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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.
Ryan_Johnson

New Year Means Academy Time!

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Most of us are packing up our holiday decorations and have started thinking about 2013. As you do that remember one of the most important things you can do to support your holiday habit this year: coming to the 2013 Academy! The event is coming up faster than you think and there are a number of things to keep in mind… First, and most importantly to you: as we get closer, and budgets become more firm, our price per registration does increase. It’s something that happens every year. So it’s that time again- the current Early Bird pricing of $60 per registration is increasing. Fortunately the current pricing does not expire until 11:59pm on January 31st so you still have over two weeks to make your Academy registration and take advantage of the $60 price point. In addition, anyone registered by that date and time is entered into the Early Bird Giveaway. One lucky person will have their registration fees returned and will be attending for FREE (we’ll announce that the first week of February)! Secondly, we want to remind you of the amazing variety of topics and number of class offerings that the Academy brings you. Once again we are partnering with RJ and the team at DIY Light Animation as they are building another fantastic set of DIY classes. In addition, Alex Lohmann (13th Street Morgue) and Eric Kristiansen (Dallas/Ft Worth Friends of Halloween) have been working on a slew of Halloween related sessions that are sure to bring out the “scary” in all of us. Combine those with the established excellence of the Christmas classes we teach every single year (since 2008) and you once again have another great holiday event Need to check the calendar for dates? No problem. We opened registration back in June and are already over 100 registered: July 12th to 14th at the Lone Star Convention Center in Conroe. See the Academy website (www.theultimateacademy.com) for more detailed information. We have vendor announcements and class details coming over the next few weeks but the only way to make sure you don’t miss any of the details (and the fun coming this summer) is to head to the Academy website and register today!

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I will say we had a great time last year, however I don't we will be able to sing it this due to plane fares. We will be at EXPO this and will save to be back at the academy in 2014 Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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Wow!  Things are certainly gearing up on the Academy front for 2013.  For those of you who attended last year, I think you'd agree that the Academy is one a HECK of an event!  For those who missed us... don't do it again this year!  Between the Christmas Classics, the Scare Sessios, the Software Solutions, Beyond Lighting AND the DIY Expo sessions we have more information than you can shake a stick at.  We're also adding some specific classes for those who are new to the hobby.

 

Did you know that we already have well over 100 people registered to attend this year??  At this rate we'll pack the place once again!  On top of that we have 10 vendors already contracted as well.  We're going to have a busy, busy, busy three days in July!

Very important note though:  Today's the last day to get in on the Early Bird Free Registration contest. If you're registered by 11:59pm tonight you'll be entered into a drawing to have your registration fees refunded to you.
 

 
This is usually when the price goes up a bit as well... will that happen tomorrow? Hmmm.... don't chance it!
 

 

Edited by Ryan_Johnson

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What do these companies have in common?:  Illumimax, Cheap DMX, Holiday Coro, Holi-Spheres, Colonnade Lighting, Synchronized Christmas, 13th Street Morgue, Crafty Cat Designs, Panasonic, WLC Ventures, PartyMachines.com, Seasonal Entertainment, SanDevices

 

They'll all be at the Academy.  Not sending door prizes but physically present.  Just another reason to come visit us in July!

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Are there seperate fees for the classes? What does the $60.00 cover?

 

Odd.  I answered this the same day it was posted and now the response isn't there.  Weird...

 

Anyway, to answer the question- your registration covers all of the classes you can attend.  Now there are 4-5 sessions happening at once, because we can't get in everything for everyone otherwise, but you'll learn plenty and get to see a ton of other holiday-centric folks (in fact, as of today we're almost 150 people registered!).

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I will say we had a great time last year, however I don't we will be able to sing it this due to plane fares. We will be at EXPO this and will save to be back at the academy in 2014 Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

 

Have fun Joe.  Hope to see you in 2014.  Unless things change and you can make it this year of course!  :D  

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I wonder if I am allowed in the state of texas ha ha Why wouldn't you be? Outstanding warrants in TX? Probation terms keeping you in your home county? :) EVERYONE IS WELCOME as is clearly evidenced by the number of people who attend each year.

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Quick update for everyone... last year's Academy was AWESOME and not just for LOR offerings.  Everyone who was there was excited and learned a lot.  DIY, Christmas, Halloween... we had it all!  Everyone worked hard on the educational sessions and you can bet the same thing will happen again.  There are some projects in the planning stages that sound unique and exciting for a lot of people!
 
Keep up to date on what's going on with the Academy at the website (www.theultimateacademy.com).  You'll see class details go up as we build them, vendors announced as they are added, and more info to make it an exciting event for you to attend.  Can't wait to see you all in July.
 
PSST... Most of you know that the Academy registration fee increases sometime in the spring.  Easter is coming up in a few weeks.  Coincidence?  Hmmm.... ;)
 
Also- for those of you who are already registered keep an eye on your email.  You'll be receiving some exclusive info that will help keep you updated as the event draws closer!
Edited by Ryan_Johnson

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We're going to be helping the new(er) folks out with a track called "Starting from Scratch"...Because everyone has to start somewhere!

Our post-Academy survey showed us clearly that people want to have a starting point. There are so many advanced level items on the Academy schedule, and that works for many people.  But what about those folks who would love to attend to get their holiday craziness started?  THEN they can move on to the more in-depth topics.  In 2013, that’s our approach.  

 

Friday afternoon will contain an entire track of 5 high-level classes that will help you (or someone you know who wants to) get a foot into the holiday hobby waters.  Many of us have been doing this for a year or more but we have friends, family and neighbors who just want to know where to start.  This is for those folks (there will be, of course, other classes happening at the same time for the DIY Expo, Halloween Scare Sessions, and Christmas Classics for others to choose from).

 

Display Design:

First things first, you need to look at your “Canvas”:  Your house and yard.  We’ll talk about budgeting, what you aspire to get to, the different pieces of your house and how you can make them standout.  Examples of popular items and Q&A will wrap up the session.  Make sure to bring a photo of your canvas so you can see your vision come to life in your mind.

 

From Static to Animated:

You want to take the next step and create an animated display.  What are your options?  Do you want to animate your elements or sequence to music?  We will talk about the steps you need to either start an animated display or transform your static display to something new and exciting.

 

Electricity: Your Best Friend or Worst Enemy:

Let’s face it, to do what we do you need electricity.  Not one bulb will turn on if you have not hooked your electric up correctly.  Even worse is the potential danger you may create if you are ignorant of the basics of electricity.  We will talk about measuring your power needs, tools and resources that you can use to educate yourself, and some best practices and ideas for hooking it all up.

 

DIY or Commercial:

There are many solutions available in the marketplace to help you create your display. What are the benefits of both commercial and DIY options (and the potential drawbacks of each).  We’ll also touch on the software solutions that are available.

 

Audio Solutions:

Many of us want to share our Christmas music and voiceovers with our visitors.  You need a basic understanding of transmissions.  In addition you need to determine what your “tone” should be in terms of musical selection.  Voiceovers and options for musical editing will be touched on as well.

 

When these classes are finished you’ll have a great starting point and then you can look over the other classes being offered to decide the next steps on your holiday journey.

 

KEEP UP TO DATE ON THE ACADEMY INFO BY VISITING THE ACADEMY WEBSITE!

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Alright, this one is for real...

Only 1 week left until the price increase! Don't miss out on the Academy this year.

We're ONLY 109 days away (as of this post)! See you all soon!

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LSP was initially demoed at the 2009 Academy by Ryan Montgomery who assisted in its development. Since that time LSP has had a presence there teaching and demonstrating LSP functionality. In the Fall of 2012, Minleon International purchased LSP with the intent of taking its functionality to even a higher level. 

With this goal, in 2013 Minleon has engaged one of LSP’s most well-known users of Light Show Pro in the Christmas community to attend the 2013 Lone Star Holiday Academy (July 12 to 14) with the intent of teaching and sharing the nuances of LSP with all interested attendees. Eddie Vassalo is a world renowned user of LSP and will be coming to the Academy (all the way from Australia! Some of you may know him as "FastEddy" on some of the holiday forums) for one reason: to share his wealth of knowledge of LSP to all attendees. 

Eddy will be teaching two class sessions and will also be in the LSP vendor booth (that's right, LSP will be on hand as a vendor) sharing his experience with anyone who stops by. We hope your schedule allows you to take advantage of this great class opportunity, and the folks at LSP are looking forward to seeing you at the vendor booth.

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