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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 steven8062

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    A Christmas Carrol
  • Location
  • Biography
    Jack of all trades; master of may one.
  • Interests
    anything mechical and/or electronic
  • Occupation
    Automation maint.
  • About my display
    pretty basic right now, but its always changing for the better
  1. I am new to this forum, but I have been decorating for Christmas long enough that I have lost count of the years. For me it is something I enjoy, every season its something different and everything is hhand-made. There have seasons that fall into everthing everyone has posted. After many seasons of a large static display, one year the only thing that had lights on it was a writh hung on each lamp post on either side at the end of the driveway. With the help of friends a large animated display was next. After that I went back to a small static display. Why do I do it that way? I think it is whatever mood my creative alter ego is in. I love making things, it just so happens that a lot of them end up as part of my Christmas collection. I agree with everyone--- do what makes you happy. Hopefully, it will make someone else smile--- and that is all the joy you need!!
  2. If you wanted to upate and start semi fresh how about using some adressable RGB Flex led strips? Someting in the FLB 5050 series from Rayconn Maybe? They really coming down price. You could continue as you have for thus year and redesign for next season. You already have the pics for control, you might need a little different supply for the flex strips, but ATX computer power supplies are cheap, put out multipule voltages at high currents, typically in the 20 to 30 amp range. ( $20 to $40 US). With the parts you already have I think it would cost that much to update. A redesigning, a little reprograming, and viola! A new version with varible color!
  3. The National Fire Protection Association would your best source for this type of info (NFPA.ORG). I looked in a couple of seconds I found this link: http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/electric/esfi_booklet_2008.pdf It covers arc faults, ground faults, tamper resistant outlets; all of which could save a life.
  4. First I must state that any line voltage wiring must be done by or at least supervised by a good qualified electrician. Not doing so WILL cause damage to property and worse to the life of someone. To clarify some of the terminology confusion, as a general rule GFI refers to a wall or outlet box mounted device. This is most often in the form of a ground fault protected outlet that everyone is familiar with. It also is available in the form of what some call a dead face GFI; it looks just like a GFI outlet, but has no provision for plugging into it directly. The most common applications for this type of device are for a whirlpool, spa, or any other hardwired 120 volt device that requires protection. GFCI refers to the act of providing protection or when used a device term it is in the form a breaker. The problem of confusion is caused by the terminology. A GFI outlet most often comes with those little stickers "GFCI Protected" that are intended for use on any devices down circuit of the GFI outlet, meaning the act of protecting with said device. Further, it may have pointed out in past discussions, but it has not been clearly stated here that a GFI outlet has connections for line side and load side. If improperly connected, the device may provide power without protection, even with the latest models. Always test any new installation with the proper equipment before putting it into service. It is true that some of the newer models are supposed to have safe guards against this, but they do not always work. Even the most careful professional can accidently connect these device incorrectly, so I say again, ALWAYS test. One of the senior members mentioned the NEC exception for deicing equipment. This equipment still is required to have ground fault protection, but with a different type of device. For this type of installation a knowledgeable electrician is a must. As far as not using gfci on lighting displays, you are playing Russian roulette with a six shooter loaded with five bullets! The best way I have found to prevent tripping is to make all plugin connections in a drip loop style. Keep them at least two foot above ground. Protect them with black garbage bags and duct tape. Not only does this keep the connections semi-waterproof, but the black bags tend to hide the wiring. So now go light it up and be safe doing it!
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