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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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dgiordano

Well it's not any of the three but it is cut out...

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:D Hey, I think it looks great. Now, I see I wasn't the only one to try something like this. I have a big sign that says "Remember Jesus" made out of the blue styrofoam insulation from lowes. It is huge, about 1000 clear mini. My husband braced it with 2x4's , and we have it on metal posts and drove in the ground. I hope and pray the wind don't get it.I wrote the words and I drilled about 1000 holes for it myself. Then I just stuck the lights through the back. It took a while, but it looks so beautiful. It has been up since right after Thanksgiving and so far so good ! Then I thought hey this is neat, so I made a couple big candy canes for the garage, They are red and white striped with lights with a green bow. Now, I almost got a wreath done, green lights and red lights bow. It all is so neat looking. As for how long it will hold up in a few years, I don't know. All I can say is its sure making me happy now.

I wanted to post pics but my camera is tore up. I will try to get someone to take some and show you guys and gals. Along with my new mr christmas lights and sounds I love it

Ps. I still have my tags on all my 9000 lights, lol! :waycool:

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Thanks for all the comments. It's been a few years since I have built anything for the yard for Christmas. My original plan was to make Snoopy and Chuck out of 'Monster Mud' which is a chicken wire form wrapped in burlap that has been covered in a wallboard compound/paint mixture.It sounds like it would fall apart when it gets but holds up really well, and when dry is extremely hard. I have a couple of props that are six years old and are just now needing a little touch up.

But because of time I ended up using the 2 inch foam board. There's two types of insulation board commonly found at Home Depot and Lowes: Extruded and Expanded the expanded is the kind typically used as packaging in boxes. It's white and made from little balls of Styrofoam, when broken it leaves little foam granules everywhere. The Extruded is the best foam to use if you can find it, usually blue or pink, the pink being a little harder than the blue. The extruded foam is really what you want to use because of its much smoother texture and its increased hardness. Around here a 4x8 sheet of 2 inch foam runs about $20.

As far as cutting it, I use mainly all of my woodworking tools. I do have a wonder cutter from http://hotwirefoamfactory.com/home.phpfor the really fine cuts.The jigsaw works fine for cutting out the shapes, and you can use a small saw for the small cuts like the ones in Woodstock's head. I use the circular saw to cut the full-sized sheets down to more manageable sizes. The only drawback is that the foam particles stick to everything more than normal sawdust, and you need to where a dust mask since the foamdust is not good for you. If you do use a foam cutting tool do it in a well ventilated area since melting foam fumes are toxic.

Painting foam is not too bad.I stay away from anything in a spray can. I know they have floral spay paintfor foam but it is pretty expensive here so I don't use it. I use exterior latex house paint for most of the large areas (Snoopy, the doghouse) and then the Acrylic craft paint from Wall Mart or Michaels for the rest of the areas. I may put on a clear finish I have some which helps protect it from scratches, if I don't have any they go out once the paint has dried for about 24 hours. So far I haven't had any problems, most scratches are so small nobody besides myself are going to notice them especially at night. I have tombstones that are 6 years old and just touched up some this year, mainly because stuff has fallen on them or I when I put them in storage I put something heavy on them. Of course we don't have snow in NC, just the cold air.

I will actually get a some instructions together and posted. I have a few pictures here http://christmas.kreepyhollow.com/Pictures.htmI have more to add today.

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Here is the picture of my Remember Jesus sign made of blue styrofoam insulation from lowes. It has about 1000 clear minis. These pics are not too good.They were took with my sony camcorder. My main camera is off for repairs.

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and the candy cane, 300 minis made of styrofoam, red white stripe, green bow

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and the wreath that has 400 minis , green with red bow.

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here is a picture of it all, except the fences. I have a long driveway and have lights about 1200 multi color minis. Its all hooked up to a Mr christmas lights and sound controller. Merry Christmas everyone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Wow - Charlie and friends look great!!! The string of lights is the perfect finishing touch. Thanks for the details of what kind of styrofoam and paint to use.

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What kind of adhesive do you use. I've tried afew with very bad results. Anything solvent based just kind of melts the styrofoam.

Thanks,

Marshall

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I'm impressed...that looks great!! I've worked with foam in stage sets before. We used liquid nails as an adhesive without a problem. We also used it to make stone walss before and used spray enamel to paint it. The "eating" that the enamel paint did gave it a good texture for rock. So depending on the look you are going for, the selection of paint can vary. Oh, and we used an electric knife to cut the stuff:]

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Greetings all,

I have used two styro processes. See attached picture.

Fred and Ginger were cut from a 4'x8' sheet of 2" styrofoam, bought at Home Depot. $10. They are four foot tall and two wide. I used craft paint, took several layers, but looks good. After it is well dry spray with a sealer. Last step is to take Great Stuff and use it as 'frosting'. Ginger got some string hair.

You can see a giant candy cane behind them. Template and light spray paint, several layers. And then a spray glue with sprinkles sprinkled on. I got two four foot high ones and two three foot high ones.

In the bottom right hand corner you can see a giant star light mint. About 10 inches in diameter. I did use spray paint, but very lightly, it does melt the styro, but the effect is kind of good. I created a template to place above the styro disk, then spray the paint from above, takes two or three sprayings. Did some green ones too. Walmart has some clear celophane for $2 a roll, made a nice wrapper. Did some oval yellow 'lemon' drops (not on picture).

From the 4x8 sheet I got Fred and Ginger, two big candy canes, two smaller candy canes. About ten mints. And eight lemon drops. Styro, piant and stuff, total cost about $25.

They are riding in my X-mas gondola from my christmas train. Was filled up with presents and candies and teddy bears. Lights are c9 style LED. The whole thing went on a 5 mile trip a few days before xmas.

Gerald

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Some additional information based on my experience, for anyone interested in working with the extruded polystyrene..

Any spray paints that have the warnings on thelabel for Xylene, Toluene, and Acetone will eat polystyrene, though some more than others. I have used that to my advantage to "age" foam being used for Halloween tombstones. I have found one spray paint that works well for sealing up the foam. Low odor Kilz does not have the label warnings for any of the three solvents above, and I have been able to cover up the pink foam and black labels in 1 to 2 coats with no damage to the foam. So far, I have not tried a complete overcoat with the solvent based spray paints, but I have used a can without the fine nozzle in order to splatter paint over the surface.. So far no problems.. My next project will completely cover the Kilz with traditional spray paint, so I will find any issues then.

As for adhesive, so far I have had really good luck with Locktite adhesive for shower surrounds.. Guaranteed not to eat polystyrene shower surround panels, and does not require that one of the surfaces be porous in order to set.. I have been able to cut through areas with this glue with the cheap hot knife I am using, and while it does slow down the cut, I have not seen any issues. I did pry apart the scrap that had the adhesive on it, and the adhesive took the surface layer of foam with it.

If you wind up with a version of the extruded polystyrene with plastic sheeting bonded to it, you might want to check how well it is bonded. Here the 3/4 has the plastic sheeting, and it peels off really easily, so I always peel it. The 1" does not have this cover.

Also, do not store the foam outside until you are ready to use it. It is really susceptible to UV damage. I have ahalf sheet thatI have been using as a backer when spraying, and sometimes as a work surface protector. In a fairly short length of time it started to feel like it had some sort of sand on it. When I took a bench broom to it, the unpainted areas lost about 1/8 inch of foam. Other foam that was stored inside did not get scratched by the same broom...

- Kevin

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