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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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Posts posted by Chuck

  1. I'll probably regret doing this... but I've added animated GIFs to PlanetChristmas.  When typing a new message, look for the icon on the right of the text editing toolbar that looks like a square frame with a mountain in it.  Hover over this icon and it will say GIFs.  Click it and have fun.

    christmas vacation laughing GIF

    OMG.  I'm already regretting it  😭

    • Like 1

  2. Well... we're finally back on-line.  Behind the scenes, PlanetChristmas needed to switch to a more robust host which is normally not a big deal but the PlanetChristmas forums include a huge database and about a zillion files that become challenging to move around.  There were also some significant DNS issues.  I'm now in the process of bringing some of the old website pages done in another format to our new site.

    Stay tuned.  There's more stuff on the way!

  3. On 10/19/2018 at 10:49 PM, KeysNole said:

    Chuck, my main recommendation would be to minimize all of the sub forums. 


    I really like that idea.  Let me work on figuring out how to archive a lot of the old stuff yet keep it searchable.

    I'm wide open for what new subforums we should have and how each should be titled.


  4. Back in the good old days PlanetChristmas was the happening place... only because we had been around from the beginning.

    Many years ago I debated shifting the PlanetChristmas forums to Facebook but could never get comfortable with all the ads and the fact Facebook could change their mind about what was approved on their platform at any time... so the PlanetChristmas forums continues to hang around.

    If you have any suggestions how we can improve the community, please let me know.

    • Like 1

  5. I've been reading all the latest news about how Facebook has been sharing user information with 'suspicious actors' around the world.  I've always thought it a bit creepy how only stuff I like seems to show up in my feeds.  

    Information gathered at PlanetChristmas is not shared with any entity.  That explains why you see the stuff you like as well as the stuff you don't like.  Your information at PlanetChristmas is safe and secure.

    Now I'm starting to wonder... was life better before Twitter and Facebook?

    • Like 2

  6. Seems there's been a problem with posting ads to the Classifieds (Buy/Sell/Trade) section of the PlanetChristmas forums.  After a few days of spinning in circles, things are now working as they should.

    I've made a slight change to the Classifieds system.  Posting is now free for everyone.

    Look for the 'Buy/Sell/Trade' link in the main menu bar or just goto http://forums.planetchristmas.com/index.php?/classifieds/

  7. Like whoooooaaaaa.  What happened to the forums?  Everything has gone dark!


    • It's easier on the eyes?
    • It's trendy right now?
    • Chuck's finally lost it and gone nutso?

    Probably a bit of all but if you don't like the darkness then:

    Scroll to the bottom of the page.  Look for a link called "Theme" and click it.  Pick 'PlanetChristmas Theme (Magnum Light)' and all will return to the good old days.


    • Like 1

  8. Here's the deal.  My grand plan to totally revamp the forums for 2018 hasn't gone well.  The old adage 'you get what you pay for' comes to mind.

    We use a forums package from Invision Power.  Pricey to license in the beginning and then you have to renew support every six months.

    I use WordPress for other projects and thought I could use free plug-ins to emulate what Invision Power does.  I built a new Wordpress site and added the forum plug-in.  Paid an expert to migrate the 20,000+ accounts from Invision Power over to Wordpress. 

    Then I realized some of the basic features we're used to with Invision Power weren't in the Wordpress based forums.  No problem.  There's a Wordpress plug-in for that.  Pretty soon the free plug-ins led to needed 'pro' versions (secret code for 'you have to pay for that feature').  A few days ago I realized I had added more then 10 'forum enhancement' plug-ins and still didn't have near the functionality of Invision Power. 

    With all those Wordpress plug-ins also came complexity.  Tweaking a forum feature required guessing what plug-in implemented it and searching for the right page to make the change.  I started thinking it was becoming worse than tweaking Invision Power.

    Then I ran the speed tests.  Let's just say adding all those Wordpress plugins costs in several ways... money, computer processing and page load times.  The Wordpress site is on a turbo-charged server with all sorts of caching techniques enabled.  The empty Wordpress forums required patience as you jumped from page to page.  Depressing.

    Then I got an email yesterday from Invision Power talking about upcoming enhancements and new features.

    I took a step back and looked at where I was going with the Wordpress based forums.  Bottom line: backwards.  How could I justify spending more time and money to lose features and priceless information from the past?


    Lots of words to say we're sticking with Invision Power (our current provider).

    The revamped goal is to take all the forum messages over two years old and 'archive' them.  It means they're moved out of the way but still searchable.

    The various sub-forums that are left will be consolidated, simplifying navigation for all.

    Some of the features requested in earlier posts will be explored with Invision Power.  Seems there's a lot about the software I wasn't aware of.  I've learned this the hard way thanks to Wordpress.

    Changes will be happening over the next couple of weeks.  The best news is you won't have to suffer through learning how to use a new forum.

    Please stay tuned.

    • Like 1

  9. The good news: the PlanetChristmas forums are about to undergo a big change.

    The bad news:  people hate change and the new PlanetChristmas will have a different look and feel.

    When:  February 1, 2018

    Some details:

    The forums you are reading now be switched to the 'Archive' mode on February 1m, 2018.  It's a fancy term meaning everything will stay online but no new posts, messages, classifieds or registration will be allowed.   The search engines will still be able to find everything you've posted over the last 20 years.

    Much of your PlanetChristmas account information will be copied to the 'new and improved' PlanetChristmas.  When you first attempt to log in you'll have to reset your password.

    The new PlanetChristmas merges the forums and DIY website. 

    You'll also have the option of social media capabilities.  Much of what you like about Facebook you'll be able to do in the new PlanetChristmas... minus the never-ending Facebook ads and unwanted news articles.  I'm looking forward to taking advantage of groups.

    The forums will begin with a clean slate.  No more timely topics about Christmas Expo 2011  .)

    Sharing pictures and videos will be easier because a degree from Geek University won't' be required.

    Classifieds are being revamped to make things simpler to understand.

    ...and a lot of other features I haven't discovered yet.

    But... for some of us old-timers (I'm one of them) this big change could be frustrating at the beginning.  Buttons and links will be in different places.  Strange terms might have you scratching your head.  Getting all your new options set just right will take trial and error.  Think of it as one step back to be able to jump three steps forward.

    Are you super-worried about any of this?  Feel free to share your concerns with me: [email protected]

    Stay tuned.  This is going to be fun!

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 1

  10. You're experiencing one of my biggest frustrations with the current forums... lots of features but the user interface can be super-awkward. 

    Behind-the-scenes on the administrative side there are constant mental gymnastics required for what should be minor tasks.  Urrrrgggggggg.

    What does the PlanetChristmas Forums future hold?

    The current forums will be switched to the 'Archive' mode meaning the threads will be accessible to all but no additions will be allowed.  That's secret code for: Google will remember you forever :o

    The current users will be moved to the new forums where we'll start with a clean slate using many of the suggestions from this thread.

    Please keep the suggestions flowing.


  11. 8 hours ago, JeffCarter said:

    The ability to edit your post and comments for the life of the post.

    I get this request regularly.

    As I remember, you can edit your text for an hour after the original posting but then it's locked. 


    Troublemakers have been known to say something inflammatory, get everyone all worked up, change their original post and then claim 'it wasn't me!'

    The stories I can tell after 20 years...

    But, I'm looking into a different way of handling this.  You can make edits but the original text remains available to be read.

    What would you like to see added/changed/jettisoned in the PlanetChristmas community for 2018?

    • Haha 1
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