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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.

Lone Star Holidays

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About Lone Star Holidays

  • Rank
    Newbie

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

Profile Information

  • Location
    Texas
  • Biography
    Lone Star Holidays is a non-profit organization created to help people enjoy all of the holidays.
  • Interests
    Valentines, St Patricks, Easter, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years
  • Occupation
    Non-profit organization
  • About my display
    Visit our website for more information

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  1. The video topic has reared it's head in the past and our straight-forward answer is this on all Academy topics/classes: formal video of sessions is not going to happen in the foreseeable future. People want variety of topic and experience level, which means multiple classes at the same time and unfortunately that means you'll miss something. We do repeat some of what we determine will be the most popular topics but everyone will miss something. Adding video to the mix is neither easy (to anyone gearing up their response about how they can do it, please step away from the keyboard! ) or something we want to get into. Each instructor would have to be prepared way in advance, equipment and staff would need to be on-hand, and things would have to be set up in a way that does not impede upon the session itself. We will not be providing video and we won't be setting up between sessions- not enough time and we won't be cutting into classes. Unfortunately this means those who cannot attend are unable to see this as well. That said we certainly hope many of you can attend and enjoy the 3 days of fun!
  2. “The LOR classes were great but I really wanted to have a large block dedicated to just sequencing.” “As someone new I would have liked to learn about sequencing from one of the experts.” “Sequencing, sequencing, sequencing!” All of those statements have come from our Academy feedback surveys over the past four years. We’ve approached Light-O-Rama classes from every possible vantage point when using volunteers as instructors. Long time users, professional sequencers, commercial providers… you name it and the Academy has tried it. But after four years we’re going to give people what they want: a full day of sequencing training (including comprehensive review of the newest software version, S3) presented by a recognized leader in Light-O-Rama training: Drew Hickman of Holiday Technologies. Holiday Technologies attended the Academy in 2008 and supported the event through advertising sponsorship in 2009 and 2010 so they know what our event is all about. Drew brings an invaluable amount of real-world expertise to the course and has taught light display and animation courses at locations all across the United States. He has been in the light display business since 1996, creating the very first commercially available hardware (ChristmasCave*) and software (Dasher*) products for music-synchronized displays. Since that time Drew has worked on all types of displays, large and small, commercial and residential, and is a certified LOR instructor. He is sure to share some of his more interesting experiences of being in this business with his students. The majority of class time will be spent teaching people how to use the Light-O-Rama (LOR) S3 software suite. Throughout the session Drew will share his real world experiences and teach shortcuts that will save countless hours of wasted time during the busy time of the decorating season. The course will focus on the sequence editor, building shows, and advanced training, tips and tricks for increasing the speed and quality of your programming. So there you have it, the sequencing solution you’ve asked for. However this is an addition to the Academy, utilizing a professional instructor and because of that it requires a higher registration cost. Your $60 Academy registration isn’t increasing but if you want to attend “The S3 Experience” it will cost an additional $150. Two things to keep in mind with this cost: The $150 cost is a reduction from Holiday Technologies regular pricing. Drew is attending the Academy, and has worked to develop this custom course, because he believes in the event and the people who attend it. We appreciate and respect the fact that this is a business for Holiday Technologies and we ask that our attendees (and potential attendees) do the same. This course requires 12 people to be registered and paid in full by no later than February 29, 2012. If we do not have those numbers there is a possibility that the course will be cancelled (refunds in full will be issued if that occurs, but we believe this will not be necessary). Materials: A comprehensive manual is available for sale for $50 (you will see it in the LSH Shopzone). This manual will cover far more than just the information from the course. Academy attendees who do not register for “The S3 Experience” may also purchase the manual. Delivery of manuals will occur on Day 3 of the Academy. Hours: 9am-4:30pm on Day 3 (June 17th). The class will break during the lunch period. What to bring: Attendees must bring a computer with them that has the Light-O-Rama S3 software already installed. So if you have been looking for the best in Light-O-Rama sequence training this is your opportunity. Head over to the LSH Shopzone and you will see the regular Academy registration for $60 or the Registration WITH the S3 Experience for $210 ($60 + $150)- be sure to select the correct item before checking out (and for those of you who have already registered and would like to have the S3 Experience add-on you will receive information via email on how to handle this). The S3 Experience: Just another aspect that makes the 2012 Academy "Citius, Altius, Fortius". Click the image below for more information or to register today!
  3. Just received a list from Santa RJ, our Academy partner at DIY Light Animation, and we must have been on the "Nice List" this year! Take a look at what the DLA crew has already assembled for Academy 2012 classes: Soldering Basics for EVERYONE “Until a year ago I didn’t even own a soldering iron.” This was made in a recent post by one of our long-time attendees and is a great example of the different levels of knowledge in our shared hobby. We have some of the most creatively technical minds in the holiday industry attend the Academy each year but we also have people in need of a “square one” approach. RJ from DIY Light Animation is coordinating this “workshop-style session to help everyone feel comfortable and open to asking questions. Soldering Advanced Topics When you get beyond the basics and need to further your knowledge base it becomes time to attend a more advanced level class. This session will pick up where “Soldering Basics for EVERYONE” left off and continue the workshop-style teaching approach. Several of the more experienced staff members from DIY Light Animation will be on hand to help show you some advanced techniques and guide you through them. Automated Sequencing: the Easy Button for Animated Displays? Hours upon countless hours have been spent by everyone who animates their displays. Each timing mark must be perfect. Every fade and effect has to hit at just the right moment. Some people estimate that it takes them one to two HOURS per minute of music. What if that could be a thing of the past? One of the leading members of DIY Light Animation will be on hand to discuss this topic and present some exciting tips for the future of animated lighting. Everything You Wanted to Know About Light Show Pro… and Then Some! Light Show Pro continues to be an exciting option for holiday enthusiasts to sequence and control their animated displays. The Academy has had LSP programmers and high-level users offer their experiences and instruction in the past but for 2012 we’re bumping it up a notch. David Johnson, the creator and owner of Light Show Pro, is preparing multiple classes to teach you everything from the basics to the advanced tips and tricks in this powerful software suite. Bring your laptops and hold on to your thinking cap! The Many Twist of the Helix Light Controller The Helix is a DIY hardware and software system that allows you to create a professional looking synchronized light show at a fraction of the cost of the commercial systems. It is also one of the most advanced DIY light controllers available. The developer of the Helix will be at the Academy to share the history of this unique controller and offer direct insight into how it can enhance your displays. Who better to teach you these things than the man that created it?? Putting it All Together with xlights What is xlights?? It’s simple really: xlights is a cross-platform Christmas light show scheduler built on wxWidgets. It plays Vixen and LOR sequences and is compatible with LOR, D-Light, DMX, Renard, Pixelnet, and E1.31 controllers. Now, if that all sounds like Greek you’re in luck because Matt Brown, developer of xLights and a long time LSH member will be on hand to show you how to download, install, configure, and setup your show in xLights. Bring your questions- let’s play “Stump the Developer!” Building, Programming and Using Smart Strings You have seen them and you really want to use them. But if you have more questions than answers when it comes to Smart Strings then this is the class for you. This session will include demonstartions of all of the standard items you have seen… and some you haven't. We’ll cover how to build them, how to make them work and even how to work them into your show. What’s good? What’s not? This class can help you jump into the world of RGB full control with a lot of the headaches worked out for you. The DLA crew has a lot to show you in this class and you will not want to miss it. What Else? Are there any other topics we’re covering? There’s a lot of other unique and exciting options in the DIY universe and we’ll have more announcements in the coming weeks. Some topics RJ and the rest of the DIY Light Animation team are working to bring you are: The Renard Controller: What You Want to Know The EtherDongle and Conductor: Your New Best Friend Building and Using the Lynx Express Controller Stay tuned to the website (www.theultimateacademy.com) as we have more exciting Academy info to share in the next few weeks. You’ll hear about more DIY offerings, some non-Christmas topic announcements, and a very special opportunity for all those Light-O-Rama users out there! Remember that the ONLY way to get in on the fun is to register today! Don't miss out in 2012. Happy EVERYTHING!
  4. Just received a list from Santa RJ, our Academy partner at DIY Light Animation, and we must have been on the "Nice List" this year! Take a look at what the DLA crew has already assembled for Academy 2012 classes: Soldering Basics for EVERYONE “Until a year ago I didn’t even own a soldering iron.” This was made in a recent post by one of our long-time attendees and is a great example of the different levels of knowledge in our shared hobby. We have some of the most creatively technical minds in the holiday industry attend the Academy each year but we also have people in need of a “square one” approach. RJ from DIY Light Animation is coordinating this “workshop-style session to help everyone feel comfortable and open to asking questions. Soldering Advanced Topics When you get beyond the basics and need to further your knowledge base it becomes time to attend a more advanced level class. This session will pick up where “Soldering Basics for EVERYONE” left off and continue the workshop-style teaching approach. Several of the more experienced staff members from DIY Light Animation will be on hand to help show you some advanced techniques and guide you through them. Automated Sequencing: the Easy Button for Animated Displays? Hours upon countless hours have been spent by everyone who animates their displays. Each timing mark must be perfect. Every fade and effect has to hit at just the right moment. Some people estimate that it takes them one to two HOURS per minute of music. What if that could be a thing of the past? One of the leading members of DIY Light Animation will be on hand to discuss this topic and present some exciting tips for the future of animated lighting. Everything You Wanted to Know About Light Show Pro… and Then Some! Light Show Pro continues to be an exciting option for holiday enthusiasts to sequence and control their animated displays. The Academy has had LSP programmers and high-level users offer their experiences and instruction in the past but for 2012 we’re bumping it up a notch. David Johnson, the creator and owner of Light Show Pro, is preparing multiple classes to teach you everything from the basics to the advanced tips and tricks in this powerful software suite. Bring your laptops and hold on to your thinking cap! The Many Twist of the Helix Light Controller The Helix is a DIY hardware and software system that allows you to create a professional looking synchronized light show at a fraction of the cost of the commercial systems. It is also one of the most advanced DIY light controllers available. The developer of the Helix will be at the Academy to share the history of this unique controller and offer direct insight into how it can enhance your displays. Who better to teach you these things than the man that created it?? Putting it All Together with xlights What is xlights?? It’s simple really: xlights is a cross-platform Christmas light show scheduler built on wxWidgets. It plays Vixen and LOR sequences and is compatible with LOR, D-Light, DMX, Renard, Pixelnet, and E1.31 controllers. Now, if that all sounds like Greek you’re in luck because Matt Brown, developer of xLights and a long time LSH member will be on hand to show you how to download, install, configure, and setup your show in xLights. Bring your questions- let’s play “Stump the Developer!” Building, Programming and Using Smart Strings You have seen them and you really want to use them. But if you have more questions than answers when it comes to Smart Strings then this is the class for you. This session will include demonstartions of all of the standard items you have seen… and some you haven't. We’ll cover how to build them, how to make them work and even how to work them into your show. What’s good? What’s not? This class can help you jump into the world of RGB full control with a lot of the headaches worked out for you. The DLA crew has a lot to show you in this class and you will not want to miss it. What Else? Are there any other topics we’re covering? There’s a lot of other unique and exciting options in the DIY universe and we’ll have more announcements in the coming weeks. Some topics RJ and the rest of the DIY Light Animation team are working to bring you are: The Renard Controller: What You Want to Know The EtherDongle and Conductor: Your New Best Friend Building and Using the Lynx Express Controller Stay tuned to the website (www.theultimateacademy.com) as we have more exciting Academy info to share in the next few weeks. You’ll hear about more DIY offerings, some non-Christmas topic announcements, and a very special opportunity for all those Light-O-Rama users out there! Remember that the ONLY way to get in on the fun is to register today! Don't miss out in 2012. Happy EVERYTHING!
  5. It's BAAAAACK... the Academy Early Bird Contest! "Early Bird Registration" is back and you can ensure yourself the best price by registering today! For the fourth year in a row we are offering one free registration made during the "Early Bird" period (from the first day of registration through midnight on Halloween- October 31st). The winner will be chosen using an online random number generator and announced on November 5th. We always take your suggestions and feedback to heart, as it helps make a better event year after year. As a result of your feedback over the last 4 years there will be new instructional topics, teachers of various knowledge levels, a bigger space for this event, and third day of fun added just for you!! Whether you're a DIY-er, an LOR enthusiast, a prop builder, a Santa, a Haunter, or even a Pyro-Maniac there will be something of interest for every level of decorator and holday junkie! Register TODAY and you just might be attending for FREE. But remember, at midnight on October 31st this contest is over and will gone like a Halloween ghost! JOIN IN THE FUN (MAYBE FOR FREE!) BY CLICKING HERE!
  6. It's BAAAAACK... the Academy Early Bird Contest! "Early Bird Registration" is back and you can ensure yourself the best price by registering today! For the fourth year in a row we are offering one free registration made during the "Early Bird" period (from the first day of registration through midnight on Halloween- October 31st). The winner will be chosen using an online random number generator and announced on November 5th. We always take your suggestions and feedback to heart, as it helps make a better event year after year. As a result of your feedback over the last 4 years there will be new instructional topics, teachers of various knowledge levels, a bigger space for this event, and third day of fun added just for you!! Whether you're a DIY-er, an LOR enthusiast, a prop builder, a Santa, a Haunter, or even a Pyro-Maniac there will be something of interest for every level of decorator and holday junkie! Register TODAY and you just might be attending for FREE. But remember, at midnight on October 31st this contest is over and will gone like a Halloween ghost! JOIN IN THE FUN (MAYBE FOR FREE!) BY CLICKING HERE!
  7. It'll be good to see you as always Randy. One note for folks who have attended in the past- pulling an event of this size together is a big undertaking, from logistics and budget! Because we had so much more to add this year- all of the DIY offerings, the facility (56k sq feet this year!), and the extra day- something had to give. As of right now the meals are not a part of our registration, but we'll be working hard the next few months to bring them back in (all depends on dollars! Isn't that always the way it goes! ). We didn't want anyone to be mislead so it was worth mentioning. Can't wait to see everyone!
  8. For the past four years The Lone Star Holidays Academy has set a standard of excellence for holiday events. Every year the Academy runs for two days of learning, socializing, sharing, and growing. With over 20 classes held in multiple rooms, every attendee has the opportunity to enhance their holiday displays, regardless of experience level. So how do we improve on things? We could just continue to have our event, focused on the local members in Lone Star Holidays, and have plenty of fun. Fortunately, that's not our style! In 2012 the Academy is going to the next level... the ultimate level! Lone Star Holidays is partnering with the recognized experts in the DIY side of our shared hobby: the DIY Light Animation team. "I am very excited to be partnering with Lone Star Holidays to expand an already great event to include everything you could ever imagine wanting to know about DIY!" said RJ, owner of DIY Light Animation. "I believe this will allow (attendees) to learn anything A to Z about holiday decorating from one event. With the different groups working together I believe this will be the most talked about get together next year!" Those sentiments are echoed by Jack Mayes, the President of Lone Star Holidays: "It is my belief that we shall have one of the best events in the decorating community, as well, this will be a Home run for Lone Star Holidays and the DIY community. I hope that you can feel the excitement that we are currently generating, because this event will be one of the most talked about events for some time to come." The Academy always has a theme and 2012 is our Olympic Academy (2012 is an Olympic year so it’s either now or in 2016!). The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius” which is Latin for “Swifter, Higher, Stronger”. How appropriate is it that two of the largest holiday decorating groups come together to create an amazing event that will fulfill that motto in every sense of the word? We can’t say it any better than that: Citius, Altius, Fortius. Visit www.theultimateacademy.com to register today!
  9. For the past four years The Lone Star Holidays Academy has set a standard of excellence for holiday events. Every year the Academy runs for two days of learning, socializing, sharing, and growing. With over 20 classes held in multiple rooms, every attendee has the opportunity to enhance their holiday displays, regardless of experience level. So how do we improve on things? We could just continue to have our event, focused on the local members in Lone Star Holidays, and have plenty of fun. Fortunately, that's not our style! In 2012 the Academy is going to the next level... the ultimate level! Lone Star Holidays is partnering with the recognized experts in the DIY side of our shared hobby: the DIY Light Animation team. "I am very excited to be partnering with Lone Star Holidays to expand an already great event to include everything you could ever imagine wanting to know about DIY!" said RJ, owner of DIY Light Animation. "I believe this will allow (attendees) to learn anything A to Z about holiday decorating from one event. With the different groups working together I believe this will be the most talked about get together next year!" Those sentiments are echoed by Jack Mayes, the President of Lone Star Holidays: "It is my belief that we shall have one of the best events in the decorating community, as well, this will be a Home run for Lone Star Holidays and the DIY community. I hope that you can feel the excitement that we are currently generating, because this event will be one of the most talked about events for some time to come." The Academy always has a theme and 2012 is our Olympic Academy (2012 is an Olympic year so it’s either now or in 2016!). The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius” which is Latin for “Swifter, Higher, Stronger”. How appropriate is it that two of the largest holiday decorating groups come together to create an amazing event that will fulfill that motto in every sense of the word? We can’t say it any better than that: Citius, Altius, Fortius. Visit www.theultimateacademy.com to register today!
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