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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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Everything posted by RichardH

  1. A large shop vac would get the shop done fast for inflating it. You may be able to have the shop vac inflate in quickly and then use the normal inflatable fan to maintain it once it is full. How long does it take an inflatable to deflate once you turn off the fan?
  2. This is going to be my first year with a computerized light show (LOR Based). I plan on firing up the display the day after thanksgiving. I am sure there will be many things I will want to tweak or change once I see what it actually looks like. I want it to be sort a surprise for everybody in the neighborhood. I am sure they will see me setting up everything buy I really don't want them to see the lights during evening hours until it is all finished. I thought about waiting until 2am or so in the morning during the last weeks of November to fire up the lights and to make sure everything looks correctly. How do you test what it is really going to look like before you start your nightly shows?
  3. The only big electric power draws I have during the winter is Oven, Microwave, Fridge, Washer/Dryer (stove is Gas power, gas water heaters, no hot tubs). Our electric Bill goes way down in the winter months and the Gas bill goes up. I am guessing that I should also split up these new circuits so they are on each leg. Thanks for the suggestions Dan. Yesterday I ordered 3 showtime 16 channel controllers and I am really excited for Christmas this year.
  4. I am going to have 3 different Colors of c7s on my roof line (White, Red, Green) and is going to take about 700 feet of wire with c7 sockets. I planned on buying a 1000 foot long spool and since I will have some extra, I thought I might as well run another channel. I was going to do just another color but I thought it might be cool to have it all be white twinkle c7 lights. This way I could have all the white lights on and then switch it over to the twinkle ones for a cool effect. My concern is I really don't know how the twinkle lights work. I am guessing that each just sort of twinkles on their own. My question is do these have to "warm up" before that start twinkling? If they do, I was wondering if I could maybe keep them "warm" by dimming them to a low setting (5%?) so you could not really see them but they would starting twinkling when you brought them all the way up. Anybody have any experience with the c7 twinkle lights? I will be getting them from action lighting.
  5. Is there a way to figure out how many amps you are pulling at a given time by looking at the power meter? There must be a formula where you can count how many times the rotating disc spins in 1 min and figure out how many amps you are using (since we know that is is 240v at the meter). Ok all your math wizards, how do you figure this out?
  6. Even thouh you can figure out your amps/watts with a caculator, here is a web site were you can punch in the volts and watts and it will tell you the amps. It also has a calcuator for figuring voltage drop in power runs. http://www.lightshow.cc/explorer/Calculators/Power_/power_.html
  7. Don't keep us in suspence. What is the trick?
  8. Will a cheap amp meter like this one do the trick? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260011629428
  9. The main breaker outside is 200amp. I am not sure how many amps I use during the winter. During the summer I am sure I am using quite a few amps with 2 AC units running but or course these don't run during the winter. I have been figuring out how many amps my entire display will take and it should not go over 100 amps and that is with everything on. Very rarely will my display be using a full 100 amps. BTW one of those double breakers is to a 50amp 220v plug that goes to my garage that I never use.
  10. I have another question (I am full fo them today). I am going to need 6 dedicated 20 amp circuits. I thought instead of installing a sub panel I could replace 6 breakers with 20 amp tandem breakers and get the 6 circuits I need. I want to make sure I am not breaking any codes and I am not sure what the codes are on Tadem Breakers (if you can have to many, etc.). Any disadvantages of running Tandem Breakers? Below is a picture of my Main Panel right now. There are some single 20 amp breakers that get used very rarely (like powering a lamp in one room only, outdoor porch, etc.) It would save me a lot of money if I just put in some Tandem Breakers.
  11. Thanks for the comments tfischer! It has been a few years since I have bought any lights so I was not sure what the deparment store prices were. I think I will just wait until they hit the stores. Also if I do run a little short or have to return any, it will be easier.
  12. I used photoshop to make the picture. I guess I can go out there and wrap one of the trees. My neighbors will think I am crazy but heck, it is Christmas in July this month! I also have been figuring out all the amps. I am installing 6 dedicated 20amp circuits for the display.
  13. I am trying to figure out how many lights I am going to need and really don't know how many my trees will take. I want to do them correctly (going up and down each branch). I plan on ordering all my lights online and want to make sure I get enough because when I start putting them up in Nov, I really don't want to run out. Below is a picture of my house. How many lights do you think the front trees (marked in Green) will take. How many for the one labeled Orange and white? The one on the left marked Red by the Car kind of gives you an idea of how big that tree is so it may be easier to figure out. I am not looking for an exact answer. I just want to make sure I have enough.
  14. How much to the Ultra Burst go for at Walmart? I have bee looking at these ones from action lighting. http://www.actionlighting.com/item-detail.asp?ID=1390&MainCategory=&Sub= and was wondering if would be good just to buy them all from Action or wait until walmart gets them this year.
  15. I am going to be buying the Nativity inflatable from buyinflatables.com (http://www.buyinflatables.com/productid16893-30.htm) How long does an inflatable of this size usually take to fill up? This is what I was thinking of doing and tell me the pros and cons or any suggestions since this is my first year going "all out" with a display. I am going to have a pretty jazzy LOR setup and I thought it might seem a little strange with rockin' music with lights flashing and having a nativity set in the middle of the yard. I was thinking of having the inflatable deflate so you really can't see it and then when a song is over I will be having a "reason for the season" christmas message playing with most of the lights off. During this time the Nativity inflatable will inflate (no lights on in inflatable) and then when it is full, the lights will come on inside the inflatable. What do you guys think?
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