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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.

Martha Kleder

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About Martha Kleder

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    Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA
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    fulltime professional.
  1. ChuckHutchings wrote: Pardon me, Chuck. I got the impression you were much younger. After all, you just accusedthe baby boomer generation, the generation that LAUNCHED the environmental movement, of not caring about the environment. I just found it humorous, that's all. While you may have slept through the 60's and 70's I am pleased to see you at leastwokeup sometime during Psyc 101.
  2. ChuckHutchings wrote: And Chuck, the folks of your generation are just as bad with that attitude as demonstrated by the often used phrase"whatever." Apathy knows no age.
  3. "my self promoting nature had 1/2 of the planetchristmas world thinking I was an egotistical nerd" Make that half plus one.
  4. There are a number of interests I have to juggle with my display. 1) a Fire hydrant 2) 2 water meters under iron lids 3) a tree that overhangs the road slightly 4) an access road to a water authority pump station 5) neighbors..mostly kids..that use that road to access a community wooded area behind my house. I have a large redbud tree that overhangs the edge of the road. I keep the canopy lights high enough that trash trucks, fire dept trucks, and my neighbors dualie can pass without hooking lights. However, redbuds have thin branches, so a strong wind will knock lights off the higher branches. This year I had some caught and had to re-light the entire canopy. With theaccess road, it took me a couple of years to see just who and what comes and goes down that road so that my display doesn't cause them problems. The first year I wrapped lights around the cable "gate" across the road just because it was ugly, rusty and dirty and I didn't want folks walking into it in the dark. One day while I was home from work, I learned that the regular service crews like to drop the cable and drive over it, so I stopped putting lights there and opted for wrapping it inplastic landscape marking tape instead. The next year,I learned that more than just pick-up trucks used the road. There was some HUGE pump truck that also came in. ...that was when I stopped hanging theRed Baronfrom an overhead tree limb. I also made sure that my display elements were further away from the road. This thing had to BACK out of the road and, if the tire tracks through my lawn are any indication, it is a bear tomaneuver! Kids and teens also use the road to access the woods....kids to play, teens mostly to do things they don't want their parents to see. I believe those are the same teens who have been doing a bit of vandalizm this year. So, now I'm considering on motion-sensor lights near the house and one of those deer camp night vision wildlife cameras for the back of the property. There is also a fire hydrant right in front of my property, along withtwo manholes for reading water meters that I have to keep lights away from. It's a painand creates "dark spots" in the display, but nobody wants to deal with electricity near water. Thankfully, I don't have an issue of snow to complicate matters anymore. I don't need snow plows to rip up my lights...that's what the teens do. :{
  5. Here is a video from last year of "the" display I grew up visiting every year. The man who runs it used to teach shop with my dad. I had to laugh...before there was LOR, there were manure spreaders. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2006/12/15/VI2006121500453.html
  6. My first thought was, with all those flood lights I bet his electric bill equals mine!
  7. While I have dodged LOR issues this year by leaving the controllers sitting in their boxes, I have had my share of light and weather issues. Strong winds and a large truck succeeded in ripping all the lights out of the canopy of my large tree after only one week. I completely replaced those lights last weekend only to have another round of strong winds goof it up again this week. The circuit that tree is on is still popping the GFCI, so I can't tell how bad the damage is until I can fully trouble shoot. The most irritating trouble this year, however, is with the crappy quality of Target & Wal-Mart mini lights that I purchased last year. While I used all new mini lights this year, I have had repeaded issues of strings going half-dark when they are only days out of the box. I even have a couple of strings where the plugs don't make a solid connection whenplugged into each other. This causes untold frustration when I go out to fix it only to have them light up when Isimply look at them funny,then go out againonce I'm back inside. This is the sort of trouble I was used to having with 2nd and 3rd season strings. Maybe it's the unusually rough weather we are getting, but I suspect quality issues are playing a large roll. The new LEDs are working great, though. Long live LEDs.
  8. I have two styles of minilight bulb bases in mine along with one red color cap I found on the lawn that I was unable to match with a bare bulb last night.
  9. You know the Christmas light thing has gone too far (in some people's opinion, not necessarily your own) when folks start driving by your house 2 weeks before Thanksgiving just to see what you're putting up this year. Or, when contemplating your ownfuneral plans, you decide there should be some ceremonial "dimming of the lights" at yourservice.
  10. I ran into these while doing some online shopping and noticed that they don't appear to be as harsh looking as most LEDs on the market. http://www.gardeners.com/Rainbow-Holiday-LED-String-Lights/default/StandardCatalog.OutdoorHolidayLighting_Cat.36-820.cpd I was wondering if anyone had seen these bulbs in person andif so, do they live up to the retro-look as they claim? Warm C9 LEDs would be perfect, but I won't be snatching them up at $30 a string.
  11. Listening to the sound clips they have posted, they have a number of nicesongs on the CD; I think I'll have to buy it now!
  12. I had never heard of them before, but the song is on their Snow CD. http://www.gofishguys.com/
  13. A friend sent me this link and I am wishing I had run into it in time to synch lights to it!Christmas with a Capital "C" by Go Fish:
  14. I have a number of their stock pieces...the standing bear, the life-size saluting soldier, the howling dog and the kitten, and thepackage tossing sealsare from the past year or two. My new additions this yearinclude the reindeer stable, the elves loading the sleigh, and a horse. Hopefully, if my volunteer help comes through, I will have a Lori's custom-made C-130 and a parachuting Santa on the roof as well.
  15. Kristal, Congratulations on the new order from Lori's! Gene made a special order for me last year and I just love it. As for the blackout caps, I have also had trouble locating them. In the past I have found them at Michael's craft store, but so far no luck. Even my favorite supplier, www.christmaslightshow.com is out of stock. If you have just a few maybe you could wrap them in black electrical tape. For wad of lights at the end you could hidethem in a dark garbage bag cut to size. I have done both of these when I ran out of caps. I hope I can drive down and see your display!
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