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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.


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About vkjohnson

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member
  • Birthday 03/27/1989

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Helping my father put up lights when I was a child.
  • Location
    Paxton, east central Illinois
  • Biography
    Small town guy with big ideas.
  • Interests
    Extreme Christmas Decorating, woodworking.
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    140,000 mini-lights and C9s on 336 channels of LOR. Still all incandescent and always will be.

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  1. I'll give a creative solution... Embrace it as a design element. It lights up your driveway pretty well with a warm white or even yellow glow. Flood the walls of your house in that same color with outlines of cool white around the edges of the house, windows, and driveway. The warm-cool mix actually looks pretty good when put together as a theme. As a static display I think that would look pretty cool. Animation would be more difficult if you want total darkness at any time.
  2. I posted this video a while ago about the process of making cords and custom light strings with plugs where you want them. If going for LEDs I would recommend getting empty socket stringers and LED retro-fit bulbs from any of the reputable online vendors.
  3. Very nice, Big J. I am dark this year in Paxton, taking my third break in 4 years. Just hard to find the time to commit to prep and setup. Planning on a return next year, but I did put together a nice static display on our church lot this year.
  4. Yep, do this, specifically the female one of you have voltage in the cord itself. Sometimes when the plug cap slides on it can push the wire and bend the vampire prong over so it doesn't make contact.
  5. There are online tables you can look up for AWG and ampacity at a maximum voltage drop. I think it is recomended at a max around 5-10% for a steady load like a light bulb. Anyway.. At 2 amps I estimate you should easily be good for 150 feet. Try to find those tables though. What exactly is the problem?
  6. Depends entirely on the number of amps the load is. 18 awg or 16 awg spt?
  7. yank 'em tight. If that doesn't work I guess you could cheat it with a staple gun. I can see it being a bigger problem in Florida with the sun and warmth, the wires may expand and slip. In the cold, dead north you can wrap them on a warm day in November, and the cold temps later keep them tight.
  8. I use the galvanized stranded similar to what you are looking at. I use 1/8" instead of 1/16. You're talking a difference of 100 lb strength vs. 340 lb. In all likelihood the 1/16 would hold fine, but I took the insurance and went with 1/8" Still disappears at night. Heck.. I think you can even order it in black if you want. Most failures tend to be in the pole or in the anchors. I like steel water or gas pipe and mobile home anchors.
  9. Yes, to reiterate what Big J said, vampire plugs will only work on the older style c9 or c7 strings that have screw type sockets. You can buy retro fit LED bulbs from online vendors to fit in those strings which is common practice among some, but so is using normal store-bought LEDs that you can't cut to shorten.
  10. If you're using standard lights in a series circuit where removing one bulb causes them all to go out, you can just double back the strand on itself. If you use strands that use a parallel circuit like a C9 or C7 string with screw bulbs you can cut them to fit and place vampire plugs on the end. Same process is used to make custom length extension cords. That topic is covered extensively on this forum as well.
  11. I guarantee people would be interested in purchasing the whole lot, the drive distance just has to be economical. If you were anywhere I might be headed in the next couple months, I'd be interested, but Kansas City isn't one of those places unfortunately. This forum is a great place to get interest. So is one of the facebook groups like LOR users
  12. Some of the full-wave vendors used to offer a color called "warm candle white." Creative Displays may have been one of them. I don't think they offer it anymore though. I never used them myself, but they were advertised as a bit warmer than standard "warm white." IMO, warm white seams just a touch too cool, but not by much ...it probably has more to do with the intensity and brightness of the LED than anything. I find mixing warm white and incans outside still works alright, but I put warm white inside on a tree and the effect indoors was much to bright and cooler in color than the incan appearance. 2017 vendor links... http://www.highcountrylights.com/christmas-resources/pre-sale-info.html
  13. Check I used 5 gal bucket enclosures with spt 1 wire and female plugs. Mine were the commercial ones, not the PCs but same principle. Only difference is you would have to use quick-connects instead of the screw clamps on the wires. I soldered mine too. It is a good money saver. No experience previously, but once you do the first one it gets a lot faster and easier.
  14. I admire those of you who can pull down your stuff in two days. I wish more of mine was a simple unplug and throw in a container. Those darn tree wraps and megas take forever! I'm calling it now... I bet I have at least something still up when March comes around.
  15. I think our synchronized Christmas shows are put out to remind people of the joy and meaning of Christmas, but also to entertain those who watch. That's why I and I think many use a mix of songs, both with a Christmas meaning and those without. Most of the dubstep displays I have seen do have some sort of Christmas connection, even if it is more to the secular side, it's still a reflection of the holidays. It would be great if we could all play Away in a Manger and Silent Night the whole time, but then our displays would have little entertainment value to compliment the Christmas message. Use the big flashy songs to get them there, then give them the Christmas message before they leave.
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