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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.

ChicagoChristmasJim

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About ChicagoChristmasJim

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    www.christmasjim.com
  • Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasJimDavis

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    As my grandparents taught me. If it stands still, put a bow on it!
  • Location
    Evanston, IL
  • Biography
    Certified Christmas nut. Over a decade as the Producing Artistic Director of the Christmas Traditions Festival in Historic St. Charles, Missouri, which included creating a design standard for the Christmas decorations of over ten blocks of historic buildings in the South Main district.
  • Interests
    Christmas Nut, gardening
  • Occupation
    Theatrical Producer and Designer
  • About my display
    15,000 and growing

Recent Profile Visitors

426 profile views
  1. I got a huge score at Home Depot yesterday evening. It seems our recent snow storm has slowed everyone else down. They had TONS, and after filling my trunk and backseat, I had to stop and left lots behind. Tomorrow is another day, however!
  2. A friend, who enjoys our outdoor display sent this to me. Thought it was kind of cute!
  3. Hi all, I posted this over on another forum and didn't get any response, but could really use some pointers: Clearly I know just enough to make myself dangerous! I have a few strings of those 8 function snowflakes from a few years ago, some of which have partially ceased to function. It occurred to me that instead of tossing them out, that I could possibly cut them into individual snowflakes, put a plug on them and use them as toppers for my mini trees. So, tonight I did just that, and plugged one in and HOLY H. E. double hockey sticks, it was BRIGHT. and I don't mean just sorta bright, I mean like 5 times as bright. I left them plugged in for a few minutes and they didn't blow out the bulbs, or trip the circuit breaker, so it's not a wiring thing. What am I not taking into account that would cause this? Is it a wattage versus amperage (voltage) thing (where I need to change the wattage of the bulbs now that they're out of the series set)? I'd really like to be able to salvage these, if i can figure out a way, but I don't want to sacrifice my controllers because I'm doing something stupid. Thoughts? Pointers? Call me crazy? Thanks, Jim
  4. Hi all, still a newb here, and would love to know about other folks' displays in the area, so we can check out your display. We're in Evanston, very near to Northwestern University. Best, Jim
  5. I use 8 of these controllers for my mini trees and 10' mini-mega tree. They provide just enough movement in my otherwise static display and create some very nice patterns. Several people have knocked on the door in the past and asked how they could hear the music that we were sequenced to.
  6. I use this doo-hickey to get icecicle lights up on my second story. http://www.homedepot.com/p/St-Nick-s-Choice-No-Ladder-Gutter-or-Shingle-Light-Hanging-Kit-98300-312-THD/202520993?cm_mmc=shopping-_-googleads-_-pla-_-202520993&skwcid&kwd=&ci_sku=202520993&ci_kw=&ci_gpa=pla&ci_src=17588969#.UoK8eI2oUY0 Here's a video i found demonstrating it.
  7. I've been looking for these candles for years, and wasn't sure what they were called until I found you nice folks here at Planet Christmas who let me know I was looking for Empire Poinsettia Imprint c1968. My dad had a pair of these, God rest his soul, and now I do too.
  8. I aim for Thanksgiving night, and if I don't, the neighbors are knocking on the door and asking when we're lighting up!
  9. If you have a Garden Ridge store in your area (big box home decor) they have a great HUGE snowman and Santa. www.gardenridge.com
  10. Hi Tom, Welcome! I'm a newbie as well, from Chicago. I've found this to be a very helpful forum with lots of Christmas decorating nuts. Your airblowns look great. Fantastic composition. Best, ChicagoChristmasJim
  11. Thanks for the warm welcome guys. We started the inside decorations this weekend. We do 5 full-sized trees and lots more smaller ones, so we've gotten a start. If all goes according to schedule, we'll be done inside the weekend before thanksgiving and then we'll do the outside lights so they're ready for Thanksgiving night. My neighbor caught sight of the tree in the front window and just shook his head at me while I was out with the dogs. I love being the crazy christmas light guy! Ho ho ho!
  12. Hi guys and gals, Just wanted to actually introduce myself after lurking for a couple of months. I'm Jim from Evanston, Illinois (suburb of Chicago.) I'm a theatre producer by day and Christmas light crazy person in my free time. We have a 12k static display (actually we use 5 of the 8function/3channel units to flash/chase/fade my 15 mini trees.) I've begun the process of exploring the possibilty of converting my display over to LOR. I've got a background in theatrical lighting design, so the concept isn't really that foreign to me. Now all I have to do is convince my partner that the investment is worth it In any case, I've learned a lot from reading the forums. Plan on lots of questions once I start the conversion. Best, ChicagoChristmasJim
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