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Did you know?
  • 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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Ryan_Johnson

Academy 2017 and Future Announcement

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Hi everyone-

Lone Star Holidays was founded in 2008 and the first Academy followed in the fall of 2009. Since that time, our shared hobby has changed significantly. What was amazing and unique back then is now considered “old-fashioned.” We also spent a lot of time together, at workgroups, dinners and light crawls. We learned from each-other, usually in person, and ideas shared online. We discussed the nuances of using light to create visually-stunning canvases and the sequences that, when combined with those visuals, moved our display visitors.

The methods for delivering these displays have changed with the growth of RGB lights, DIY control, and auto-sequencing. One is not better that the other. Holiday displays, like life, advances and adapts.

Because of these shifts, however, we have seen changes in our group. The in-person social aspects have been replaced by online training, Facebook and YouTube videos. Again, one is not better than the other, but it has allowed our audience, our members, to find different avenues of communication.

The hobby and its delivery changed. The way of communicating and sharing has changed. The Academy has changed. We have had over 800 attendees, over 150 class topics and nearly 200 hours of classroom education. Over the past several years, we have gotten fewer and fewer volunteers for an event that takes a lot of planning and work. Attendance has remained high, but when we send our feedback survey, the percentage of return has declined each year.  We were never interested in being a commercial trade show.  We were never interested in a one-focus approach to the holidays.  We wanted the learning, sharing and socialization to be the cornerstones of the event (and LSH as a whole) and things have simply moved in a different direction.

We have always prided ourselves on giving people what they want. Slowly but surely, it was evident that you wanted something different. We’re OK with that; it’s the nature of any hobby. So, it’s with a little sadness, but a whole lot more pride in what we’ve all accomplished, that we’re announcing the end of the Academy (at least as we’ve come to know it). You should know that we’ve done something incredibly special. We did things our way, built a brand and learned a lot. We should ALL be proud—whether you planned, taught classes or attended—of what the Academy was and will always be remembered as.

What’s next for Lone Star Holidays overall? That’s a very good question. We’re currently working through that and we’ll let everyone know what comes from those discussions. We’re fairly certain that LSH will not fold, but will most-likely change in what it is and how it looks. We want to continue what we always have: understanding our audience and giving them what they want.

If you registered for the Academy, we will be processing refunds in the next 30 days. You will receive a separate email with further details.

No matter what, be proud that Texas put-forth the idea of a long-lasting, geographically-specific community AND that this group would host an amazing, annual, event for nearly ten years. 

Thank you to each of you. We truly couldn’t have done it without each other.

And always remember… HAPPY EVERYTHING!

Clyde, Larry, Ethan, Jim, Scott, Chris, Jeff and Ryan

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It was a great run of 8 years and I met a lot of people over the years.  Many thanks for everyones hard work and efforts.

Fred Blanton; THe Liteclip Strip and Clips!

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 I have attended this event for the last two summers, and was one of the first to register for this year's event, back in October of 2016. I am very sad to see this event be canceled for this weekend.  If it wasn't for a friend who clued me in, I would have been there in Waxahachie this morning knocking on the door of the convention center wondering what happened. Even though the numbers have been down from previous years, there still was a great amount of interest from what I  have experienced the last two summers. People really enjoy getting together, learning, and discussing.   I do not understand the reasoning for the cancellation.   I commend the guys that headed this up:  they have done an outstanding job  over the years, but perhaps all the effort involved in putting it on proved to be overwhelming from year-to-year.   Just know,  I have appreciated and admired you guys.  Because of your efforts, I have  gone from nothing to a very awesome Christmas display in my Texas community. 

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