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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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How To Light An Outdoor Nativity?

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I just purchased the 36" scale outdoor nativity from Hobby Lobby.  I think it looks great and plan on using it next year with lights turning on at appropriate times during the Linus narration for the different pieces.  So as I'm planning my layout I'd like to learn from others as to what has worked and what challenges they've had, etc.  If others have examples and/or videos of something like this, I'd love to see a link.  For example, have people found that spot lights (pin spots) are better to isolate the individual piece?  Or, have flood lights worked good enough?  Is there a preference to "up light" (shine up from a stake light on the ground) because it is simpler of has a nicer look?  Or is "down lighting" better because it produces less wash behind (on the house or whatever)?  Or is it simply a big pain to have lights from above?

 

Any other suggestions or words of wisdom would be appreciated as well.

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I use 1 spot light on my Nativity sceen and it stays on all the time.  Now I too have Linus doing the narration and I turn must of my lights off during it except the mega and mega tree star.  now the really cool thing I added this year was i tied a cable from the mega tree star to Baby Jesus and put a few strings of lights on it so it looks like the star is shining down on Him.  The only thing I would change is anding a few chanels to is so I could make it like a arch if I wanted to.  I try to keep it very simple so people will listen to the meaning of Christmas.  I'll try to post pics later.

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I also purchased a 36" nativity from Hobby Lobby.  Because it was on clearance it was not a complete set.  Missing one of the kings and a few of the animals.  Does anyone know where I can get these.

 

As far as lighting I too would like some recommendations.  My two options are as follows.

1.  Off to the side of the Christmas display we have a large veterans memorial which we keep lit throughout the show.  One idea is to place it here and light it all the time, but it would be further from the street.

 

2.  The second idea is we have a sleigh in the display where we take pictures of children with Santa.  We could place the nativity here as it is closer to the street and in a location where people would see it as they stand in line to see Santa in his sleigh.  Although this seems like the better location, would lighting it all the time take away from the rest of the display.

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