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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.

Joseph Ayo

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About Joseph Ayo

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member
  • Birthday 07/07/1965

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  • Website URL
    http://www.rawlsroad.com

Profile Information

  • Location
    Tampa, Florida, USA
  • Biography
    Owner of Rawls Road Christmas display in Tampa... www.rawlsroad.com
  • Interests
    Christmas lights
  • Occupation
    Appraiser
  • About my display
    Large Multihouse display in Tampa, Fl www.rawlsroad.com
  1. Awww... I think we are lucky we have direct connection to musical talents such as Judy Pancoast and Joe Tyria. We should offer them further support if anything. Dont worry about the over sell, we all know, thats just the American way at times so we should be used to it.
  2. Part of Holdman's success is what he is putting his lights on. That house is beautiful and would be distinct for a Christmas display I hate to say it no matter who decorated it. When he moved to the other location, he made up for things bygoing on a massive scale, covering several trees along 1000 ft of road frontage it seems. In any case, a well funded budget, good eye and talent have made for a fantastic display. Its organized, free of clutter, no excess wireframes, blow molds or inflatables almost is a significant part of Holdman's success.
  3. We have a major contributing neighbor taking the year off so they can go home for the holiday here, will still have the display up, going to tinker with some new ideas but by and large there is going to be some scale back at my display as well. We had a number of palm trees actually freeze to death last year so the palm trees we will decorate will be fewer. Palm trees such as Mount Everest Fishtail and Cuban royal palms are telephone poles now and even becoming difficult to reach with a tree lift so we are deciding to discontinue decorating these trees as the Christmas lights on them help the palm trees to freeze harder if the weather gets excessively cold
  4. I think some songs are much more interesting as a complete light show then others, so we dont see the wide diversity of songs available. Keep looking around, many many people are out there searching for new songs, but the main three or four you mentioned - well everyone plays them because these songs are famous "christmas light show" songs, owners like playing them and visitors ask for you to play them as this is what they expect to see at light shows. Otherwise many of us allow our own individual tastes to influence their playlists. Originally I started out playing mostly 1950's original artists christmas songs, and moved up to the disco era and then onto other genres as they seemed to be really cool when played with flashing lights. Last year most of my 50's and disco songs had been retired as I started looking at the 60's and 70's non-disco style and others. You might find what you want to play and your theme changes from year to year. You might be suprised that you see very little of jazz or country style songs rarely work well with light shows and thus you see very few of them being used.
  5. Actually Michael, I tried that song and I got chewed out by a mom on the second day it ran. She thought it was too nasty for her children to listen too, so hense I tend to throw this story out so that others dont find themselves in this position. I am sure most wont be offended but there is a small potential to offend some out there with this song. There is another REALLY GOOD song, Naughty Naughty Christmas by Danger Danger. Look it up on youtube and play it, its like REALLY REALLY good modern soft rock and roll song, however not sure what to think of the lyrics either. I donno guys, its not as bold as Gaga's but listen to it and tell me what you think.
  6. Beethoven's 5th by Walter Murphy has consistently gotten applause every year for 12 years at my display, its the oldest sequence that plays at my display, last season I retired my other disco era songs. Wizards of Winter is another song that brings about consistent rounds of applause upon completion so that will stay in my play list for that reason. Ironically it was the little 5 to 10 year olds that most often requested Lady Gaga and thus I put a search on for something similar but ran into the brick wall with the words. A new favorite that brought applause was Hilton's edit of Harder, Faster, Better by Daft Punk as well as my Techno Silent Night by Cinnamon, RichardH's Music Box Dancer. In the past I only had 2 songs at most that brought applause but something about this most recent year's playlist, we started getting consistent applause night after night with about 7 songs and THOSE are the type of songs I am obviously working on adding more of. Believe it or not, childish songs, like Sponge Bob, Porky Pig, etc bombed with all ages including the children so I am not very minded towards cartoon songs since they often have turned into the biggest flops.
  7. I am certainly one to advocate total G rating, for one people think I might try to push the envelope but this is why I try these ideas here before just placing into my display only to offend people feel like a tard later. I've spoken many times about using songs like Yellow Snow, Yellow Snow, Yellow Snow because of its offensive nature to many visitors. If you changed the words on the Lady Gaga song, it could be a great song/light show, but I think the thing is going down as a waste because of its racey words even if they are FCC radio compliant. Ironically I think the girl got a bad rep by using sex sells tactics and now that she's big, she realizes she doesnt need to be a cheap tramp to sell records, her music can do it all by itself. I recently saw an interview where she told the world lady gaga is celebate and doesnt want to catch AIDS, etc, etc so it seems she is already trying to clean up her image. Oh well.
  8. Yea I know, when its off season I try to expand on what to play at Christmas but when the season rolls around I always find myself doing a "what was I thinking" and delete or dont use too much of a cutting edge type stuff.
  9. All the younger set seem to be going goo goo for GaGa.. but I found a Lady Gaga song for Christmas thats pretty good to be honest, except its kind of racey. I have been seeing if I cant clean up the words or was wondering if we could maybe as a group pressure Lady Gaga to remake her song "Christmas Tree" in a more G rated direction. The song has problem areas such as lirics like: Ho Ho HO, We'll take off all our clothes Thats no place you'd rather be is underneath my Christmas Tree My Christmas Tree is Delicious Well I edited a version that makes Ho Ho Ho repeat again over the top of "We'll take off all our clothes", and with video presentation, the Christmas Tree part can show pictures of a Christmas "cake" everytime she gets racey with the Christmas Tree part. I dont know if I want to chance trying to run the slightly cleaned up edited version of the song next year. The young people are calling Gaga the New Madonna and I hate to say it but the older folks arent so bad with her old school style either. She basically dresses like Cher has for 30+ years.
  10. OK better late then never, I have a large palm tree collection and the freeze made me a super big amount of work to do removing mountains of frozen palm leaves and at the same time as Christmas take down. I havent been on planetchristmas I dont think since the light show closed for the season and I cant believe I almost missed it. I will definately be there, where is at at? I am intriqued, I have a very large yard but not 2 acres, your place sounds FANTASTIC already! Do you have a web page, I wouldnt mind checking out your display when its "in season".
  11. You do a fantastic display. You are just like 10 miles from me and I have seen your display a few years in a row now and I am very impressed. You know my display and that I draw a crowd of foot traffic and the cars and people tend to make my display hard to see from the street, so I am trying to please a transient crowd walking thru and they dont have time to wait up to 50 minutes for the eye candy song to play again, so I tend to try to keep the eye candy going more frequently. I like your format where people can sit in the car and get a great view of everything thru the windshield. I wish I could do a different type of show for a different type of audience but you know I like being a part of a mini-carnival with my neighbors. Its quite fun visiting with crowds of people, I hate to say it I look forward to doing it every night of the month and never tire of it.
  12. The ebay LED chasing lights: The wire is so thin, its about the guage of just 1 or 2 human hairs for wiring, makes it so fragile that exposure to elements and corrosion means it takes no time at all when exposed to elements for the wiring to break down. For my use I remove the controller and rewire the channels direct for LOR/AL direct control. This is difficult to do, to expose the wiring to be wirenutted, it can only be burned off. The corrosion problem however is at an individual light bulb here and there and not at my connection point, because could just strip off more and thread into wirenut to fix.
  13. Walmart uses standard grade, CDI uses commercial grade designed to last longer. The good thing is we found lets say you are using Paul's 100 count lights that are 33 ft and you find yourself just 6 ft short of something and dont want to tie up another 33 ft long string to cover the 6 ft shortage, you can use walmart LED lights and the "color" of the LED is a perfect match for Paul's. In our case we were able to use Walmart cheap/shorts to fill those small 6 ft shortages and it was seemless at least with the lights we used. If you are not aware, trying to match Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart LED colors doesnt go over very well, there are brightness differences, White, Yellow and Blue can vary dramatically from one brand to the next but at least if you need emergency "filler", Walmart LED's do seem to match the color acceptably enough. This said, Walmarts are half wave, CDI are full wave so there are slight brightness differences.
  14. DO you ever plan to sell LED chasing lights or things like "water fall" pattern lights? There is an abundance of Chasing lights available via Ebay but they are very fragile short lived strings. The average price of these ebay lights had been $2 a string X 100 lights X 4 colors, with an added $8 for shipping per string but I found in practical use, many strings only lasted 2 weeks and needed to be replaced. There is a high failure rate with the blue and red colors and they are impossible to fix or bypass around the bad bulb because they are soldered and waterproofed lights. I would much prefer to convert my chasing lights to something more durable as CDI brands rather then using these disposible fragile chasing LED lights I am using now. I had to buy as many spare strings of the ebay chasing lights as I did the first strings so I could replace strings as they darkened throughout the last season and found myself having to replace a string every 2 or 3 days to keep my house looking pretty in chasing lights. Considering the controller "rewire" needed to allow Animated Lighting the control over the exact chasing pattern with the music and hot glue on the house to hold the lights up, it was a major PAIN. The waterfall lights are 6 channel chasers and set up with 2 inch spacing between bulbs and pattern out to look like flowing water. They were introduced last year about the same time as the meteor lights or dripping icycles but didnt seem to catch as much popularity as the dripping onces, but none the less myself I would use them.
  15. Is this like chasing lights? The controllers are no different from incandescent chasing lights. The power going out is normal A/C 110 volts except they come out as animated into 4 each 25 light sets.
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