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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.
cacoulter

Time To Say Hi!

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I have been lurking around for a couple of weeks now. I guess it is time to say “Hi!”

I have seen a lot of good information on here. This could be a bad thing. I am probably biting off more than I can chew already and you folks are filling my head with even more ideas.

For the last nine years, I have been hosting a Toys for Tots toy drive. This being the tenth year, I was hoping to do something big. I am thinking about putting up a light & music display.

I can blame RedNeckChristmas for this idea (Why am I not surprised to find him here on PlanetChristmas?). I have been admiring his display for a couple of years now. Last year, I am pretty sure I could see the glow of his lights from my house. I live two miles away!

Now lets see if I can pass the pop quiz.

The question is:

Name the three most important things to remember when setting up your Christmas display.

Answer

  1. Sign up for PlanetChristmas
  2. Extension cords!
  3. Don't overload your circuits.
So, how did I do?

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I have been lurking around for a couple of weeks now. I guess it is time to say “Hi!”

I have seen a lot of good information on here. This could be a bad thing. I am probably biting off more than I can chew already and you folks are filling my head with even more ideas.

For the last nine years, I have been hosting a Toys for Tots toy drive. This being the tenth year, I was hoping to do something big. I am thinking about putting up a light & music display.

I can blame RedNeckChristmas for this idea (Why am I not surprised to find him here on PlanetChristmas?). I have been admiring his display for a couple of years now. Last year, I am pretty sure I could see the glow of his lights from my house. I live two miles away!

Now lets see if I can pass the pop quiz.

The question is:

Name the three most important things to remember when setting up your Christmas display.

Answer

  1. Sign up for PlanetChristmas
  2. Extension cords!
  3. Don't overload your circuits.
So, how did I do?

Your first post. Wow! Welcome to PC. You did a great job on the pop quiz. The only thing that I would add is start small -- maybe 16 channels -- and grow from there. Look for the LOR sale this summer. I couldn't count the number of people who have been on PC and said they are starting with a huge display -- and then it either never materializes or their controllers are for sale in a year or so. You're in IT so the programming/learing a new software should be easy for you. Just take it easy and have fun. And, again, welcome!

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4 Time ! it takes a lot of time

Sequencing

Settiing up

Trouble-shooting

Tearing down

Looking for deals

Building things

Welcome and say good bye to "Free" Time!

Edited by PaulChristmas

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Welcome!

I agree with most that you should start small. Some say 16, I stared with 40 channels. The thing that really saved me my first year was finding places online that shared sequences.

It was easier for me at the time to focus on extension cords and building the display and use a modified sequence from someone else, than it was to also do all the sequencing.

I am getting better at sequencing, but having some sequences to use that first year was a life saver!

Enjoy, Have Fun, good luck with your Toys for Tots event!

Mike.

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Welcome to PC! If you want my advice, forget the whole light display, take up a nice relaxing hobby such as knitting or bowling, and watch RedNeck's display at Christmastime. This hobby (if I dare call it a hobby) eats your bank account, your free time as you know it, and some, if not all, of your sanity. You will find yourself sequencing songs in your head at the mall, or your spouse will catch you staring off into space, dreaming of new display items. Instead of trying to raise money for a charity, just cut out the middleman and mail them a check for half your net worth.

All kidding aside, I love this and wish I got into the animated light displays earlier. Last year was my first with 48 LOR channels and 20,000 lights, and the incredible response I received was more than I ever expected. With 90 addition channels this year and roughly 50,000 more lights on order, and 35 songs already sequenced, I can not wait to run the show for the first time in 2011.

If you choose to continue in this light display endeavor, start small, buy quality lights, ask questions, watch other displays online, sequence early and back it up often, enlist setup help, buy wire, buy more wire, buy some more, oh, and up your insurance. There is always that section of tree or roofline that is a nearly impossible to get at, but just CAN NOT do without lights. I am pretty sure just about everyone at PC has stretched the safety limits when hanging lights.

Most of all, do it because you enjoy it. Don't say you haven't been warned though.

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You have fogotten the three MOST important reasons:

Have FUN

enjoy yourself

Have FUN

and of course the ONLY opinion that counts is YOURS! (although your wife MIGHT take exception to that one).

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or your spouse will catch you staring off into space, dreaming of new display items

My wife has quit asking me what I'm thinking about, it's always the same answer.

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The only thing that I would add is start small

What do you mean "start small?" That's for Rookies. Oh wait...

Welcome and say good bye to "Free" Time!

I said goodbye to that when I bought a house.

and of course the ONLY opinion that counts is YOURS! (although your wife MIGHT take exception to that one).

Rule #1: I am the Captain. What I says goes.

Rule #2: The Wife is the Rear Admiral

The display is not going up at the house. It will be at the restaurant where I hold the event. My opinion may not count there either.

My wife has quit asking me what I'm thinking about, it's always the same answer.

I am in IT. She stopped asking YEARS ago.

Thanks for the warm welcome and the advise. It is much appreciated and will be listened to. And if it heads south, I'll take MWhites's advice and take up knitting.

The build part should not be a problem. I like that stuff. I have already re-designed a pole coupling, worked out a neat pulley system, have ideas for improving the portable hole and figured out a way to raise a 40' pole w/o heavy equipment (Don't worry. I am not building a 40' tree. The questions was raised in another post). Or I should say, "It looks good on paper." :)

The sequencing is going to kill me. I can dance. Just show me the dance steps. Don't ask me to choreograph. Does anyone want to donate a couple of sequences to a good cause? :D

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The sequencing is going to kill me. I can dance. Just show me the dance steps. Don't ask me to choreograph. Does anyone want to donate a couple of sequences to a good cause? :D

Welcome to PC and the world of the flashy blinky!

One rule I didn't see mentioned is always plan for almost double what you think. This is especially true for how much *time* you think it will take and how many feet of *extension cords*, as well as zip ties, etc.

Definitely start here: http://lightoramasequences.com/ and check out sequences others have done. Some are truly exceptional and inspirational! I started with 32 channels last year with wireframe trees and arches. This year is 64 channels with a 17' pole tree.

This is a great hobby you do for you! However, when you hear what people say and what it did for them, well, it gets that much better.

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Welcome to PC. Last year was my first year doing an animated display with 32 channels and like someone said, do it because you enjoy it. Being the first year, don't get disappointed if you don't have alot of people stopping and watching. It picked up for me toward Christmas. But don't wait until the last minute to start programming. I was cramming alot in at the last minute and like mmciver said above, I was lucky to find a website to download sequences from. When I was taking the display down this year, I really realized how much it meant to the neighborhood. I had people stopping that I had never met saying they had been up several times to sit and watch the display. I enjoy doing, it's almost like its your second full time job, but the pay off is worth it to watch the people enjoy what you have put together. Enjoy doing it, have fun, start off small, and don't wait until the last minute. Good Luck.

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I have been lurking around for a couple of weeks now. I guess it is time to say “Hi!”

I have seen a lot of good information on here. This could be a bad thing. I am probably biting off more than I can chew already and you folks are filling my head with even more ideas.

For the last nine years, I have been hosting a Toys for Tots toy drive. This being the tenth year, I was hoping to do something big. I am thinking about putting up a light & music display.

I can blame RedNeckChristmas for this idea (Why am I not surprised to find him here on PlanetChristmas?). I have been admiring his display for a couple of years now. Last year, I am pretty sure I could see the glow of his lights from my house. I live two miles away!

Now lets see if I can pass the pop quiz.

The question is:

Name the three most important things to remember when setting up your Christmas display.

Answer

  1. Sign up for PlanetChristmas
  2. Extension cords!
  3. Don't overload your circuits.
So, how did I do?

Welcome to the madness! I feel your pain. RedNeckChristmas is my Father. He too got us started in this madness. We have gone from 16 Channels and 7800 Lights our First Year to 80 Channels and 50000+ Lights on 2 Houses in this our 3rd Year.

I agree, start small and take your time. Ask plenty of questions where you can. I learned a TON from here and the LOR Forums. Take advantage of the summer sale, Nearly Everything will be on sale. Hit the after Christmas sales at Wal-Mart and HD. I got 20,000 lights 2 years ago for $50 at Wal-Mart. I found a WM that had not been cleaned out yet. This year I started upgrading to LED's. I got around 15,000 LED's from WM and HD on sale.

Again welcome to the madness and Good Luck!

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I can blame RedNeckChristmas for this idea (Why am I not surprised to find him here on PlanetChristmas?). I have been admiring his display for a couple of years now. Last year, I am pretty sure I could see the glow of his lights from my house. I live two miles away!

Seems RedNeckChristmas got a lot of us hooked. But apparently you never talked to him or your pop quiz would have been.

1. Don't do it,

2. Get it out of your head,

3. Why are you still asking?

Oh well, hope you bought enough extension cord. I'm nearby so if you need any help, just let me know. This will be my first year going animated and I think I am on the right track.

Just tested all 7000 lights last night, and ran through every sequence the night before. Now I am counting down till setup.

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