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  • 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.

Rich in Las Vegas

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Rich in Las Vegas last won the day on September 23

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About Rich in Las Vegas

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Our local HOA has an annual Christmas light contest and my neighbor wins it every year. I can't compete with the extent of his display but use some of the more unusual lights like IC controlled strips and waterfall lights. It gets a little more elaborate each year but I doubt I can keep up with his array of the more conventional prodicts.
  • Location
    Nevada
  • Biography
    Retired chemist who likes to dabble in LED conversions for home and auto. I didn't put up elaborate displays in the past but have begun to add to a simple set of Christmas lights recently after Goodwill opened an outlet store nearby and the selection for cheap displays got much better.
  • Interests
    Active in Scouting and cycling
  • Occupation
    retired
  • About my display
    Really just getting started but use LED lights almost exclusively. I convert old incandescent displays to12V LED before using them. This was mostly small stuff (candy canes) until this year. My favorite strip light is IC 6803 LED strip lights with 133 built in programs for use on eves.

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  1. I checked this morning at the nearest Walmart stupidcenter. The entire garden section was devoted to Christmas items. There were only 5 blow molds in the entire inventory, two 37" Santas, one 36" snowman, and two of the new 36" bears. They had some new ~15" lanterns that have the flickering flame light and some larger faux wood lanterns that were not lighted. I think the Lowe's Home Improvement store right next door had a better selection than this store.
  2. Lamp in base of pumpkin Remove the three screws that hold the lamp holder. Remove the incandescent light and cord. If using circular G4 lamp (see picture), glue lamp to top of old base. Attach the G4 socket and cord. Requires a 12V DC source. You can use any old 12V DC converter as long as the output is 500 mA or more. If using the 5W 12V corn bulb, take the old lamp socket and remove the wore and base. This will allow you to slide the G4 base into the old lamp holder. Insert it in the base as shown below. Lamp located in back of pumpkin Remove bulb and wire. Glue circular lamp to the old holder. Insert in pumpkin and you are done. For this one I prefer to solder the wire directly to the new circular lamp. The two G4 pins on the lamp will fall away when you solder the wires to the lamp. The hole in the back of the pumpkins is slightly larger than the 9 LED version of this lamp. It is also available with 10 LEDs but that one will not fit through the hole. Be sure to buy 9 LED lamps. You could also use the corn bulb here. Current prices for the parts – top two are from China and the third one from California. '10x G4 Bulb LED Light 5050 9SMD Daytime White Replace 10W Halogen Lamp $6 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-G4-Bulb-LED-Light-5050-12SMD-Warm-Daytime-White-Repalce-10W-15W-Halogen-Lamp/264391377801?hash=item3d8ef44389:m:mGdz3DnGjQq1_vBhYHbSzPg '10pcs G4 Base Holder Wire Adapter Halogen Socket Connector f. Bulb Lamp LED $1.49 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-G4-Bulb-LED-Light-5050-12SMD-Warm-Daytime-White-Repalce-10W-15W-Halogen-Lamp/264391377801?hash=item3d8ef44389:m:mGdz3DnGjQq1_vBhYHbSzPg I spotted a US seller on eBay who is selling ten of the 48 LED corn bulbs for $4.46 postpaid. That's cheaper than ordering them from China. Available in 12V AC or DC or 110V AC. https://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-G4-LED-Corn-Bulbs-Capsule-3W-20W-Halogen-Lamp-Replace-110V-Energy-Warm-White/323891446491?var=512921852639&hash=item4b696f42db:g:IXcAAOSwV-BdXsfv
  3. I wonder if the grinch is lit by LED lights? It looks pretty bright and the colors are more vibrant than some of the older incandescent lit blow molds. If you look at the tag on the power cord it tells what the replacement lamp would be. The prices for used blow molds is really crazy. I got Mary and Joseph at my Goodwill salvage store for a couple of dollars but when I again went looking for Jesus on eBay see high prices that are nearly the cost of an entire set. Shipping is the real killer. The one shown below is nice but with shipping is $35.40 when I can buy a brand new set at my local Walmart for $49.
  4. I recently bought a used inflatable Santa/Christmas Tree/Reindeer. It works fine but I wasn't impressed by the lighting. Seemed awful dim. I decided to replace the wussy incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Normally I would convert over to 12V DC at the same time but I had on hand a bunch of 5W bulbs that I got a while ago. They are A15 (US bulb shape) E12 candelabra base, 110V AC. It took about 20 minutes. How to convert to LED You will need similar bulbs. The A15 bulb design allows you to discard the bulb covers that are on the existing lamps. The LEDs are arranged on a plate below the bulb cover so the bulb does not get hot enough to need the old protector. Find all of the zipper access holes in the inflatable. Open each one and carefully pull the bulb toward the opening. The bulb will be attached to the inflatable so pull gently. Remove the protective cover and replace the bulb. My bulbs were too large to fit inside the cover. If you want to retain the protector instead use a 5W LED corn bulb. It is short enough to fit inside the typical protector and they only cost $1.50 each if imported from China. If A15 shaped bulbs are too expensive I'd suggest using the bulbs shown below in 5W E12 110V. These are warm white bulbs. I use cool or natural white but I had these on hand. The LED is substantially brighter. I looked for a local source for the A15 bulb but they are ridiculously expensive at Home Depot. Two for ~$10.
  5. No firsthand experience with them. I came across the information when I saw them listed at Home Depot. It looks as though the unit controls each of four groups of lights separately but all the lights in one group does the same action. I's simple to use but no replacement for the lights that have integrated circuits built into the strip like IC 6803 or WS2811. Those control the lights right down to groups of 3 LEDs. It's a mystery to me how you can get true chasing lights without this individual control of the LEDs.
  6. It is also being sold at Home Depot ($19.99) and soon at WalMart You can learn a little about it here : Owner's Manual https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59de8c6b8a02c786614bcc2c/t/5d2ff80dacc84d000160df8b/1563424783062/09F40000A324+LED+LightWizard+Lights_US_EN_SP_0513_V01.pdf Short Video: https://www.polygroup.com/lightwizard Show#1: Steady Glow Show#2: Multi-speed Fading Show#3: Multi-speed Blinking Show#4: Chasing Show#5: Shooting Star Show#6: Stacking Show#7: Sparkle Show#8: Cross Wave Show#9: Alternating Show#10:Combo
  7. I think there is a misunderstanding. The remote only turns the unit on and of plus selects the program in the controller. There are buttons on the controller for the same functions- see picture below. The controller stays at ground level. You have to run the power and signal wire (shown in my second post) from the controller to the end of the LED strip in the tree. You would keep the controller(s) next to the power supply at ground level. The controller and power supply are not waterproof so must be in a waterproof box. You would have to go from your house to near the tree to change programs with the remote. The size of the controller is about 2" wide and 5 inches long.
  8. I doubt the small RF remote is good for more than 10 or 15 feet. I mounted the lights on the fascia at then ends of the eves on the lower portion of a two story house. I keep the power supply and controller in the garage and run a 4 wire lead from the controller to the end of the strip. The longest run for the 4 wire lead I used is about 30 feet. This requires doing some elementary soldering to put connectors on the end of the wire lead. I buy all of the parts from China so while it can take time to get here, the prices are very affordable. If you decide this isn't too complex a task just PM me and I can supply sources on eBay. The 6803 LED strips are much stronger than ordinary light strings. The strip is encased in very tough plastic. I'm on my fourth season of putting up the lights and taking them down with no damage to the strips. I usually choose one of the 133 programs each night and only change it once a day.
  9. Need more information. Do you plan to light the branches or just the trunk? If it is to light the trunk, this could be a fairly easy solution but you would still need to run the 110V line 400 feet which I will leave to others. You can use waterproof RGB strip lights that come with a controller and power supply. No learning curve required. The one I used for Christmas lights on the house is often called "dream lights" and have the designation IC 6803 which designates the IC built into the strip. They come in packages with the waterproof light strip, controller, remote, and power supply. You would need a waterproof box for the power supply and controller. The rest can be exposed to the elements. These have some very nice programs built into the controller. You can also choose just one color. The length of a strip is 15 M or 16.7 feet. It's obvious that you would need more than one strip for a tree. One controller will work two strips. If you go beyond two strips it makes sense to run them from one larger power supply and have 2 or more controllers. I just looked up a 240W power supply which would power eight 5M strips and it is only $24 postpaid. In that case you should not include a power supply with the strip order. For a description look at this listing on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Magic-Dream-Color-5M-6803-5050-Led-Strip-Fairy-Lights-133-Effects-RF-Remote-Lamp/262063598092?hash=item3d04352a0c:m:mxeBvOSYJq7H-sV3lGitPUw
  10. One holiday behind! When I saw this post for Menards I stopped at the closest equivalent - Lowes Home Improvement. Sorry no pictures as I don't carry a camera phone. No sign of Christmas decorations but they were busy putting out the Halloween decorations. The aisles where they normally display blow molds were blocked off and inaccessible. The stuff that was visible seemed more expensive than before. Maybe the new tariffs were figured into the price. The most reasonable items were foam pumpkins the same size as the ones pictured below except they were solid with no cutouts and not illuminated priced at $10. That seemed to be the least expensive item you couldn't also find in the dollar stores. The most impressive is a battery operated decoration that emit sound and light triggered by proximity detectors. They had several kinds. I couldn't see a price on the tag for the large talking pumpkin. They also had the lighted 3 pumpkin tower in the bin with the foam pumpkins. These 8.5 inch diameter foam pumpkins were purchased for a buck each at Goodwill recently and converted to 12V LED from the incandescent C9 light. I will post a tutorial on simple LED conversions shortly while there is still time to get cheap parts from overseas eBay vendors before Halloween.
  11. I picked up three Christmas blow molds at a yard sale yesterday for $10. What caught my eye were the two Union Products "skinny" soldiers that were dated 12/99 but it is the rather decrepit Santa that came with the package that is hard to pin down. It is a 30 or 31 inch Santa with a candy cane and yellow bow in the right hand. The hands are green. It has "C67 Santa Claus" on the rear base. The right side has HZ60 and a 6 to the right of it. It appears that whatever was over the top of these numbers and letters has been obliterated in the mold so if it said Polaron it is not readable now. I looked at the succession of makers for this mold on blow-molded. They are Polaron, Holdiay Innovations (no picture on blow-molded.com), Empire, and General Foam. Here's why it is so hard to figure out. Polaron: 1960's to 1970's It matches the short base on the Polaron 30" santa with candy cane but the gloves are not day-glo and Santa is holding a bell along with the candy cane in the right hand. Mine has the ribbon attached to the candy cane and the gold paint is missing from the beard and around the belt buckle. Holiday Innovations - 1988 no Holiday Innovations picture for this Santa at blow-molded to compare. Empire - 31” Santa (Redesigned Base) 1993 to 2000 They expanded the base from the original Polaron mold but must also have changed the bell in the right hand to become a ribbon. I have the shorter base so unless they made some with the old base in 1993 before expanding the base it can't be Empire. The paint color scheme matches exactly. Of course, the base on mine does not match. General Foam Products - 2001-2012 31” Santa It is the right mold number but the color scheme is different and the base is the larger base added by Empire. To make it even more confusing, there is a Grand Venture 31” Santa made from 1995 until they closed in 2005. It has the right mold and the right base. The color scheme is close but not exactly the same. The eyes are green on mine and the outline for the belt buckle is yellow. The lower part of the candy cane is not painted as it is on the Grand Venture Santa Sure is fun to try to date one of these molds when they went through so many changes over the years.
  12. With the exception of WM, Home Depot, and Lowes none of the stores often mentioned here has an outlet in Las Vegas. The Ace Hardware had a scant offering last Halloween. I'm not sure about Michaels as I don't shop there regularly. This is the time the second hand stores in my area start to put out their Halloween offerings. I stopped in this morning at a Savers store ( Value Village stores in many areas). The must have had a dozen or so of the GFP pumpkins in purple, green, and the standard orange color. They were priced at $1.49 plus tax. The sell for 99 cents brand new all over town at the regular stores like Target and WM. Most of the ones I bought were from the Goodwill outlet store where they sell for about 30 cents based upon the weight at $1.89/lb. I did pick up a nice inflatable Gemmy spider for $4 recently at the same store. Three of the five lights inside were out so I converted it to LED at the same time I replaced the burned out lights. It was an awesome find.
  13. Somewhere I came across the suggestion to use Pop Markers (isopropyl alcohol based) to restore the faded orange color for my 28" pumpkin. The picture of a regular pumpkin pail at the website was pretty good. They said it was better than paint because it showed the light inside the blow mold better. I decided to buy a container of the ink from a Chinese website where it was $1.80 for a 25 ml container wit the idea of applying it with an artists brush. It arrived today after 16 days shipping so I tried it out. Can't add the image of the ink bottle so see it here: https://i.postimg.cc/qvcSq5kZ/Artriink-pop-marker-ink.jpg Lessons learned: Don't use it straight out of the bottle. Dilute it with 90% isopropyl alcohol and then test a portion on the back of the mold. When you dilute the ink, make enough diluted ink to finish the job. It probably works best to use just one coat. I used about 1/3 of the 25 ml to coat the mold. My test was not as nice as what the website showed but I will try again with one of the faded pumpkins that I have in the attic. Cleanup is with the same alcohol.
  14. If anyone lives in or near Prescott AZ there are a pair of 42" Christmas blow molds listed for $20 each. Looks to be in new condition. https://prescott.craigslist.org/hsh/d/prescott-christmas-light-up-statue/6876953559.html The showed up as "nearby" when I searched on Christmas decorations. Unfortunately Prescott is hardly nearby for me.
  15. I bought a used Christmas tree and decorated it with the other kind of waterfall lights plus a bunch of old Christmas balls and stuck it out in the front yard. My desert trees don't adapt well to much more than stringing lights on them. It doesn't rain often in the desert in winter. On those few days when it does rain I don't light this particular tree because it has metal arms and I don't want to potentially trip the GFI. Most of the trees that end up at my local Goodwill store this time of year sell for $2 to $5. That included a 7 foot tree that I bought right after the new year. It originally sold at Kmart with a $159 sticker still on the box. If it only lasts a year, that's OK. It's a bear to find room to store the box though.
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