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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.

jrez

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About jrez

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  • Location
    Greensboro, NC, USA
  • Occupation
    Programmer
  1. I'm moving from Illinois to Greensboro next week. I wont have my display up and running this year, just too many things with trying to get the family moved. If there's anyone that lives in the Greensboro area that has a big display, please PM me your address (and start date), I'd love to bring the family by to see them. I'm excited to move to a new area and see all new displays.
  2. Actually my style is just the opposite of flashy, I try to set more of a mood then rock show. That's just my personal taste
  3. "Where do you buy your lights?" I guess everyone thinks they are special lights or something. When I tell them Target I get the confused stare. Like the one your dog gives you when you ask him a question. My favorite are the people who don't pay close enough attention to the fact that the lights move to the music, and they turn on the radio and say "OH, neat, there's music while you are looking at the lights." I usually say yeah and walk away.
  4. 3,396,789 + 22521 ____________ 3,418,310
  5. You need a ball of lights, a big ladder, and lots of time. I've been wrapping my trees the way Richard does it for the past 8 years or so. It's very time consuming, but you get that wow factor every time. There's no quick way to do it, when you are wrapping every branch, because you have to go out to the end, then back on the same branch. I live in a newer sub-division where the trees are small. As Richard found out, you don't realize how much your trees grow each year until you go to put lights in them.
  6. Too Freaky, I'm sitting here reading this post with my coffee and the morning news. Literally 1 minute after I read this post, the Fox morning news had a blurb about the Hoffman Estates man injured while chasing vandals of his Christmas Display. (Hoffman Estates is a Chicago Burb, which is where I live)
  7. Untape all connections. I used to do that too, but it causes more problems with condensation. It doesn't matter if it's dry when you tape them, condensation will still get in. Unplug 1 item at a time and keep resetting your GFCI until you find the cord that's causing the problem, then inspect the lights on that cord for broken bulbs or wet connections. You'll know you have the right cord as the GFCI will stay on once you remove the bad section. Good Luck!
  8. Keep in mind that if you spread your outlets throughout the exterior of your house, if a GFI trips you have to go find it in the dark. I run a similar system to what Richard has, being that all my outlets are located near a basement window, and I run all the cords out the window. If a GFI trips, I just walk down to thebasment and click the button.
  9. 110 amps here. 4 - 20amp breakersinstalled last year, and 2 - 15amp breakersinstalled this year. All of them are located right by the basement window. I prefer running cords out the window, that way if a GFI trips, I don't have to fumble around in the rain or snow to figure out which one tripped. I can just walk to the basement.
  10. Do you have any 240 devices running during your programmed times? Last Christmas I used x10 to turn on some static stuff and worked like a charm for about a week or so, then I noticed it was having trouble turning things off and on. It ended up being that whenever my wife had the oven (Electric) on the signal never made it to the devices.
  11. I have 4 - 20 amp GFCI circuits that I installed right by the basement window. I like the idea of being able to just walk into the basement when a GFCI trips. Sure it's a bit of a pain running all the wires through the window, but if you carefully pack the window with foam or any other type of insulator, it works out well. I didn't like the idea of possibly pinching the cords last year, so this year, I'll run the cords through a piece of PVC through the window so nothing can get pinched, then some foam to fill in the air gap, and duct tape. I also have 2 - 15amp GFCI circuits that are on the outside of the house.
  12. 13 channels - 12 clear and 1 green. There's a total of 4800 lights. 2400 clear and 2400 green.
  13. I hear you. We were out all weekend. I can't believe it was 60+ degrees in Illinois. The bad part will be taking everything down the first week of January.
  14. OK, you have my attention, what's the "No Fraud" thing? I see several people have "No Fraud" as their avatar?
  15. I only have 2000 lights up. About 10,000 to go, which sounds worse than it is, being that my Mega tree is 4800 of the 10,000. Planning on hitting the roof this weekend. It can snow at any time in Chicago, the roof is always priority #1.
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