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.

    Importing US lights to the UK

    Recommended Posts

    Hi all. I was in Florida on vacation last november / december and ended up in Walmart and Lowes stores buying a suitcase full of lights to bring back to the UK with me. (They are so cheap compared to over here and you have so many more to choose from!) As I can easily get the voltage converters over here, does anyone know of a cheap way of importing lights so that I don't get hit with loads of import duty in the UK?

    I'll give you an example of prices here - I paid £49 ($90) for a set of 120 diode lights and that was cheap for over here. In Lowes Store, Florida, I paid £3 ($5.50) for a set of 60 and they are great. The trouble is that to import them it would cost about £30 ($55) in import taxes at the airport! any ideas?

    Next year I will be back in the States for Thanksgiving (Cyber monday is great - bargains galore!!) so it might just be a case of filling another suitcase although my wife may not be so keen on the idea! There were also a few 3d wireframes that I fancied, and the snowglobe inflatables, and the blowmoulds...........

    All ideas or help greatly recieved. My past displays are all on the showing off section - let me know how I can improve!

    All the best

    Andy, Redruth, Cornwall, UK

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Alright andy.. Theres a few of us here that have to inport the lights from the US. The best way i find is to buy quite a few lights at a time. And ask the company / person to write on the Customs Declaration under the value $30.00. Has any think under that you will not get charged for. Hope this helps a bit!

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks for that Mark. Two further questions though,

    1) What sites / companies do you use for getting lights and sockets etc? I did buy a few usa extension leads while I was there though!

    2) I am usually up in Thundersley / Rayleigh for a couple of days in december - I have family up there - out of interest are you anywhere near there? Its nice to see displays for real!

    I am not technically minded to be honest although I can cope with the ton of wiring for my display. Much as I would like to go down the route of computer control, I think it will illude me for a couple more years yet! Planning for this year is already underway......

    All the best, and many thanks,


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I get my sockets from maplinsi think they are about a £1.. But i havent really need to by many as i cut the plugs off and connect the wires together...

    If you look at darrens linkpage (mines not updated yet but will be soon)


    Under Commercial Sites UK&USA They are all the sites i use as well..

    I think im about 20-30mins away from Rayleigh.. Thatll be nice to meet ya as well.. If you want to find out heres my post code: RM8 2DT


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks for that. May well be giving you a shout over the christmas period - but thats a way off yet!

    THanks for all the help - I hope to have a website up for my lights by september so I'll keep you posted.

    Happy bulb checking!


    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.

    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...