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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 SOB

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    Senior Member

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    To be determined....
  • Location
  • Biography
    Engineer who likes to tinker and DIY, garden, work on my house and hunt whitetail
  • Interests
    Gardening, beer, DIY projects
  • Occupation
    Instrumentation & Controls Engineer
  • About my display
    Not much yet - starting out as a newb

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  1. SOB

    1yr Old C9 LEDs Failing

    Luckily the failures slowed down as the season went on. Also I luckily had JUST enough extras to cover the losses. Total was 8 white and just the one red. I can live with the 1 red loss but 8 white in just the second season seems excessive to me...
  2. SOB

    1yr Old C9 LEDs Failing

    Thanks Stephen - I too agree they look fantastic! I lost another white one this weekend. I think that's 8 now. Still only the one red failure. I'll def post an update as the season progresses.
  3. SOB

    1yr Old C9 LEDs Failing

    No new appliances. The (mechanical) timer was new last year and started having "dead spots" where the lights would turn of randomly. Just this week I replaced it with a digital timer. The last couple days have been good, i.e. no bad lights, so hopefully this was the last of it *knocks on wood* Thanks for your suggestions!
  4. SOB

    1yr Old C9 LEDs Failing

    Thank you for the suggestions. 1. I have tried re-seating the bulbs in the same socket as well as other socket with no luck. Also, I have put in spare bulbs into these same sockets and those bulbs work just fine. Like I said above, some of them you can tell 1-2 diodes have failed but the rest are working. Also, I would also like to reiterate that I take the bulbs out and put them in the box BEFORE taking the strings down and I put the string up BEFORE screwing the bulbs in so that they do not knock around. 2. The contact do not look corroded but I will take some light sand paper to them in case there is minor build up and try again. 3. Everything is plugged into 1 receptacle that (at time of writing) is reading 116Vac - I cannot speak to surges as I do not have a constant meter on the recept. I will say that my house has never experienced signs of power surges (random electronics failing, light bulbs burning out, etc.) in the 6 years we've lived here.
  5. 2016 was the first season for my light display. Ceramic-style C9 LEDs in alternating pure white and red. All purchased from HLE. This season they have been turned on for just over 1 week and I am having bulbs fail. So far a total of 7 bulbs - 6 of them the white ones. They all worked at time of installation but now just about every night I'm finding another one that has gone bad. Some are dim (you can tell 1 or 2 of the 5 internal LEDs have failed) but most go out completely. My question is - is this normal?? I have about 200 bulbs total, 100 of each color so that's 6% failure SO FAR on my whites. I take great care of them: put up my light string first then install the bulbs, remove bulbs before the string comes down, and always store them in the box where they are individually protected. At $1/each I was hoping these would last longer than a year, in fact I assumed they would last the bulk of their 50,000hr life or at least 5-10 years. I called HLE and they admit that that seems like a lot of bulbs - but unfortunately since we are technically into the second season I can only get 50% of the cost towards new bulbs (1st season is 100%, 2nd 50%, 3rd is 30%). The cost isn't that concerning but I hate having to get the ladder and replace bulbs almost every night. Soon the roof is going to be too slick to get up there and I'll have to live with the ugliness of failed bulbs in my display.
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