Jump to content
Did you know?
  • 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.
Bill V

Is The Novelty Starting To Fade

Recommended Posts

I think some people are unaware of the time this ??HOBBY?? takes after a couple of year decide its not worth it.

I will be doing this as long as my health (and God) allows.

I think I am approaching my limits (famous last words)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having been a Christian for many years, I learned we are all too evangelise whenever possible. Being the very introverted individual I am, I find it very hard to do so. But my animated display has taught my there are many ways to spread the word. By using many Christian based songs, I receive many comments "You must be a Christian; what church do you attend?" My wife says I don't have a clue too how many people I am reaching. If this is the reward for doing a display, I will continue until old age stops me.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope your wiFe doesn't read that!

Anyone have a dog house for sale :)

What is she going to do, I put the money there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is she going to do, I put the money there.

I pray for ya chief...When she reads this she gonna beat you with the ugliest stick that she can find while you sleep! GET ADT GET ADT! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pray for ya chief...When she reads this she gonna beat you with the ugliest stick that she can find while you sleep! GET ADT GET ADT! :)

Great now I won't be able to sleep tonight. Truth being said, there is a reason I save all my change and loose dollars. I budget a set amount out of each check. When there is too much week left at the end of my check, my light fund is the first thing that goes. My wife doesn't hate my hobby, she just thinks it is a waste of time and money. I have to show her the letters I have gotten and the smile on my kids face when they are helping me. Other then that, she works almost full time and is going to Grad school full time. She is truly a champ.

Note: not one dollar has been taken from my wifes purse during the typing of this message.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think while some broad assumptions could be made as to why people get in or out this, in the end it comes down to "what's in it for me?"

So, what's in it for you?

I think this sums up the answer to Bill's question (in my mind)- more people are asking the question "what's in it for me?" Unfortunately, for whatever the reason, their answer is "not enough". :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

whats in it for me? I tell ya what after my father died there was nothing! no decor, bad attitudes, lots of fighting, lots of holes in the wall,i tore a whole wall off one time... you get the point not our best moments...It was horrible! This went on for years too it was miserable and i was likely the cause of most of it...Then one night in Nov they had all kinds of stuff on tv so i just started buying lights dragging stuff out of storage and wasnt going to have another holiday that was a crapper.....So thats why. For my family if someone else enjoys it thats gravy if they dont well they can go straight to.......And it will get bigger every year and more advanced but i aint stopping.

Edited by FrostNsnow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the novelty of animated displays is starting to fade and that the folks who started displays just for the novelty are fading out too. Others, like those posting on this thread may like novelty, but put in the time and money for other reasons and keep decorating and adding year after year. For me, I really like lights. My display is mostly static although I've added 80 LOR channels just to play with the technology. I doubt that we'll ever have a fully animated display. We live on a one lane road with no cul-de-sac and no turn arrounds, except in private driveways. We do get some visitors, but we don't really encourage it. I guess in our case, the visitors are the novelty!

To illustrate how much I like lights and perhaps my addiction; one of my favorite things is to get home before 5:00 PM, turn a chair around to face out the living room windows and witness all the lights coming on at the same time! It just never gets old for me and since we use incandesants, our yard goes from dark to light enough to read a book in a split second!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes life gets in the way.

For example, we are replacing our kitchen cabinets and it has taken months!

On top of that I have had to study for a couple of Microsoft tests.

There has been no time for squencing.

I have a few things I need to work on after our annual Canada Day BBQ.

I can see how some people in my shoes might think of canceling the show this year

BUT NOT ME!

I need to have a show this year

By the way has anyone seen my walet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not know about others but I do my display primarily for myself. I sequence what I like to see and do not worry if anyone wants to hang around and see the entire show. For years my family could not afford to spend on gifts for Christmas. I could always put up the lights since electricity is not expensive where I live. I am never disappointed like some are when the receive the "wrong" present. I do not even ask for anything anymore even though we can now afford almost anything we could want. So I guess I am very selfish in the way I treat lights, I do it for me and no one else. I will continue to do so until I am no longer physically able.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark I am with you on this one. Although I love all the visitors we get and have gotten over the 27 years of doing our display (this will be number 28) I would do it if we lived so far out in the wilderness that no one else saw it but me and my family. It is my passion, my husband says it's an obsession and maybe he's right. Wouldn't have it any other way. The idea of not having a display is so foreign to me, it's unthinkable.

My son, who lives in Tennessee called the other night and said I should take a rest and go there for the holidays. When I told my husband, his answer was " You do realize there would be rioting in the city if this display wasn't up". I actually have visitors who have come every year and I am frequently told that I cannot die because they wouldn't know what to do at Christmas if the display wasn't here.

Could not imagine the heartbreak for those who love the hobby but for whatever reason cannot continue.

Marilyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it is just starting. There I was happy with my static display when I discovered Planet Christmas. But Noooo I had to see mega trees, leaping arches, ferris wheels animated controllers etc. Now I wake up and have to check out this site whenever I have spare time. Now I can't even set up my display with out thinking about what I am going to do the next year. You people are all on my naughty list! Thanks Chuck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son, who lives in Tennessee called the other night and said I should take a rest and go there for the holidays. When I told my husband, his answer was " You do realize there would be rioting in the city if this display wasn't up". I actually have visitors who have come every year and I am frequently told that I cannot die because they wouldn't know what to do at Christmas if the display wasn't here.

Could not imagine the heartbreak for those who love the hobby but for whatever reason cannot continue.

Marilyn

I understand whwer he is coming from,Word got out last year that we were planning to take a year off and we had several people that came by our home and begged us to put up the display because it had become part of their Christmas tradition.

When we first started this nearly 12 years ago, we wanted to have one of the biggest and brightest displays in the county, now after going animated for the last 6 yrs, my priorities towards the display has changed. It isn't so much about us as it is what we give to the small community we live in and to the charities that we represent.For just a brief moment our display and others like it all around the country is speading Christmas joy and creating memories that hopefully will last a lifetime.Sure it is a year long process and it is very time consuming and very expensive at times,but the true decorators that really enjoy what they do will be here for a long time while,a large handful of bandwagoners will jump on,enjoy the ride for a few years then jump off again.

SPaschall

Edited by SPaschall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if "bandwagoners" is a word, but I like it.

LOL! I thought of that when I wrote it but I felt that I was on a roll so I let it go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been involved with this hobby WAY back when Chuck first posted his Basic Programming code. No LOR, D-lights, etc.

If you wanted in..you had better know code, which for me I did. I still have that original code I wrote in VB!

Then came Dasher, WOW, that was the best at it's time. Drew Hickman was the real original writer of code to make our lives better.

He wrote code called Dasher which was basicaly a version of LOR down to the bare minimum.

Getting to my point, I may not post much But Iv'e been around that long.

I've seen peeps come and go. I've had issues with peeps that come in for a year or two thinking they are the next "expert", then disappear also.

The reason I don't post much is because of a few reasons:

1. Most yahoos that join are here for the fun of just posting "stuff" for no reason, this isn't Facebook, twitter, etc.

2. This board has actually for me gotten way too busy to follow anymore, let alone the complications to navigate through.

3. Too many optional forums too track.

4. I totaly understand technology changes(I work for CHOP IS/ Telecom) but they don't run out and make sure all IT/Telecom has all the bells and whistles that come out almost on a daily basis. It is a Hospital, the BEST in the Nation for kids. Thet need too make sure every update we do is extremly tested to be dummy-proof before going to production. Point is, sometimes the latest upgrade isn't necessarily best for the intent.

5. Finnaly, it is very expensive and most are young that don't have the cash to spend. You can buy a 16 channel box, but make the most of it. Spend the time to make sure your lights are sequenced to the perfection you are happy with.

I've seen many vidoes of various homes over years here. There are only a few that impress me. Just my opinion, if your gonna spend hundreds of dollers just to blink things, why bother? Just play music outside and make it static, save a buck.

When I write a sequence, on average, it will take me more than 12 hours to get it the way I want it.

I don't mean NO INSULT to anyone, I'm just making a point.

Point is, it is expensive and takes a termendous amount of time to prepare, setup, and teardown.

With that , I think with the latest technology getting more complicated, peeps give it a try and realize it's not for them.

Good Luck to those who keep trucking along!

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread. Here are my thoughts:

The summer on PC has always been slow until sometime in August. (It is a lot slower this year then normal.) The summer was a time to build relationships and have fun on PC. Now that Facebook is around, a lot of that has moved over to there. (I'm on FB a lot more then PC anymore.)

After building displays and reading on PC for 4-6 years decorators that aren't getting the latest equipment don't have the interest they once did. (I know what I need to know so the interest is not there as before. The first few years on PC were incredible. I read everyday and posted often. I was on here 6-7 times a day. I learned so much.)

People who join our wonderful hobby are usually creative individuals. They like the aspects of creating a display that others can enjoy and they like hearing the "Wows!." After awhile the creative juices go stale if you are not constantly changing your display and adding new items. (For me, I found myself basically creating the same display, but much improved over previous efforts. When I tried changing the display the amount of time was too much. The enjoyment of creating my display was fading.)

Time and effort: As we build our displays we continually try to build a bigger and badder display. After awhile this is a monster on your back. (I have a 52K plus animated light display with 32 channels. This is about max for me. I have stayed at 52K lights for three years. I actually backed down a little last year. The time it takes me to set-up is about 4-6 weeks depending on the amount of help I get. I wrap about 40-50 trees each year and this is very time consuming. My girls use to help a lot, but now that they are teenagers they have other interests. They like the attention the display brings, but they are too busy to help as much as I need. I don't like being alone for 4-6 weeks during the holiday season as I outside setting up. Also, as one ages it takes more effort to do the same job. Plus some things you just don't do anymore. Ie... I don't go as high into trees as I once did. This can be a factor too.)

Other thoughts: I have been a member on PC since January of 2006. I first started lurking in Nov of 2005. That was an amazing time on PC. I went to and organized several Minis. I built some wonderful relationships on PC. The people here are amazing, creative, giving, and big-hearted. I still check out PC almost everyday, but rarely post anymore. My interest in the hobby was outrageous, now it is about 20% of what is was. My interest in decorating has diminished, but not the interest in the people. Most of my friends from the old days don't post here much anymore. Some of them are on Facebook. I guess that is another reason I'm not here more.

For me, I got tired of working so hard often alone and feeling like I could be spending more time with my family and time enjoying the holidays. I have been cleaning my garage and finally putting away my display from last year. I have started to get rid of some stuff, but keeping most of it. I won't be buying anything new this year. I will be setting up a display that only takes one day. Static only. All my equipment I will keep and see what the future holds. I know a lot of people will be disappointed this Christmas. Last year the traffic was getting intense. I have been told that I have become a tradition for the last 6 years for many.

So this year, I'm mainly taking a break. The future? Who knows.

To the new people just starting: You are embarking on incredible adventure. The first time you see your lights dance is absolutely amazing. I still remember the chills I got. Hearing your first WOW from a little kid is precious, heart warming, and thrilling. Some of the relationships you start here will last forever. Enjoy your adventure!

Michael Beason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's true that nobody truly realizes the time and effort it takes to put up great displays.

But perhaps this isn't a bad thing? Personally, I'm sick of the displays that look like a cheap Walmart model.

Call me a snob, but I want to be with others dedicated to the craft, not willy-nilly decorators.

I'm a post-Carsonite, and have just peaked through the 5-year phase. Happily, I'm still here :).

I will say though, I have enjoyed the move from residential to commercial creations.

I certainly miss the flexibility that comes with residential shows (like using Disney music and not getting sued, playing with fire projectors and not getting permits, etc), but the funding that comes with commercial helps me focus on the art and less on the finances. My personal home show has so much potential but no money, haha!

We'll get through it! Sure, the next thing (like 3D projection mapping) is around the corner. We just have to figure out how to integrate it. Or we can invent the Next Next best thing :)!

See you at the expo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

br /> playing with fire projectors and not getting permits, etc)

Hey now ;)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing static displays for 20+ years now, and been in PC for almost 5. My displays have gotten simpler as the years go by, both my wife and I have medical issues that are limiting my ladder climbing abilities, etc. I greatly admire all the LOR megatrees, chasing arches, etc. in other people's displays but don't have the $, the energy, or the time to go huge. I have to stick to what I can find in yard sales or build out of plywood. This year's display was about 4000 lights. I make up for lack of animation by setting up first weekend of November: If you can't have the best display in town, have the first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot has happened since this thread was opened this summer. There have been two displays that have gone viral/semi-viral that have been responsible for an influx of LOR users. Combine that with the nearly 1/2 dozen "Over-the-top" display TV shows that air in December, you have people that look at those and tell themselves, "I can do that".

And when they jump in, the are always over their head and rather unwilling to invest the sweat equity required in this hobby. I think those people are the ones that will be short timers.

In my area, I have seen growth. I was the only LOR user at one time - now I am one of about 10 or so. However, I do not see substantial growth. It has been a long time since the leaping lights, spiral trees, or other creations that would cause one to double the channel count in one year.

In absence of those, I think that the growth has stabilized.

New people will continue to join. Old and inexperienced users will continue to cash out.

What I find the most interesting are the patterns in the forums and facebook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just reread my post from June. I only put out a few wireframes that took about an hour. It has been great. Yes, I miss the lights, but I was able to spend much more time with the family. I am at the crossroads about the future of my display. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. The community missed it and was told many times. My neighbors really missed the show. My family I'm not sure. I'll need to ask them.

I'm not sure I want to spend the money to get going again. I still have my display, but many lights will need replacing, LOR updated, my show re-installed from my dead old computer, inc...

If I do the extreme display again, I want to start over and create a new show. So I will need to learn the new LOR software and install it. Then, program during the summer. Something to ponder...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread, that I only see because it was brought back to life (I rarely log in between March & August). I think the points about economy, burn outs, etc are very accurate. There was a peak because of viral videos, and now many of those who jumped in are backing out - the animated display bump is leveling off.

That being said, I don't think decorators are stopping at the pace PC is losing activity. I used to love this place. The green forums were an amazing source of raw information - I was but a middle/high schooler, didn't post much, but read a TON. Up until a few years ago, there were a LOT of newer people, but still not swamped, and the place was still an amazing forum.

Then things got crowded. Then tempers flared. Attempts were made to organize things - I was once a forum moderator here for several months, and while it seemed that having moderators helped a little, "unkind" people still picked fights. A lot of the best and unique decorators left.

Now, information is so scattered - there are a bazillion different forums here - everything is scattered, difficult to keep up with. I don't really enjoy it. The layout as a whole is far inferior (IMO) to layouts of the past. Simply put, PC feels almost like Yahoo - the one time king who is now just a blubbering discombobulated mass, with a few useful elements but pretty inefficient as a whole.

I still check in a couple times a week during the decorating months. I hit the lights/leds forum, the mega trees and other DIY sections, and toot your horn to see what others have done. But really, there's not that much there anymore. And what is here is too spread out to be efficiently useful.

I miss the green boards :)

Edited by Stephen Blue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a n00b, it was my first year with a LOR animated show with 32 channels. i was talking to the wife about forums and the same thing happens on her forums she posts on.. about a totally different subject, but it seems like stuff goes through ebbs and flowss.... i can totally see getting burned out about this hobby, i've spent my whole weekend putting away most of my show and still haven't finished... but the wife and I did it together, it was fun..ish... but we will see what the future brings, my son is 6 months old now, we will see if he enjoys it as much as his daddy...

i love it right now and wish it was next year already, but i'm a n00b as i said.

but i love PC, but i didn't know it in the days of yore...

-chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...