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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.
Josh

My Love For Hamberger Displays

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If anyone is interested I have the 1983 and 84 David Hamberger Christmas catalog also the 1985 Easter/Spring catalog. That I could scan. It will take some time as each display is on a postcard with pricing and description on the back and they had a lot of figures back in the day. Just to give you an idea the mechanical Gnomes went for $249.50 each. I also have  catalog from Display Arts from 1985 no pictures of there "Little People" figures just pricing and descriptions. I have a few postcard pictures of there larger figures that were selling back then.

It would take a while to scan but if anyone is interested I would do and save it as a PDF file for you. 

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Today's photos come from The Original Christmas Store, which had shops in Orange and Newport Beach, CA during the 1980s. These stores carried all kinds of Christmas decor, but are best remembered for their large and elaborate animated displays, some of which cost as much as $50,000 (in 1980s dollars).

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Back then they had 2 big buildings in Brooklyn and a showroom in Manhattan. The area that I was mostly in only had a few people working but was a big room. They would assembly the figures and make sure everything worked and then it would go to the seamstress and they may of had 2 of them in that section, but I can only recall seeing this one lady always there. Thinking back on it now I would guess there must of been another section that was doing them same and this may of been more for specialty. Of course they may of also ramped up depending on the time of year. I know they had a woodworking and molding sections of the building. They also did some pretty amazing things of Styrofoam. I remember they building a model of the Brooklyn Bridge and the World trade center. 

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Today's picture is brought to from the movie "A Christmas Story" with Peter Billingsley. This from the beginning scene when the kids are pressed against the window at Higbee's department store.

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Hicks Nurseries has a long, storied tradition of enhancing the gardens of Long Island NY

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