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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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RichardH

Computer Control Inflatable

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I am going to be buying the Nativity inflatable from buyinflatables.com (http://www.buyinflatables.com/productid16893-30.htm)

How long does an inflatable of this size usually take to fill up?

This is what I was thinking of doing and tell me the pros and cons or any suggestions since this is my first year going "all out" with a display.

I am going to have a pretty jazzy LOR setup and I thought it might seem a little strange with rockin' music with lights flashing and having a nativity set in the middle of the yard. I was thinking of having the inflatable deflate so you really can't see it and then when a song is over I will be having a "reason for the season" christmas message playing with most of the lights off. During this time the Nativity inflatable will inflate (no lights on in inflatable) and then when it is full, the lights will come on inside the inflatable.

What do you guys think?

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I cut all the light wires on my puffers and give them their own separate plug. I also run a spot light on each inflatable. During a show thepuffer lights go dark via the controller then come back on at the end of the show. I also run the inflatable motors on x10 to avoid an inductive load on my controller. To avoid problems I keep the actual puffer inflated during the shows and just turn the lights onand off.

I'm sure there are many other ways people handle their inflatables.

Glenn

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I did it two years ago.. I just hooked up x-10 to the inflatables. Some I had come on for Rudolph, Frosty,Grinch,etc. I would suggest a couple seconds delay or more so the inflatable has time to inflate before the song is over.

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Now what would be neat would be combining an inflatable with a vacuum (big shopvac) to work in tandem. Bypassing the original fan of course, which would be used to maintain inflation. And the ShopVac should be remotely located to reduce/eliminate noise. Lots of experimentationpotential here...

Tom

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A large shop vac would get the shop done fast for inflating it. You may be able to have the shop vac inflate in quickly and then use the normal inflatable fan to maintain it once it is full.

How long does it take an inflatable to deflate once you turn off the fan?

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Just another viewpoint -- In my belief system, the Nativity is THE reason for Christmas. Whether we're solemly singing Silent Night at a candlelight service, or Rockin' out with Trans-Siberian Orchestra -- the Nativity is at the center of it all. Therefore, I see no need to hide it during the 'fun' parts of your show...

Just my own opinon. If you feel better turning it off, I think that's certainly workable, and would recommend X-10 for this as it's cheaper than a regular LOR channel, and you don't need (or rather, can't use) the special effects like dimming and twinkle, etc. (unless you separate the lighting from the fan, which is another story).

On the shop-vac topic -- Shop Vacs are really not good air-producers. They're designed to give a lot of suction, not move alot of air. In this application, you don't need suction, you just need air. So a larger blower/fan is the ticket, rather than a noisy, inefficient shopvac. I dabble in woodworking, and it's sort of the difference between a dust collector (which moves a lot of air but not so much suction) and a shop vac (moves little air, can suck up a bowling ball!)

-Tim

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I had a giant snowman last year which was plugged to a controller. Since the show looped, the snowman turned off for a couple of seconds at the end of each loop. The interesting thing was (this was not intentional) that my last song was "God Bless the USA" and at the end it appeared like the snowman was bowing or giving tribute to the USA. I had many people ask me how I got the snowman to bow. It was all an accident and definitely was not planned. But I will remember how to make the snowman bow . . .

Ken

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