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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.

cpad04

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About cpad04

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Somebody should write a story about an extreme holiday decorator who saves Christmas.
  • Location
    Raleigh, NC
  • Biography
    I'm a twenty-something software developer, where the Christmas celebration in my family seems to last a full month.
  • Interests
    Photography, software development, all things Christmas
  • Occupation
    Software developer
  • About my display
    Expanding each year, but looking forward to making the jump to LEDs so I can add more lights without overloading the breakers. Every year, I manage to trip the breaker. Usually when the microwave is on at the same time as the outdoor Christmas lights.
  1. For nighttime, cool white LED lights (used as iciclelights on structures, or laid across the ground) create an icy/wintery look to me. For daytime, I have seen people use white batting from craft/quilting stores -- though it can look messy/dirty fairly quickly. For icicles hanging from gates, what about carved pieces of Styrofoam or painted cardboard or wood cutouts in the shape of icicles? For rolling valleys or ground coverings (other than batting), I'm not sure -- spray paint? Haha! I am interested to hear what other people suggest Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
  2. Was it primarily one instrument (like saxophone or piano), or orchestra-like? The Ace Cannon Christmas record (saxophone instrumental) was very popular in my family! Here's one song I found on YouTube:
  3. I am pretty sure you are correct -- Members Mark is from Sam's Club. That is an incredible set you have! Back pre-2004 or so, Sam's Club used to sell a lot of Christmas figurines under the "Grandeur Noel" brand -- many, many porcelain sets. My mom has several of the smaller porcelain sets she received as gifts. But I have never, ever seen a nativity set that large from the Sam's Club collections! Each of the smaller porcelain sets sold for about $50-60, and the figurines were no more than 12-13" tall. If you do an ebay or Google search for "grandeur noel" you will find several of the old collections for sale, some going for over $100-200 (when they originally sold for about $50)
  4. I've heard on TV and read online (I think it was Consumer Reports) that CFLs should not be turned on for short periods of time then off again since that would significantly shorten the life of the bulb. CFLs should remain on for longer periods of time (like lamps, flooslights). That said, I tried replacing some outdoor floodlights with CFL floodlights a few years ago and they busted (the glass covers shattered after a cold rainy night). Those were NOT labeled for outdoor use, but I bought outdoor-labeled CFL floodlights last year and had no trouble. Yea, they take a few minutes to warm up to peak brightness. But they surely do save $$$ on the power bill
  5. Cool deal, thanks! Last time I outlined the roof, I had extra sockets leftover so I just stapled them exposed under the eaves of the house (so they didn't get direct rain or snow). I never had problems with the incandescent C7 bulbs -- they were so cheap to buy replacements, I really didn't care. But now since I'm switching to LED retrofits, I was just wondering if it was worth it to go for washers and socket covers. Thanks, again!
  6. Very cool! The pumpkins sort of remind me of the house with all the jack-o-lanterns in the movie "Trick r Treat" from a few years ago. That was such a cool effect with all the different pumpkins and faces everywhere. I bet your setup looks awesome at night, especially all the pumpkins!
  7. Cool stuff! Don't wait around too long. I remember my uncle wanted Santa on an airplane that Lowe's had back in 2008 or so. When he went to buy it, every Lowes in the area was sold out. We found a similar (different colors) version at Big Lots, and even they just had 1 left in stock. Hope you're able to grab one!
  8. I have several 25-socket C7 stringers from over the years. This year, I plan to outline the roof and other areas of the yard (for example, a 5 foot radius circle centered around some tree trunks, and along the front of the house/sidewalk). I'm using all LED retrofits this year. After reading the forums here, I wasn't planning to buy any washers for the sockets (especially not the roof ones that would be pointing down). But would anybody recommend the washers (or grease) for the other upright bulbs I place on stakes around the yard? More importantly, since these are pre-manufactured 25-socket stringers with plugs, what should I do with the extra empty sockets leftover after outlining perimeters? I do not want to cut or splice any of the preplugged stringers, because I change where I put the lights each year. I'd rather start each year with all 25-ft stringers than with a 16-ft, a 21-ft, a 42-ft, etc. I've seen caps/covers for empty c7 sockets. Is it a good idea to use those? In the past, when I used incandescent c7s I would just unscrew the extra lights a bit so they wouldn't light, but still had the bulbs in the socket to prevent dogs/cats/kids/myself from the empty sockets. Any thoughts?
  9. Exactly what I've been looking for, too, for a while now. I kept looking for anything around the house that could work. Didn't think about this -- thanks!
  10. Starting to test this weekend. I always end up throwing out lines and lines of lights that no longer work, so now I have time to go out and buy new lights before Thanksgiving. I especially have a zero tolerance policy for strings of lights that blink off temporarily at the slightest wiggle of the wire. I made the mistake of putting a line of those on the tree one year. Never again! I especially had trouble with cheap strings from Walmart last year -- the lines on the incandescents starting coming apart, exposing the wire coming out of the socket.
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