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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.

XmasBoy

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Everything posted by XmasBoy

  1. I'm a newbie this year with my display running right now. I have 32 channels and that seemed about right for me. I could have handled 48 channels and maybe 64, but IMO 32-48 channels is the best place to start. If you start with 16 channels, sometimes it can look more like a Mr. Christmas box with real music than a light show. The first thing you should do is create a general budget just to know what the neighborhood is in of what you are planning to spend. If you are going the LED route, look for pre-sales in early January. You can get quality LEDs then for much lower prices. LEDs will still take a pretty big chunk of your budget. Your budget will give you a pretty good idea about how many channels you can have. Don't forget to add in money for good quality speakers or a good FM Transmitter. You don't want to go cheap there! Also don't forget about extension cords! They can sometimes be more expensive than the controllers themselves! I use about 1500 feet of cord for 32 channels, so you can see how you need a lot of cords fast. Once you have your budget and your general plan, begin watching lots and lots of videos of displays on YouTube. You will find so many different ideas for different elements you can build. I don't know much about the full blown controller routes, but Light-O-Rama has some DIY routes you can take to save some money. For $50 less than the full controller price, you get a kit with the board already attatched and all you have to do is assemble the cables. This is very simple and should only require a screwdriver. This will probably take about 1-2 hours, so IMO this option at a minimum is worth it. Be careful with this option in the February sale though as it is very popular and I believe it sold out within 10 minutes last year. The other option is to get a kit with all of the components for the controller where you solder your board and built the controller. It is a savings of about $75 off full price. You will need to purchase some soldering irons and some other tools. I used this option. LOR gives you very good instructions that are easy to understand. This was my first time soldering and I had no trouble assembling this kit. It will probably take you anywhere from 4-12 hours depending on your speed and experience in soldering. Consider how much your time is worth, but I would reccomend this route. You get a lot of satisfaction from saying you built the kit yourself. Good Luck!
  2. I was standing in front of my house tonight watching my show and these people came by. They didn't know who I was, and I didn't know them. They started watching the lights and they were on the other side of the yard from me, so I could overhear them, but I wasn't really interacting with them. They started watching the lights, and were debating if they were syncronized or if there was something wrong with them and we just had music playing. One of them was even trying to decide if they should ring our doorbell to tell us that something is wrong with our lights! Normally, I probably would have gone and told them who I am and explained to them how it worked, but I was just at a loss of what to say. I couldn't even believe they thought the lights were broken (my sequences aren't perfect, but I think they're pretty good and it's clear that the lights are synced). Has anyone else ever overheard anything "interesting" like this being said about their display?
  3. I saw your display on TLC. You had a great segment, but they really up-played the gate issue. I guess they have to get their drama in. When they showed your display, was Deck the Halls actually in the display, or was it just fancy video editing? It was hard to tell.

  4. I'm a newbie this year too, and my display is about a day or two from light up, but I've made lots of costom extension cords. I bought all of my supplies from christmaslightshow.com. To make a cord, you cut the wire to the length you want it, place the plug where you want it, and slide the cover on. I couldn't believe it was that easy! Some people reccomend using pliers to push the cover, but I just used my hands and it worked fine. Some vendors sell female plugs that go in the center of a wire (more than 1 female plug on the wire), but I just cut a second hole in the plug with a Dremel tool. The custom cords are working really well, and it saved me a ton of money.
  5. Exactly, and I started set-up very late by the standards of people on PC. I did have the HOA president walk by the other day, and I was expecting to get in trouble, but she said it was a good idea to do it early so you could enjoy thanksgiving instead of decorating for christmas. I saw christmas lights up and turned on at their house that night! lol
  6. I emailed him a couple of weeks ago and got a reply the next day, and my product was shipped the day after I ordered it. He was very quick for me.
  7. I'd like to switch, but I am definately not paying $12 a strand for the commercial quality ones, and the quality of the store-bought ones just seem pretty bad to me for the cost.
  8. And don't forget that your lights won't be on all the time since they're animated, so it will really cost even less! Savings on electricity with LEDs still isn't enough for me to justify the initial cost, but I like the look and the day when I switch is coming.
  9. All my lights are up on the roof. I'm hoping to make all my cords made on Saturday and do all the lower lights on Saturday and test Saturday night. I'm really excited to see it all in action!
  10. I've never started setting up before the day before Thanksgiving until this year. Everyone in my neighborhood thought that was too early! People here seem to strictly follow the "no Christmas until after Thanksgiving" rule.
  11. I was on the roof the other day hanging lights, and this is by far the earliest I have ever set up. It got lots of attention, mostly positive, but a couple of people were making comments. I just acted like I didn't hear the negative ones.
  12. I ordered 1000' of SPT1 from Christmas Light Show a couple weeks ago, and it was the best price I could find at the time. It arrived only 3 days after I ordered it, and worked really well. I would reccomend them unless CDI is cheaper.
  13. Does anyone know how much the 100 count incandesants are at 50% off? Thanks.
  14. I noticed that my Target and Lowes lights make it all the way around my windows, but Wal Mart is about a foot short. I assumed it had always been that way, but that's disappointing to hear that prices are going up and string length goes down.
  15. I know Target cut down on their colors, but it just really surprised me to see pink and purple, but no green.
  16. Here's a link to the sale on Lowe's website: http://www.lowes.com/pl_Stock+Up+Event_4294797991_4294937087_?cm_cr=Homepage+1.2-_-Web+Activity-_-Homepage+A6+Activity+11.10.10-_-HomePage_Area6-_-10605_1_PROMO_6A_StockUpDecorations In the things marked Buy 2, Get 1 free in the store, they are just marked 32% off online, so it's the same price, you just don't have to buy 2. They also have the RV inflatable marked $98 and a couple other things.
  17. I need some 50 count Green Incandesants, and I've been looking around for them. I was at Target today where I found 50 count white, red and blue. They didn't have ANY solid green Incandesants. I asked an employee if they just hadn't stocked them yet, and she said she didn't think they were getting any. Has anyone else seen 50 count incandesants in green at Target or any other store? It seemed odd that they had white, multi, red, and blue in every brand and length of incandesants, and even some pink and purple, but no green incandesants.
  18. I just got back from shopping for some new lights that I need and I came across a couple of very good sales. Lowes: -White Mini Incandesants: Buy 2, Get 1 Free There was also a Buy 2, Get 1 Free on some types of LEDS, but I'm not sure which ones. These sales are valid through Monday, November 15. Target: -I bought 2 boxes of incandesant minis and got a coupon for $4 off a future purchase of select energy efficent christmas lights. You'll have to go see more about that if you're interested. Sorry if this has already been posted, I was just hoping to help some people out.
  19. XmasBoy

    new to this

    Well I've never worn make-up, so that must be why I always have to pay full price for christmas lights. lol
  20. XmasBoy

    new to this

    Wow, that sounds like a very nice employee. I need 4 cases if incandesants from Lowe's. Any advice on discounts?
  21. Just out of curiosity, what do you estimate your selling price would be for an arch the same as your's?
  22. Well I came into my Halloween display with 1 goal in mind; to get an understanding of how LOR runs and to get some experience before christmas. In that area, the display was a huge success. It took a lot longer than I expected to figure out the works of the LOR show editor, schedule editor, and the CP, but I am happy to have that out of the way so christmas will be much easier. Overall, I think people loved my show, and I learned some things to improve in the future and a lot of feedback from trick-or-treaters. First off, it was a lot of fun. We had the music blasting probably a little louder than it should have been, but it was getting everyone excited and I wanted to make sure people saw it. (a lot of people went most of October not knowing there was music). I'm glad I made the decision to start a real animated display, I have kind of mixed feelings about my song selections. This is Halloween was a huge hit with everyone, but especially the younger kids. Many would come to the door screaming that it was their favorite halloween song. I liked the song, and everyone enjoyed it. I just put the song in tonight and the end of the sequence was kind of rushed, but I still like it and think it was a good decision. My other song is the theme from Friday the Thirteenth. That song was a huge hit with the older kids and a lot of adults who were walking around the neighborhood. They all got excited when it came on and I liked this song as well. The negative to that song is that some parents told me that they thought that song was too scary for some of the younger kids and that some kids were scared to come trick-or-treat at our house. After that, I turned all the lights on around the house so it wasn't so dark and hopefully a little less scary. I'll have to think about if I want to include the song again next year. I think I may find another "fun" halloween song similar to This is Halloween to play until around 8pm and then play Friday the Thirteenth and The Excorsist (or a similar song). I want to have a scary halloween theme, but I don't want kids to be scared to trick-or-treat. A lot of people made comments about how cool it was and that was really fun to hear after putting so much work into the show. Everyone was saying they had never seen anything like it before. I've had a Mr. Christmas for several years, and everyone has said they are excited for christmas this year and everyone wanted to know when the show would start and when I would start putting it up. In only 3 more weeks I will be testing! And one final thing that this show taught me; extension cords, extension cords, extension cords! Everyone says that you will underestimate the cords required, but I didn't really take this seriously until I used every single cord I have for my 14 channel display and I have 32 for christmas! I ended up ordering 1000 ft of SPT, so now hopefully I really am good on extension cords. (btw, I am very pleased with Christmaslightshow.com and service. My order arrived only 3 days after placing it). So overall, it was a huge success, and now that I have a small show under my belt, it's time to go full stream for christmas! I'm going to finish videos tomorrow night and I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to post them online or not, but I will post a link if I do put them online.
  23. That is really cool! Are those just standard flood lights behind the arch or are they some type of rainbow or LED flood?
  24. Those signs look great, but what about monday and tuesday?
  25. I had just gotten back from Lowes when I read this. I went back to check it out and they didn't have SPT1 spools in stock, but they had SPT2 on clearance. It was a 250 foot spool for about .12 a foot. They only had 2 spools and I need 1,000 feet so I'm just going to order it online since it's the same price.
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