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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.

Julie S.

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About Julie S.

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  • Birthday 06/21/1966

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  • Location
    Edina (Twin Cities), Minnesota, USA
  • Biography
    I've been putting up lights since becoming a homeowner at an early age (19 yrs.). But it got seriously weird about 3-4 years ago. How? The annual display jumped from 600-900 lites (normal person's display late 80's to mid-1990s) to 3,500 lites (super motivated, caffinated or just plain festive in the mid-to-late 90s ) to 17,000 lites (2006) and 25,000 lites (2007...WTF?). Why? Dunno. Somewhere along the way me and my partner in Xmas light crime (my youngest son Andy, now 18 yrs.) just got a bit carried away...
  • Interests
    Work. Enabling my Springer Spaniel's tennis ball fixation (I bought her an LED color changing ball on Amazon). Googling everything. Choir Mom/weekly volunteer gig at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church. Vodka infusion. Creating mean martinis from garden fres
  • Occupation
    Network Engineer, Internet
  • About my display
    Well... last year (2007) it was 25,000+ lights in a mostly static display. I'm undecided for 2008. Go animated? Or perhaps better yet, burn my neighbors retinas with an even more extravagant and spectacular static display? What shall I do? Oh, the quandary! :)
  1. You are in good company. Nov. 1st is my youngest son Andy's Birthday as well. Tim, regarding the Sunday, Nov. 1st date. You know I will support whatever date you decide upon, but out of all dates this is a tough one for me. To wit.... 1. It's on a Sunday in the fall. I have a pesky church obligation in the morning since Jackie sings in the choir. 2. It's on my son Andy's 20th Birthday. And I swear to *god* that kid needs my constant supervision... esp. on this Bday when he might be tempted to do something really naughty. LOL! 3. The **** church ladies (sorry churchy folks) already picked that date for our annual volunteer project that raises $$$ for the music ministry at Mt. Olivet. And they need me there from 1pm to 4pm. I'm their computer dude and I am doing the digitized lables for our holiday fundraiser project. (Homemade Beet Pickles). It's a once a year project that happens to fall this year on 11/01. I'm afraid I might end up in **** it I stand them up. LOL! 4. (This one is optional) I was hoping to be tipping a few brewsky's by 4:15pm while watching the Vikings own the Packers! I can get out of #4, but #'s 1 thru 3 might be tough. LOL! If it's okay for me to join the Mini already in progress around 5pm... then YES! I will be there!
  2. At least three Target stores in the Twin Cities were 75% off this morning (Edina, St. Louis Park and Southtown/Bloomington). Scored three overflowing carts full of stuff including two LED Ropelight Deer @ $17 each, lots of LED snowflakes and extension cords aplenty at 50 cents a piece.
  3. Julie S.

    Just venting

    Last Friday Dec. 19th we had our second Annual Sleigh Ride Christmas Party. Since that was the Friday before Xmas, it was a recipe for way too many cars. There was the steady flow of viewers driving by to see the display, plus all the cars from our 80 to 100+ party guests (all our neighbors plus friends and family). I had contemplated putting out a few cones, lawn chairs or something similar along the curb so the display won't be blocked on a Friday night by parked cars, but I got busy and forgot. I nearly fainted from shock half way through the party when I looked towards the street and realized that there wasn't a single car parked along the entire curb span of our property. Peering further down, I saw cars parked up to a block and a half away in both directions. People actually figured it out themselves! We hadn’t said a word to anyone about parking. Wow. We were flattered that people would go out of their way to be so considerate. Hang in there Tim, clueful people really do exist! And, yes, I would pull the plug too if some bonehead parked in any of my neighbor's driveways.
  4. I paid $131.43 on 11/07/08 at 1000Bulbs.com. The current price is now ovr $190.00 see: http://www.1000bulbs.com/Christmas-Light-Bulb-Testers/34330/ I would have purchased it at Christmas Done Bright if 1000 Bulbs hadn't been running a deal on it at the time.
  5. I'd like to echo Tim's sentiment. Although I did not have the privilege to have viewed your display firsthand, its splendor has been conveyed to me via many eyewitness accounts here on PC. I was at your sale on the first day (within the first 15 minutes). I bought two items (which I LOVE!), though I thought the prices were markedly high. Despite the fact that I posted a few snarky comments about unrealistic pricing, I hope you don't take offense. Based on your post, I'll stop by again and certainly make an offer on what I'll like to buy. To quote some famous words... LET'S MAKE A DEAL! Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback and participation in this forum. Best regards.
  6. And you know you've married well when your wife plans and runs the entire display and you're little more than grunt labor. BTW, kudos to my husband who wrapped limbs on our Maple Tree tonight! Thank you honey!)
  7. OMG! That has to be the most hideous Xmas light accident I've heard about in quite a while. Both Ivan and I screamed out loud as we read your account of doing the splits on your deck. And to think that we were planning on retrofitting our own aging deck with Treks planks. Uh oh. Might have to rethink that plan.
  8. Ha! Ain't THAT the truth! Cool idea. I'm wondering if any other PC members have had couples get married in their yard display. Anyone?
  9. Funny! Yes, I'd say that I've hit the stores about 80% of the time for Black Friday over the past 23 years (as long as I've been married/had a family.) The other 20%? Out of town, just gave birth, too hung-over from the family Thanksgiving gathering, or the deals just weren't that great. I started a new family tradition about 5 years ago on Thanksgiving. We call it "The Holy Grail". Our 'Holy Grail' is the Thanksgiving Day Star Tribune newspaper. Whichever family member's house we happen to be having Thanksgiving Dinner at, I make sure to bring a pristine copy of the "Grail" with me. On Thanksgiving either before or after dinner we all gather around the dining room table, a spot on the living room floor, wherever, and unwrap the 'Bargain Hunter's Grail of Black Friday Goodies'. In recent years, the "Grail" has included printouts from the 'net and various Black Friday sites. The best analogy I can come up with to describe it is that it's almost like a Fantasy Football draft party. Together we unwrap the untouched newspaper bundle, pass the ads, make note of our picks and have a lively debate about our choices and strategy. It's highly entertaining, even more so after a few beers or glasses or wine! Even the most reserved and timid family members are grabbing for the ads and debating about which stores have the better deal. Unpredictable fun. I highly recommend it!
  10. Julie S.

    Weekend fun!

    I assume you mean "wood" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_router and not "IP" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Router Correct? Your comments got me to thinking about a couple of bricks, er, I mean Compatible Systems T1 routers taking up space in our supply room at work.
  11. Nope, didn't go today. But from my experience, I wouldn't expect to see a price adjustment til weekend #3. If you get my drift.
  12. Julie S.

    Weekend fun!

    I totally agree. I read reports in other forums saying they didn't look too close. I could have been a weasel and hogged up all of their LEDs. Instead I got psych'ed up and told myself they *DID care. Why? Just to motivate myself to clean house and let go of stuff I knew I wouldn't use. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants to rid yourself of any lurking pack rack tendencies. I am sure no one here suffers from that affliction.
  13. Julie S.

    Weekend fun!

    I salvaged bulbs from strings before trading them in. I figured since the offer stated old or non-working light strings... bulbs are missing... I guess THAT's why the lights don't work! They didn't care. They didn't even look closely. They just took my grocery bag full of mangled light strings and threw them in the recycle bin. In fact, since I unrolled the light balls to snag some spare bulbs, I made sure to put them in the grocery bag in their natural state (a big tangled mess). That strategy helped because I too struggled to find enough non-working strands match the number of boxes I bought. I got rid of the obvious stuff first... 100 count minis where at least a half dozen or more lights were out. Who wants to spend 30 minutes fixing lights I can buy at Target for 50 cents a box after Xmas? I think my time is worth more than a buck and hour! Then a few strands of ugly duckling lights that I knew I wouldn't use this year, like some goofy looking Target garland lights that were several years old. When I started running out of stuff I didn't want, I just unrolled 'em, tangled them up and each grocery sack was full to the top with only 3 or 4 strands. All in all, I gave them 16 old strings in exchange for the 20 boxes I bought. Evil, I know. But considering I have to glue caps back on several strings of C3 LED strings I bought from HD last year because they fell off... I think Home Depot and I are about even. Especially since I didn't try to be a weasel and return the defective strands after Xmas last year. hehe All around I think it was a great promo. $3.99 for a 50 count string of LEDs.
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