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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.

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mattford1

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Hi Everyone-

Well sure enough when I thought I was the only one out there that was into commercial/municpal Christmas decorations, the internet proves me wrong again.  Anyway, I've really enjoyed skimming the posts here.  

As a kid I was very much enamored with these things and at the age of 9 started making my own with home made materials (I even sold one to my grandmother for $10.00).  Back in the 70's they were everywhere in Dallas and there was one company in Ft. Worth, Superior Specialty, that I later found out was a distributor for Crystal Valley Decorating that did most of the work in the DFW area then.

With the that kid still alive and well with me, I've now purchased several decorations directfrom Crystal Valley including a full round Santa, 3 spirals and a custom made pole mount snow man from the 70s's that they made to work for ground support.

Today is the actual day we are putting these up so I will post some pics later, but to wet your whistle here is Santa:

 

 

IMG_1537_94115-2.jpg

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A big welcome to you, Matt!  That Santa is so cool!  I have 4 bells from 1965 with strings of C9 lights that once had the old Retro Angle Cut Green Garland on them.  These 1965 decorations came from an old Mall, and were made by Crystal Valley too.  I also have 4 large 32" red lanterns from GP Design and 4 of their 27" tall red bells also.  I was very much like you, before I joined Planet Christmas.  I though I was the only person who loved Retro Municipal Christmas Decorations too.. :)

Allen

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Hi Allen-

Thank you!  Would you mind posting some pictures of your decorations?

Thx

Hi Allen-

Thank you!  Would you mind posting some pictures of your decorations?

Thx

Here are the Crystal Valley Decorations from 1965.  The original Angle Cut Garland on the C9 light strings deteriorated and I replaced it with cheap pine garland.  I plan to buy some more Angle Cut Garland from Crystal Valley next year.

Crystal_Valley_Decoration_Large_Bell_5.tCrystal_Valley_Decoration_Large_Bell_1.tCrystal_Valley_Decoration_Large_Bell_2.tCrystal_Valley_Decoration_Large_Bell_4.tValley_Display_1960s_Angle_Cut_Garland_2Valley_Display_1965_C9_Light_String_1.thCrystal_Valley_Decoration_Angle_Cut_Garl

 

Here are the GP Design Decorations.  I decorate my house and my parents house every year.  The bells are on my parents house and the lanterns are on my house.  I have the 1965 bells on my house this year and will try to post pictures soon.

 

GP_Design_Bell.thumb.JPG.e401d418a208ea8GP_Design_Old_World_Lantern_1.thumb.JPG.

 

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Hi Allen-

Thank you!  Would you mind posting some pictures of your decorations?

Thx

Hey Matt,

Here are some pictures of the Bells and Lights on my house.

Allen_1.thumb.JPG.8b17dca875f8f75ee4982fAllen_4.thumb.JPG.b6a9199f11fd4b0e1d07d0Allen_5.thumb.JPG.478ca86b1d7b0dbc5c516d

 

 

Allen 2.JPG

Allen 3.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is your red lantern a GP Designs one?

Yes, my 4 Lanterns came from GP Designs.  I purchased them back in the mid 1990's. 

Thanks for the pics.  House looks awesome man!  I love the bells!!

Thanks! :)

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Hi Everyone-

Well sure enough when I thought I was the only one out there that was into commercial/municpal Christmas decorations, the internet proves me wrong again.  Anyway, I've really enjoyed skimming the posts here.  

As a kid I was very much enamored with these things and at the age of 9 started making my own with home made materials (I even sold one to my grandmother for $10.00).  Back in the 70's they were everywhere in Dallas and there was one company in Ft. Worth, Superior Specialty, that I later found out was a distributor for Crystal Valley Decorating that did most of the work in the DFW area then.

With the that kid still alive and well with me, I've now purchased several decorations directfrom Crystal Valley including a full round Santa, 3 spirals and a custom made pole mount snow man from the 70s's that they made to work for ground support.

Today is the actual day we are putting these up so I will post some pics later, but to wet your whistle here is Santa:

 

 

 

That's an awesome Santa!

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Welcome Matt to our little group!  The municipal decorations are my favorite, too!   I have a few...  I love the Santa!

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Here's my collection. I have quite a few different lanterns. I have 11 of them. 2 ornaments, 2 of the seasons greetings signs and then I recently got my 10ft Christmas tree and 2 pole mounted trees this year. I have all original hangers for all my lanterns and ornaments and even a few extras in case I need them. I love this stuff and my collection is only getting bigger! When I find stuff I always try to get it in pretty good shape I've passed up quite a few items. 

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Wow great collection!  I wish I had some poles to actually hang some stuff on.  Who made the ornament blow molds?

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Wow great collection!  I wish I had some poles to actually hang some stuff on.  Who made the ornament blow molds?

GP Design made them, Matt.

GP Design and Crystal Valley are the two most popular company's that made the majority of municipal decorations all of us grew up with over the past 60 years.

GP Design still makes blow mold lanterns and bells.

GP Design Blow Mold Ornaments:  http://www.gpdesigns.biz/products/33/

GP Design Garland Pole Mounts:  http://www.gpdesigns.biz/products/31/

Crystal Valley Decorating Catalog:   http://crystalvalley.com/catalog/

 

I normally don't do this but since you are new and wanting to learn, I'll repost some images that were posted by other members here on PC.  I hope this doesn't upset anyone.  If it does, I will apologize and never do this again.  This is the only way I know how to help people learn who these company's are and what they made.

These are all GP Design Decorations

General_Plastic_Schintillos.thumb.jpg.74GP_Designs_Catalog_1.thumb.jpg.b6ad48ba7GP_Designs_Catalog_4.thumb.jpg.5a6c8262bpost-20132-0-28115100-1414201278.thumb.jpost-20132-0-67472800-1413943469.thumb.jpost-20132-0-15963600-1426191622.thumb.jpost-20132-0-13316600-1426615691.thumb.jpost-20132-0-73948800-1414201272.thumb.jpost-20132-0-87884500-1413851250.thumb.jpost-20132-0-22951400-1413851319.thumb.jpost-20132-0-13316600-1426615691.thumb.jGeneral_Plastic_CLETUS_1.thumb.jpg.1aa19DC_2502082.thumb.jpg.4bb086213713b5428b2DC_2502080.thumb.jpg.5156e1232aa55229f35

 

 

 

 

Here are some Crystal Valley Ornaments of the past:

 

 

 

Crystal_Valley.thumb.jpg.2e93599c755fbdfs-l1600.thumb.jpg.c609a3d7d3948e1f28c03e1964_Garrison-Wagner_Company_1964_Catalo11050090_906294506118559_57095823429655012106914_912158588865484_586764684879992Crystal_Valley_Bell_Fiberglass_5.thumb.jValley_Display_1968__Bells_New_York_City11193325_832496846831659_243125293827562

 

Here are a few pics...  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome, Sam!!!!  Love it!

 

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Here's my collection. I have quite a few different lanterns. I have 11 of them. 2 ornaments, 2 of the seasons greetings signs and then I recently got my 10ft Christmas tree and 2 pole mounted trees this year. I have all original hangers for all my lanterns and ornaments and even a few extras in case I need them. I love this stuff and my collection is only getting bigger! When I find stuff I always try to get it in pretty good shape I've passed up quite a few items. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great collection!  Love those Seasons Greetings signs.  Thanks for sharing. :)

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Wow awesome catalog pics. I love it.  It makes me realize that there was a time that this kind of stuff was huge and everywhere.

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Wow awesome catalog pics. I love it.  It makes me realize that there was a time that this kind of stuff was huge and everywhere.

You are correct.  Back when I was growing up in the 1970's, these decorations were everywhere.  Even our Kmart stores had these decoration too.  Sad but true, most places no longer decorate like they once did back then.  Many small rural towns around my area still buy and put up the older style decorations. Our larger towns and cities stopped decorating for Christmas back in the 1990s.  My guess is that their old decorations wore out and those places didn't want to spend the money to replace them.  This is why I decorate with old style municipal decorations.  I want the younger generations to have the same opportunities to see these awesome decorations that my generation was so fortunate to have.

I live near a small area call Meridianville, Alabama.  Our small town like area is not incorporated.  A lady that lives close to me bought 18  huge Christmas Wreaths with her own money and hung them on the street light poles in Meridianville.  She hates not seeing the Christmas pole decorations too.  If the Utility Company would add power outlets back on the poles, I would be happy to help buy some pole decorations.  Don't hold your breath, because I just don't see this happening.

Allen

 

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Yes I remember in the early 1970's they were all over Dallas.  Many of the strip malls went bananas with not only pole mount stuff, but trees everywhere, building front mount.  I remember several places like that.  I hope to dig up some photos soon that I took as a kid.

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Well sure enough when I thought I was the only one out there that was into commercial/municpal Christmas decorations, the internet proves me wrong again.  Anyway, I've really enjoyed skimming the posts here.

Matt:  Welcome to Planet Christmas and especially to the blowmolds forum!  If I'm reading your description correctly you are from Dallas but currently in CA.  I guess we were almost neighbors.  I'm right "next door" to Dallas in Arkansas.  I have quite a few blowmolds but no commercial decorations.  I sure like seeing the pictures of the ones that people on here have though.

TED

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I really enjoyed these pictures. Great collections !!!!!!

Thanks

Too bad GP doesn't go retro and remake some of these items. (might help sales)

I was told they have destroyed most of the plastic decoration molds.Bummer

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