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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.

Aaron W.

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About Aaron W.

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    Senior Member

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Well that's easy. "A Christmas Story" is my favorite Christmas story :)
  • Location
    Orlando, FL
  • Biography
    I love Xmas!
  • Interests
    I love Xmas!
  • Occupation
    Entertainment Entrepreneur
  • About my display
    I love Xmas!

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  1. These are great ideas, guys! Now I'm just trying to learn some basic electrical math. Who do you know what the voltage and amperage requirements of, say, 3 strands of LED battery powered lights, and how determine how many & what size batteries to use? I'm sure this is electrical apprentice 101, but I've been researching and can't quite find the connecting facts I'm looking for to answer that question. Thanks for your help guys!
  2. Yes you could. That's not a bad idea, haha. I still don't know how to make the battery packs though.
  3. That's an interesting video. They didn't show how the wires were connected to the batteries though. Does anybody want to get way out of the box with me and take a shot at how to make the belt I described up top?
  4. Ok! You were all so brilliant on my 3 way switch wiring questions that I've got a NEW ONE for you! At Disney, for one particular costume, we used to wear weight lifting belts that had a row of about 24 AA batteries attached to it, and that was the power pack for the whole costume. I'd like to slim down this idea and make the same type of battery pack attached to a weight lifting belt to power my highly-lit stilt walking costumes. The costumes would have, let's say 200 white and 200 color lights (maybe all LED, or maybe mixed LED & incandescent) that would be switched between white and colors with a small rocker switch. In my head, if I created a battery pack like this, I could wire 10 or so of the battery powered light strands together. OR maybe have an inverter and use standard wall plug-in lights. I don't know. I'm open to suggestions! But basically, how do I CREATE the battery pack attached to a weightlifting belt that I can wire a string of battery operated LED's into?! Thanks so much for your expertise!
  5. HOW THE PROBLEM WAS SOLVED .... (for those out there with little experience like me).... I took Bobby Menard's advice from the top of the page and picked up a 3-way rocker light switch from Walmart. Then below that, as I experimented, you see my long "scientific process" with pictures. I was stuck. Couldn't wire the light switch properly. A deceiving puzzle it became. Then DSE popped up with those beautiful and specific instructions on the "wiring puzzle". How to use the neutral terminal and to use the wire that leads to the 1st light on the light strands (wouldn't have thought of that one.) I had to immediately go back downstairs and try his instructions. So close! One side lit up, the other didn't. The Bobby Menard dives in for the assist further defining DSE's instructions and pointing out that in my picture the BLACK screw was the common that the power should've gone to. I switched my #2 light strand with the power, putting them finally in their proper places. AND POOF!! Magical switching of lights! (well it will be when I have them battery powered and in costumes in a month or so.) Attached is the final product defined with text. I tried to put everything I learned in the picture, both for my future sanity, and to help anyone looking to figure this out. PS. I know the wiring in the pictures is ugly. That wiring was only temporary to learn the process. I'll go back and solder, and wire nut, and tape it up more properly. SPEAKING OF THAT! ... Do you have any suggestions as to how to "package up" the backside of this so I don't shock myself when handling the light switch and trying to show it off? I'm going to solder the connections and tidy up the wires. I have liquid tape to help with insulation as well. I was thinking of doing that and then electrical taping and duct taping the back to make something I could hold without worry. ...Thoughts??
  6. Oh my God, IT WORKS!!! You are Brilliant, Brilliant people! I'll explain exactly how you saved the day in the next post! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
  7. Please Help!! I've learned a few things from my experiments today. I have a 100 light mini strand of white lights, The same kind of strand for green lights, And a six-foot indoor extension cable with no third prong. I assume that means no ground. To experiment, I've been able to cut off the male plugs of the light cables and cut off the female end of the extension cord. I've spliced the male plugs back on to the lights and they've worked. I've spliced the lights directly to the extension cord and they've worked. I've spliced both sets of lights to the extension cord and they've worked at the same time. I've cut off the female end of the white lights and Reversed it to splice its own mail end to its female end and plugged it in to test and that's worked. All very basic concepts, I know. But I wanted to experiment with what I was sure would work before I moved into the unsure territory, which is the 3 way rocker light switch. In the picture, you see on either side my two sets of green wires for the two sets of Christmas lights, and my one set of white wires which is the extension cord, and the back of the three-way Light switch. I have the male end of the extension cord plugged into the wall for power. My thought is to attach the female end to the light switch And wire in each of the two Christmas light sets, and switch between the two with the light switch toggle where only one is powered at a time. Zero success on that front so far. Zero How do I attach the two wires in of a strand of lights to one screw?! Clearly this is incorrect, as twisting the ends together makes the lights not work. There must be some correct puzzle way to route my six bare wires in the picture through the three screws on the light switch! Maybe I need another switch To route to as well? This is where I'm stuck! Your electrical creative genius is welcome and pleaded for! Thoughts?
  8. Thanks for the help guys! I bought a 3 way rocker switch to test out things tonight with a few strands. And just to be clear, Yes I'm using wall power for this prototype vest because I can't get an online order in time for the weekend, but No I do not plan on Wearing it with the power running through it. It'll be on a hanger for me to show off what it can do, and then for next month, all the vests (there will be 5) will have battery operated lights in them. I'll update with problems I run into with my testing. Quick question, would battery powered lights go through a toggle switch the same way as 120vac strands? Thanks again!
  9. Hey gang! This is my first post. Thanks so much for taking a look. I need your creative electrical genius! Please forgive my lack of electrician terminology. I'm attaching christmas light strands to a costume (a vest for the prototype this week). Normally they will be battery powered, but for the speed I need this prototype done, they'll be standard wall powered strands. Poking through the vest, I want to have a GREEN set of lights and a WHITE set of lights. I want to have the 2 color strands go to a switch that I can flick back and forth between and have only 1 color strand shining at one time. Does that make sense? Please help! I need to have some sort of working model by this weekend to show to a prospective client. I'm open to all suggestions, things I can wire, things I can buy. I know how to solder audio cables and I'm told soldering for lights is quite similar. Thanks so much everybody! Your in Xmas, Aaron.
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