what you want to do, and STICK with it. I have changed mine twice, went from 32 to 80 channels, and re-did my first 6 sequences.

Another tip: If you use Pandora, make a "station" with your favorite Christmas song, and listen to it while working on the computer, I have found a dozen songs(Buy them on Amazon) I now want to put in the show.

Good luck and Welcome. :)

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Welcome to PC Don.I was a newbie last year and had 208 channels and had never sequenced before that.There is a sequencing tips thread on the LOR forums that will show you some tips.Have fun with it.

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Hello all -

Really, all I can say is wow. i joined up around the holidays, but with the madness and mayhem I didn't have time to really look around. Now that the holidays are over and things are returning to normal, I have taken the past few weeks and looked around at the many different topics and ideas that are located around this site. I have always been a Christmas light fanatic, and have dreamed for years about animating my display and really going over the top. This year, time and wallet willing, will be my first attempt at going "really big" - though my idea of big I think pales in comparison to same of the photos and shows that I have seen here. I live in South Jersey, am 34 years old, recently purchased my own home (and yes, one of the main criteria for buying a home is its 'Christmas light potential') and am really excited and looking forward to the upcoming season. I had no idea what was possible with some of the software that is out there.

Just to give a little more info, I think I am going to go with a light-o-rama 16 or 32 channel system to start with. I have seen the PlanetChristmas system on L-O-R and am wondering if that is expandable to 32? I will also do a little more research on this as I have just found this product through this site. I would one day really like to get into sequencing but I think for the first year I will leave it up to the pros while I get my feet wet. There are some 'non main-stream' Christmas Carols that I enjoy very much and think would look wonderful in lights. I don't think starting with 32 channels is too much, do you? I don't know if I'll ever get into the dozens or even hundreds of channels I have seen on here, but who knows?..... I wanted to do a mega tree and arches, but again I think my first year I am going to try to build just a couple, maybe three arches and go from there. I love the idea of the mini-trees, can you guys give me ideas of what sizes you use? I saw in one topic there was an ebay listing for 4' trees, that seems like a decent size, I was thinking of getting four or eight (single color only probably) and incorporate them into my show as well.

I have always had a passion for lights, since before I can remember. Finding this site and all the great people on here has really enhanced this passion (for better or for worse!). Just wanted to say thanks in advance for all the ideas and support that I am sure I will gather from here (and a big thanks for all the ideas and suggestions i have gotten just from reading the current posts!)

So I'll do my best at not repeating questions too much, and try to read more (as I have gone through a lot here, but there is still much knowledge to be gained) and do my best to help out in any small way I can. I did have one quick question regarding the use of music - as long as I bought the CD, I can use this in a show - is that correct?

Thanks again for a terrific site and it definitely makes me feel better knowing that there are others out there who enjoy this is much as I do.

Don

Why do people quote the whole message? Thats just stupid! LOL!

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Welcome to PC! Starting with 16-32 channels is a good decision. For the most part, but not always, folks who start with 100's of channels have them for sale here in a year or two. The LOR software is easy to learn, it's just different, and you should be able to program your own stuff. As your skills increase and you add elements to your display, you will likely feel the need to go back and re-do your original sequences, even if you keep the same songs. So, consider just doing a few songs this year, making your sequences as tight as you can, and then being among the first to post here in October or November that you are done and enjoying your show, while some others are in a panic. :D

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I gotta say that I am in 100% agreement with 'BaldEagleChristmas'. You can do so much with 16 or 32 channels to make the sequences for 3 or 4 songs completely unique.

Starting small and building year after year gives you a chance to learn what elements you like and don't, as well as tips and tricks for the software, wiring, and all of the aspects of this hobby that make it fun, interesting and never ending learning experience.

I had 32 channels last year. Looking back, that was the right number. This year I am planning 64 and building up a 17' megatree.

The software is easy to learn and you will be happy you did it yourself. Your friends and neighbors will be amazed!

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