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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 etjensen

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      Palo Alto, CA, ,
    1. This is a terrific post. My display has been out most of the season due to rain here in CA. Never had it this bad since I started. I too want to come up with a plan for next year. Question for the electricians...would it make sense to insert some circuit protection between the controller and lights for ease of finding the offender? I had envisioned a board with a plug outlet for each channel with a push button circuit breaker from Mouser for each channel and maybe even incorporporate individual amp meters for better amp reporting. It might be overkill but I spent a lot of time and money a
    2. I did three today and a bell (think front door of seven eleven) for inside the house between 1am and 5am. Haven't had a problem yet but this summer our fountain in front of our house started getting vandalized. Beside soap and other crap put in it, one morning we woke to see the thing in pieces. $700 later I got a cast iron fountain. Keeping my fingers crossed this season.
    3. Usual suspects didn't have them around here. http://www.improvementscatalog.com/product.asp?product=281902zz&dept%5Fid=15 14.99 and I think free shipping...i think
    4. My local Target went 30% off starting today...not much left however...especially in LEDs.
    5. New link for command strips: www.commandstrips.com
    6. Thanks for helping a newbie. You guys are awesome! Merry Christmas! :]
    7. Jason...don't run to the patent office yet...I probably don't have nearly as many lights as you guys do but I spend at least 30 minutes a night chasing down half lit strings. I can't imagine what you guys do to keep sane. Today I picked up four cases of mini 100's at Lowes for 50 cents each. I agree with Christian in that I don't waste time on saving problematic strigs. My issue is preventing the outs to begin with. It seems like those outs are due to loose connections so I thought if the exterior base of the bulb had a small strip of metal (foil adhesive) under each of the little bulb wire
    8. So whats the name of the German brand? I'm interested!
    9. I wonder if the companys that produce minis could design in a small foil strip on each side of the plastic base on the outside where the two small wires from the bulb are exposed. Maybe create a better connection?
    10. I have under 7000 lights but I spend about half an hour a night trying to keep up with the half lit 100's I bought at target. TED is right...the weakness is in the bulb. They have a built in shunt but I still spend too much time reviving half lit strands. Do any of you experts have suggestions for sourcing a better mini bulb? I can't imagine how much time you guys spend chasing down outs.
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