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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.
Rich in Las Vegas

eBay find at a reasonable price

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I was looking at Christmas candles on eBay and was dismayed by the high cost of shipping, sometimes as much as two to three times the cost of the candle. Lots of stuff out there with chips, cracks, and major fading but still at a premium price.

I came across one for $16 including free shipping. There were only two pictures and no information on the size or manufacturer but for that price I decided to take a chance since the pictures showed it in pretty good condition. It was by an auction house in a small town in Wisconsin so maybe there isn't a lot of interest this time of year. When it arrived I saw it was a full sized candle wrapped in black plastic sheeting and with yards of tape securing the plastic (see pix 1). As it unwrapped I could see it probably had been stored for a long time as it was fairly dirty but with great paint and no fading. The light was included, unbroken, and in working condition in spite of being loose in the top. It is a full size candle light with an E27 base. I removed the incandescent light and cord as I want to run it with LEDs. A quick washing with mild detergent and it was ready to re-lamp. On the back it has the Empire Tarboro, NC label, Caroline Enterprises 1973 and the numbers 024259-1504 at the base.

Here are a few pictures showing the candle and my LED conversion.  I tried inserting three other pictures but the site takes too long to load them.

Package in the mail https://s33.postimg.cc/z3wq83bgv/package.png

incandescent light inside https://s33.postimg.cc/q8vvxrhlb/incandescent_light.png 

COB LED replacement https://s8.postimg.cc/3s3xu4kx1/COB_LED_replacement.png

COB LED lit https://s8.postimg.cc/xlay2gu1x/COB_LED_lit.png






I looked at the other items they had for sale and most are much more expensive. The GFP Christmas penguin that I acquired at my local goodwill was $60 and in about the same condition as mine.

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Your Empire candle is their catalog #1504 NOEL candle, red NOEL and red berries color variation.  I did a study on these NOEL candles several years ago and they had four color variations through the years.  The number 024259 was their part number for the aluminum mold that they made the candles from and the 1504 was the actual catalog number for the candle.  This color variation was made from 1981 through 1985.

You can see the four color variations here



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Thanks for the encouragement.  Well, I guess the bug has really taken hold.  I got 3 more large blow molds in the past 10 days.  The first is a 1993 Empire - Carolina Enterprises Santa that St. Vincent De Paul in Chicago put on eBay.  It cost $47 with shipping.   It had a broken CFL bulb that had come loose from the back but no damage to the mold.  Here it is with new LED lighting.


Then to top it off as I was about to leave the local Goodwill outlet store empty handed on Thursday they rolled out a bunch more trays with two blow molds face down in one of them.  I grabbed them an headed for the check out.  $4 for both of them.  It was Joseph and Mary, part of a 3 part set by GFP.  Not as shiny or as bright as this picture I stole off eBay but sure more reasonable.  Jesus was nowhere to be seen.  jesus_and_mary_blow_mold.jpg

I converted all of these to LED lighting using a single 4W 480 lumen chip-on-board LED array attached to the original rear cap.  I will do a short tutorial on these conversions.  I can run all 5 of my full size blow molds (and about 11 more) on one single 60W LED power supply.  I like the result. 


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