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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.

Christmasjunkie

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About Christmasjunkie

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member
  • Birthday 08/14/1950

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    The original one works fine....There is no better story
  • Location
    Muskogee, OK
  • Biography
    Born in Illinois, Married, one son
  • Interests
    Christmas
  • Occupation
    College AVP
  • About my display
    25,00 lights, 64 channels, 2 leaping arches, a very bad mega tree, some blow molds, 1 inflatable, some wireframe angels, Holman Bethlehem Star

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  1. My arches are built from 1 and 1/2 inch gray electrical conduit but you can't change that now. My arches are planted on each side of the driveway with 2 pieces of rebar but then I also drive a 6' long "T" post (like they use for wire fencing) on each end and wire the arch to the post on each end. The center still moves a bit in the wind but it is very secure and the posts are never seen at night. It takes a bit of pounding but I have never had trouble with my arches since I went with this. I live in OK and we get winds to 40 MPH fairly often. Just another idea to think on
  2. By comparison to other displays (25,000) my display is pretty small but almost all of it is down now. Started taking stuff down New Year's day. Then parts of 2 Saturdays following. I have one tree that was wrapped that I haven't touched yet but it is not really noticeable. By this time every year, I'm just tired of messing with it and want to forget it. It's almost a all in the totes now and in the garage. Some of it is stacked and some of the stacks have already fallen down LOL!
  3. I painted my mast black and spray painted all my cords black to match. You'll be surprised how much shows up when you light up...even in the dark
  4. This has been a difficult year from the beginning. At one point I thought there would be no show this year because of my work schedule, illness, weather, and technical problems. I finally got up and running on Dec. 15--the latest I have ever been. We were gone for 4 days at Christmas and when we got back I discovered that we had a power blip and the show computer had been shut down for 3 days. Since then I have had nothing but electrical problems. I had an electrician friend install 4 new dedicated circuits 3 years ago to serve my lighting set up. As an electrician he put GFT's in the receptacles. This year the GFI's are popping constantly and I have no idea why. I have had to constantly swap cords around to other circuits to keep the show up and running. For 3 nights I was completely shut down. I'm thinking of taking the year off next Christmas. I will be taking my lights down tomorrow, New Year's Day and will be glad to be rid of it. It's just not fun anymore. Can anyone identify with this?
  5. My approach is about the same as others. It really depends on how permanent you want the thing to be. My mast is 2" PVC. I dug down in the ground 2 ft, put a 2 ft piece of PVC in the ground and poured cement around it. when it was set up I glued the female end of a threaded coupler to it and the male end to the 10 ft mast. When it's not in use I just screw a cap on it and cover it for the summer. When I need it I just uncover it, unscrew the cap and screw the mast in. Has worked well for 3 year/ I have four guy wires to hold it in place and I have had no problems in the Oklahoma wind, which can gust to 50 miles per hour. A mega tree is a major commitment though. Be prepared for lots of work your first year.
  6. This is amazing stuff. I have been trying to decide what to add next year without huge hassle. I have only 2 drive way arches, but I think I just found my addition for next year. These are impressive. If you're still feeling generous could you share the sequences. [email protected] Thanks so much.
  7. If I am understanding your question, you want to know how to change a strand from clear to green to red. If that is your question, Plauche has answered it for you. RGB's (which I have no experience with) are color changing lights and seem to be very expensive. The other option is to make what some folks call 'super strands' which are strands of lights braided together. If you want clear, red, and green, you braid those 3 color strands together into a single strand. Then you have to have a channel to control each color, so that they either flash separately or fade into one another or whatever effect you are seeking. So, one super stand can take 3-4 lighting channels to make it work. Multiple that times 4 super strands on a simple tree and you have used up a single LOR controller for one tree. Then you have to have the extension cords to run each channel. It is a very impressive effect and looks cool but it is very time intensive and expensive to do. If you decide to do it, you'll get lots of ooooohhhhs and ahhhs. Happy wrapping.
  8. Darlene: Sorry to hear you had such a tough time. You have been one of my role models since I logged onto Planet Christmas in '08. I always appreciated the Christmas Decorator's prayer that you posted. I am praying now for you that you will heal quickly and that Georgia will be blessed with your display next year.
  9. With the help of LOR I was able to re-set the controller (something I've never done before) However, now I have one channel staying on all the time. If this is a problem with the triac, what do I do? Can these be replaced?
  10. I am running a simple 4-controller network in LOR. I have been using Controller box #1 in the same configuration for at least 4 years. Channels 1-3 drive the 3 sections of my Holdman Bethlehem Star. . It has been working fine for years but tonight it stopped working. I did the usual trouble shooting things: the other 5 channels on the same side of the controller box are working, the pilot light is lit so power is up, the fuses on both sides of the controller are fine. I plugged the lights on the star directly into a receptacle to make sure the problem isn't the lights or the fuses in the lights....they lit up fine. The star is the center piece of my display. I couldn't get any help from LOR. Help! Suggestions?
  11. After traveling nearly every weekend Sept - mid Nov for work,, getting sick on the days I took off from work to set up, running into the usual technical problems, and even getting called into work last Friday when I was supposed to be off....TONIGHT THE LIGHTS ARE ON! Some things didn't light up, all the songs are not loaded yet, and I've got a troublesome arch, but IT'S WORKING. This is my fifth year to animate and it is the latest I have ever been in getting going, I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. Thanks to my wife who put up with all my gripes and complaints and held the flashlight on nights when we worked in the dark, and to all my PC friends who encouraged me. Please use this thread to talk about some of the challenges you faced this year1
  12. Well, I'm not up and running but I'm so much closer. I finally started plugging things into controller boxes and seeing lights flash. I should be operating tomorrow night. I'm so excited to finally be at this point. Everything has been against me. I took a personal day on Friday and still got called in to work. I can't seem to win this year. Either way though....Sunday night the LIGHTS COME ON!
  13. Mwalt It's is never too early to think about next year. Richard Holdman used to say he started planning next year while he was putting up this year's display. I do most of my initial thinking while I'm watching my display run..."Hmm. If I did this...If I changed that...If I added the other thing...." It also gives you the opportunity to evaluate your sequencing in a real life situation. This hobby is learned by doing. My wife usually goes crazy at that point because she's lived with lights and set up for weeks and is ready to think about something else at that point. Just start dreaming....walk around the display as it's operating...Talk to viewers....They will give you great ideas. Sometime in January, someone will start a thread here on "What I plan to do next year." It's never too early.
  14. We had several inches of sleet and ice. It brought down my roof lights. Gives new meaning to "icicle lights"
  15. Friends: I'm a bit desperate. I have been on the road, have been sick, and done on sequencing this year. My display is only 1/2 up. If anyone has 64 channel sequences they w9uld share. I would appreciate it. Thanks Leroy
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