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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.

2011 Lipton Lights Videos

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Here are a few of my 2011 videos. I posted earlier about how I created this display with Light Show Pro and by creating a video as the basis of the display. I then had LSP automate my video to the lights. It's a different look - some of the display I love and some of it I'm luke warm on. Hopefully you enjoy!

There are several more videos at http://liptonlights.com/2011Vids.aspx if anyone is interested. Hope you enjoy them!

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Very nice! I've got to ask... how did you do all the windows in your house... is that the video playing? How is it being displayed in each seperate window? Also... who is singing that rendition of "Do you Hear What I Hear"... that is very cool!

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For the windows, that is a project that evolved over the last 3 years. Initially I started by measuring my windows and making custom pegboard panels that fit tightly inside every window. I made 15 of these panels. To that, I glued in several hundred (red, green, and clear lights) lights in every pegboard. The holes in pegboard was just the right size for mini lights.

This year, I added a lot of pixelnet nodes to the show. The pixelnet allows individual control of each individual bulb. I can mix color and brightness. To make the windows (and I'll be posting pictures soon), I took some rectangular nodes and glued them to the pegboard where they were centered in each pane of glass. Lastly, I removed all of the mini lights (so painful after all the work to glue them in!!!!) and I put a white shower curtain against the windows.

Do you hear what I hear? Was done by Anthem Lights on "The Essential Christmas Collection." I was passing out candy canes and one of the guests said, "Nice music selection... I like the Do You Hear What I Hear!" I said, "Yeah, I think that's my favorite this year. It's by Anthem Lights." He said, "Yeah... They are on my record label. You used Barlow Girl last year. she's on my label too." I said, "Hmmm... I'm hoping it's a good sign you didn't give me a hard time for it last year?" "No worries. You aren't making money off this display and your collecting money for charity. Can you imagine the bad press we'd get for giving you a hard time!"

Oh Come Emmanuel is by August Burns Red. Fair warning, I sliced and diced it to be the length I wanted. I cut out some of the really heavy metal parts as it was a little harder than some of my audience would like... I think it has 8-10 cut points in it...

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I have another post in the synchronized displays where I have more detail. You had asked about it looking like a movie in the windows. I created all of my sequences this year based on custom videos I created for the show. If you imagine the visualizer as the tv screen, if you were to play a video on top of where your lights were drawn, you could automate the intensity and color of your display elements based on where they appear in the visualizer. Every element in the display this year was automated in this fashion with the exception on some songs where I manually animated the snowflakes, Bethlehem star, and megatree star.

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