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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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Everything posted by vkjohnson

  1. I have several hundred Lowes strands of red, green, and clear. They are on their 2nd year and are much better than the Walmart ones. I can already tell the Walmart ones are fading, but the red and green on the Lowes minis are nearly the same as out of the box. The others are right. Blue minis from any store are a one year wonder.
  2. You may find a little interesting. My display pulls 200 amps on it's own, not counting the lights on inside the house. All of this through 200 amp service. And yes...my breaker box and subpanels hum like crazy. Especially when I dim everything to 50% intensity. It doesn't much like that. lol
  3. For some of us in the Midwest who lost some of our displays last night to 60 mph winds, it almost did end. lol
  4. Wind gust just took my holdman star and threw it on it's back and sent 200 lbs of sand bags rolling off the second story roof. Down with a BANG.
  5. 10:03 pm.....holdman star goes down with a bang. Darn. almost made it through. This horrible blizzard causing damage is reminding me of The Day After Tomorrow movie when the world was said to be ending too.
  6. Sorry to hear about that, Roger. I've made it through alright so far. Just lost some icicle lights. There is running right now too about the weather.
  7. Wind gusts around here in central Illinois have been reported between 50 and 60 mph. Still howling more than ever right now, and the snow has moved in. Nothing in my display was affected until about an hour ago when all the icicles on one side of the house fell off at once. I didn't even expect those to be a problem. My 17 foot megas and holdman star (on top of the 2 story roof) are still holding up fine. Go figure that one out. All my roof line lights are fine too, but I really beefed them up after they blew off once last year. Best of luck to everyone. I really couldn't be more pleased, considering the circumstances.
  8. +1 for the pulley idea. I use a threaded flange as a mount for 2 pulleys with rope running to a pvc setup similar to that. With 96 strands, it is quite an effort to pull up almost 100lbs of lights without a winch, but I manage. Then just tie them off to a flag-pole type anchor that is attached to the side of the pole pipe. Never need a ladder for my megas this way.
  9. Holly cow Jason, you must be getting quite the draw from St. Louis if you live in that small of a town.
  10. If you are using spt wire for extension cords...a snap-on C9 socket with a bulb?
  11. I believe each channel also has a resistor soldered onto the board that would need changed. I know my 40 amp CTB 16 kits came with different resistors for each voltage. Not sure if the PC boards are the same. Hopefully someone else can confirm this.
  12. If people do take out GFIs, I'd hope it just doesn't mean you can throw caution to the wind. Not having to worry about popping GFIs, can potentially lead to being a bit lazy when it comes to guarding against electrical leakage. I know if I could guarantee no GFI problems, I wouldn't spend 2 hours propping up every single extension cord connection....and I agree with the others, best way to go. I went from regularly tripping 5 outlets last year, to now just 2, and only in heavy rain.
  13. Menards in the Midwest is currently running their Dutch auction sale. Right now 40% off, by next weekend it will be 50% off, and according to one of the workers there, it will stay at 50% and not any lower. Went there tonight and picked up 40 boxes each of red and green 120 ct minis. They had TONS of multi-colored 100 ct for $1.60, and TONS of multi C9 incan 25 ct. Too bad that's not my thing. I cleaned them out of 150 boxes of clear mini last year, but they've already sold out of those. Menards also had in stock about 15 LED Keepers and another 10 Light Keeper Pros. at $12 right now it's a deal! Waiting until 50% off and I just might buy all of them. lol Menards also had good LED selection still. Lots of WW minis if you can put up with half-waviness. Target had a few LEDs marked down 30%, nothing else. My Walmart that had that huge pallet of 100ct minis is completely sold out now....what a disappointment. The warm weather really took care of that stock pile. They haven't even marked anything down yet! They did have a ton of icicle clips and light stakes left, as well as 30 6.5 foot Christmas trees...but I already have 24 of those. lol
  14. Uh Oh...doesn't the world end on Friday? It's coming! Seriously though...that kind of description of a storm is a little worrisome. That 6 foot sail on top of my roof, better known as my holdman star, has me a bit worried now. Btw, this whole naming winter storms is new. This one's name is Draco.
  15. I'm sorry guys, but I feel like John's thread has been hijacked by this discussion. This is about showing off his work, which is well-deserved with his amazing LED display and great synchronization. Any of us can choose to sequence whatever songs we want, and he chose a song that was the most popular in the country which ended up going viral across the media. It made his display famous, and congrats to him, although it's unfortunate the traffic caused him to shut down. IMO, save the rhetoric for another forum, this is about Christmas decorating, not one's opinion on a foreign music artist, no matter what side you're on. My apologies if I'm being too blunt.
  16. My Lowes had absolutely nothing last night, and that pallet at Walmart that I was so excited about is gone too. G-O-N-E, gone! So disappointing. Why didn't November get the message that it's supposed to be 35 degrees, not 65?! This warm weather was a killer for clearance sales.
  17. I use 12" with white, red, and green, so there ends up being a bulb every 4". From a distance, 12" doesn't look that far apart at all.
  18. There are some really good systems out there, but I use no base at all....that's right, no digging, no sleeves. I just set the pipe on a partially drilled out 12" piece of 2x4 to keep it from sinking into the mud. My megas are 17 feet with 3 guy wires, using 1 1/4 pipe, normal thread connection and 1/8 steel cable. My 2 cents would be if you plan on using guy wires anyway, don't go through the hassle to dig yourself a big hole. 45 mph wind last year, never a problem. your base will not kick out. I have 96 strands on my trees.
  19. oooh.. very nice reminds me of this display. Great colors. I'd love to see a video when you get one. What town in Illinois are you?
  20. This has the potential to spark GFIs are code for a reason. (But I'm glad you are enjoying your display again)
  21. vkjohnson

    Roof Lighting

    I've heard the color saturation is where it's really worth it. Thanks for the info. I'm probably going to get a sample of each color to confirm my decision. My C9s are really hurting me in the power consumption too. Problem is I have over 3,000, so not really sure on converting all at once because of the money.
  22. vkjohnson

    Roof Lighting

    A little off-topic, but how do those C9 LEDs compare to incans? I'm looking into this for 2013, and I know CDI has some good ones. Are the fades really different or pretty comparable?
  23. vkjohnson

    Roof Lighting

    I outline all the ridges, hips, and gutters in big C9 bulbs. They are really bright!.
  24. vkjohnson

    C9 Help

    Thanks for the info Pete! I too would like to convert my C9s over to LED retrofit. With so many lights, I'd have to convert in stages and C9s is the first jump. Sadly, right now I can't even afford that first jump since I have over 3,000 C9 bulbs. How do the fades work out for the LEDs? Do they look the same as incans at full 100% on? I know the colors are much fuller with LED.
  25. Either way would work well. The wedge would give you more animation options. I put mine in a line to chase them, but not in a strait line. It's like a big S curve through the front yard. Adds some variety with most of everything else being in strait lines.
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