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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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Charles Belcher

Class Follow Up Questions

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Back in Dallas as of four hours ago. Thanks to everyone that attended my classes!

Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any follow up questions concerning any ideas or gear I presented in the Theatrical Lighting class at PLUS on Friday.

[email protected]

Charles Belcher

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Dear Charles, Thank you for the great DMX classes at Christmas Expo in Gatlinburg. I do have a follow-up question. I want to have smoke (fog) hover near the ground around a lake of rope lights to replicate a swamp scene in Louisiana. What do I need to make this happen?

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Dear Charles, Thank you for the great DMX classes at Christmas Expo in Gatlinburg. I do have a follow-up question. I want to have smoke (fog) hover near the ground around a lake of rope lights to replicate a swamp scene in Louisiana. What do I need to make this happen?

dlaird,

Google "fog chillers" and find a design that makes sense to you and is scaled correctly to the fog machine you choose. The design I like the best without spending a bunch of money is to take a tote or ice chest; drill a hole sized for the fog machine output tube on one side of the tote and an output hole for the fog to escape. Take about 18' of 4" aluminum dryer hosing and wrap it inside the tote. (hoses are sold in 6' sections so take aluminum tape and connect three together) Fill the remainder of the tote cavity with 20lb of crushed ice and it works well. You can put a fan at the output of the tote or you can hook up a distribution hose or pipe to spread the chilled fog out. Either way works. Allow a few seconds from the time the fog machine turns on until the fog evacuates the chiller.

The key to this design is the long length of tubing inside the chiller so the heated fog has to travel a longer distance through a chilled environment before hitting the surrounding air.

Don't concern yourself with fog juice labeled "low laying" or whatever. Fog machines make hot vapor and it all has to be chilled to hug the ground.

Edited by Charles Belcher

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