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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.
Mike Bluford

What Do You Each Night?

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What I mean by this is I know there is things to be done, but with most running the displays from Thanksgiving through New Years do you ever let it run unattended? How do you go shopping, dinner get togethers with family or friends etc? Seems like if you turned it off for a night it would first disappoint some who come to see it and would secondly be a huge indication you weren't home. Do you go outside and just hang out every night, even when the show has been going for almost a month and traffic is light? I searched for this subject but couldn't find anything and was wondering what a normal night was like.

Edited by Mike Bluford

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Life goes on as normal. The computer turns it on and off why do I need to sit home? I do try to make sure I'm home every 2 days or so to make sure things are running OK.

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Computer runs it for me.

When I am home, I will sit out front and start a fire and watch and relax. If someone drives buy or stops, I get to chat with them, but it mostly just runs itself!

I do check every couple of nights to make sure everything is good! I have had a computer lock up once and need a reboot, but other than that, 5 years and very little attention while it is the season!

Mike.

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Recently I've had to watch mine like it was newborn baby. Every single night there's been a problem, whether it is an outlet randomly turning off, a controller doing weird stuff, or strands getting chewed up by rabbits. I'm still waiting for the first night I can just go from work, to supper, to chair, to bed. Not there yet.

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Like the others here, I try to be home for at least a brief moment each night while the show is running. I've got one controller that started acting up on me this year and one section of Red and one section of Green on my megatree would stay ON constantly. Probably a bad triac. I could have swapped controllers, but I've not been home on a Saturday to do it this year. I ended up just plugging those channels into the next section over and let 'er rip! No one can tell...

I did add a Q-See camera system last year, and I'm using SuperCam Pro on my iPad and iPhone. I can now login and verify the display is running well, see how many cars are outside, and make sure nothing odd is happening over night. Between that and LogMeIn on the show computer, I can generally keep an eye on things while I'm away.

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No issues this year, none. After setup, and light-up night, the show has run flawlessly. I have spent most every evening outside talking to the visitors, fixing burnt out bulbs, and repairing the one or two bad light strings. This is year 4 for me and I'm learning how much more enjoyable it is AFTER the learning curve. I don't have to worry, it just seems to take care of itself from start-up to shutdown.

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If I am not working (on night shift) I step out on the porch to see if anyone is out there. We bought a bunch of candy canes so my kids can hand them out, but so far not a lot of traffic. I hope once it hits the Newspaper on the 18th things will pick up. Other than that as I leave to go to work I do a quick peek to make sure it is running, watch a song or so and go on my way.

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If I am home I'll go outside on and off through the evening with a pocket full of candy canes, if someone is out there I'll hand some out. Otherwise the display takes care of itself. On at 5 off at 10 every night, only thing I do is post to the facebook page whether or not it's going to be running that night based on weather conditions.

I don't stop my life just because the display is running, there are some nights that I'm not home at all all evening and everything goes off just fine. I do have a battery backup on the computer for just-in-case situations though.

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If I am home I'll go outside on and off through the evening with a pocket full of candy canes, if someone is out there I'll hand some out. Otherwise the display takes care of itself. On at 5 off at 10 every night, only thing I do is post to the facebook page whether or not it's going to be running that night based on weather conditions.

I don't stop my life just because the display is running, there are some nights that I'm not home at all all evening and everything goes off just fine. I do have a battery backup on the computer for just-in-case situations though.

LOL...I thought battery backup? What good does that do if the power shuts off? But then I figure if power goes out in the afternoon, but comes back, your computer would stay on to keep LOR running in the taskbar so your schedule stays on track.

Edited by vkjohnson

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LOL...I thought battery backup? What good does that do if the power shuts off? But then I figure if power goes out in the afternoon, but comes back, your computer would stay on to keep LOR running in the taskbar so your schedule stays on track.

Some cumputers have an automatic restart feature. When the power is restored, it knows to start up without human intervention. Look for it in the BIOS setup. If you don't know what a BIOS is, don't mess with it.

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This is my 2nd year and I have learned to let it run itself. I run Thurs thru Sun., so I will try to be home on Thurs for the 1st show. On Thurs. afternoon, I run a light and sound check, I check that the transmitter is plugged in and powered, and If it goes OK, and they have, I don't worry about it. I have black cloth over the windows so we can use inside lights, watch TV, or whatever while the shows are running. I am usually home and enjoy watching the show, but we get 50 - 100 people a show and I sometimes feel like a stalker. Now, because I go to work before 5, I will occasionally fire up some songs and watch by myself before work.

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This is my 1st season with light o rama, I love the way it comes on and turns off by itselfs. Now this is not our 1st year, it's the 29th of decorating, and with the rest of my display it will never run without someone being home. Too many motors, too many chances of people in the yard while the display is on with all the power cords running all over the place. Wouldn't be the 1st time we found a child riding the merry-go-round lol... When it 1st comes on we do a walk thru to make sure everything is operating, a half way check, and then an end of the night check. The final week before Christmas someone will basically be always outside because santa will be sitting around waiting for kids

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My show runs Sun-Thu 6-10, Fri-Sat 6-11. Everything is on automatic like most of the members above.

One slight addition is I've added Zara Radio to the mix and begin transmitting a variety of songs beginning at 5:30 with time/temp/humidity announcements every two songs. Then I start my LOR pre-show with animation only (allows me to check that everything is functioning) at 5:45 while still transmitting music with Zara. I throw in an announcement by the Demented Elf every three-five minutes that says "Thanks for coming by ....... the show will begin at 6:00 pm". At 5:59:50, I have Zara programmed to shutdown and at 6:00 pm the Lor show starts. At the end of the Main show, Zara restarts automatically, repeating the animation show for 15 min, with interspersed announcements by the Elf that say "Thanks for coming ..... Please come back tomorrow at 6 PM".

Zara is also good for those rainy nights when you can't run the show safely (and some controllers shut down due to GFI problems). I play the same variety of songs, but add an announcement that says "Sorry, but we are unable to run our show safely. Please stop back tomorrow night weather permitting". Of course, Zara doesn't know it is raining, so I have to load the rainy weather show. That is the only time I need to be hands-on, and of course, I need to load the regular Zara show the following day. I love Zara! It adds additional professionalism to the display.

Richard

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I have to manually turn on my video projector before 5:49pm otherwise there's nothing for me to do. Occaisionally I'll monitor the cars on the street through my security cameras which are connected to the TV. I'd have to come home to walk my dogs so turing on the projector isn't an issue. I may automate that at some point but it's not a concern right now. The show doesn't stop me from leaving the house for the evening to do whatever I need to do.

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I turn on the breakers in my subpanel when it gets dark and turn them off before bed.

Something I've learned is to never flip a breaker off that's pulling 70 amps...I got a big arc flash when I did that. lol Flip all the little 20s instead.

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Isnt the benefit of having LOR and part of what you are paying for, is the ability to use the Show Schedule? All of the work is in the sequencing and setting up. With LOR I can pull up in the driveway, enjoy a song or two and spend the evening relaxing. If I get tired before 10 PM, when my show shuts down, I can got to bed and not worry. I even have the radio that I have play on the weekend on outdoor speakers playing in the yard on a timer set to go on an off with my show.

To quote the great salesman Ron Popeil - "Set it and forget it"

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I like to leave the house and go far away...Just sick of seeing cars lined up in front of my house night after night after night.It's like Ground Hog Day.

It was fun at first, but it has gotten really old.

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