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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.

mneville

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About mneville

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  • Birthday 08/08/1976

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  • Location
    Crestview, FL
  1. I was wondering if anyone has "been there, done that" that could offer advice... We collect donations for the Special Olympics each year. This year, we are coordinating an event for our final night that the athletes and coaches would attend. We've invited neighbors and folks through our FB page, and I just got word that the Mayor would also like to be there. We'll present the donations to the Director and have a few opening remarks by the Mayor, then cut the cake and run the show. We want to keep it a block party-type atmosphere and will have external audio for the first time (we usually just broadcast so the only audio is in the cars). We are fortunate to be at the end of a cul-de-sac, right in the middle of the circle. We have a local bakery providing a custom cake and a local coffee shop providing coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. We'll have a small PA for audio. Target time is 1 hour start to finish and we're looking at 50-75 in attendance. Any suggestions on logistics, protocol, needs I might not have considered?
  2. I would contend that different tracks call for different styles of sequencing. Each one of us has a different style, because we will all hear and interpret each track differently. There are those who have a knack for capturing the feeling of a track in light - for example, look at some of Holdman's work. With 48 channels and 19 elements in my display, I could only dream to capture that in the same way. However, I am not limited by my display as much as I'm limited by my vision of controlling it, so I choose specific tracks that cater to my abilities, which does lead to lights mimicing the beat and movement of the music occassionally. The comments I receive on my sequences would lead me to believe that it's all in the eye of the beholder. Do I worry about "Mickey Mouse"-ing it or being repetetive and predictable? Absolutely! But as I change my show each year I get better at it, and if I were to let that dissuade me from trying then I might as well put a wreath on the door and call it good.
  3. I'm in that "got a late start" boat, too - was going to take the year off, but the kids and neighbors weren't having it so I started three weeks behind. Up and running Monday, but still have some work to do before calling it finished.
  4. Never have truer words been spoken - or typed... Patience was the key. With the Facebook page and article in the local paper, traffic ramped up considerably. The nice part about living on a cul de sac is that we discovered we can fit eight cars directly in front with five more waitiing while still allowing the neighbors access. We didn't have many waiting as long as some of you all, but I think I took the proper precautions. 2 minute songs, just over 20 minute show, and parked so anyone could leave at any time. Only had one instance of someone not able to get in their driveway - and that was me! Thanks for all of the input - it worked out and I couldn't be happier.
  5. This is great - looks to be exactly what we are trying to accomplish! I do have someone coming out to take HD video this weekend and video clips were on the agenda for the FB page. Our voiceovers do mention the page, and I will probably amend the "Tune To" sign to include it as well. I should probably add more voiceovers - right now we have three in a 20-minute show. Just as a few of you got me nervous as to the double-edged sword that is traffic volume and I was becoming content with what we get, we got a call from the newspaper this morning - and I hadn't decided whether or not to contact them yet. Our word of mouth must be decent, they are sending someone out tonight to run a story on us! Fortunately, our neighbors are supportive, but I may have more conversations with them in regards to what this publicity may bring...
  6. After reading all of your replies, I am almost considering just leaving well enough alone. We have good word of mouth, the Facebook page is starting to get more attention, and we've seen a slight increase in traffic over the last few days. Being a small town, we have a small newspaper that I may contact and leave it at that. While I could only wish for hundreds of cars a night, living on a short cul-de-sac does present that slippery slope - I can see it being a benefit and a nightmare at the same time. Thanks for all of your input!
  7. I use a few from Christmas Vacation, the ones I have gotten the most feedback from are: Before the first song, I have the clip of Clark Griswold talking about "We're going to do it right, and we're going to do it BIG". Rusty asks him if he's overdoing it, to which Clark replies, "Russ, when was the last time I overdid anything?" - Immediately into the first large flashes from our first song. I also put Aunt Bethany in a natural break in a rather "flashy" part of another song, "Is your house on fire Clark?" "No Bethany - those are Christmas lights" right back into the song. I love the idea of that at the end of your show - kind of like the little scenes during movie credits!
  8. How do all of you generate traffic for your display? We have had a 17,000 light static display that generated decent traffic on its own for a few years now. So this year we pulled the trigger on 32 channels, and bumped up to almost 30k lights. Problem is, we seem to have LESS traffic this year then in years past - and when I say less, I mean like one or two cars a night! We have a Facebook page (new for this year), a large "Tune To" sign with a spotlight on it, and seem to have generated pretty good word-of-mouth. My wife and I were introduced by a friend at a Christmas parade last week as being "from Watts Up Crestview" - so the name is out there. My fear is that being our first year accepting donations on behalf of the Special Olympics, we will fall flat. So, what are the best ways that you have found to generate traffic?
  9. I'd also go with epoxy over silicone for one reason alone. If the bulb hangs up in the socket from any minor corrosion, the silicone can flex and you could twist the base right back off - next time the connections may not be salvageable. Silicone may seal better, but epoxy would be a much stronger bond.
  10. x2 for Action Lighting. Pre-scored, needle nose pliers and one quick back-and-forth, and you're good to go.
  11. I am not as versed with LEDs, but are the fuses in the strings rated to handle seven trees in series? How many LED strings can one run back-to-back? With LEDs there may not even be an issue here, but might be worth checking. Another solution may be making your own extension cord with SPT2 wire and female receptacles. One cord, seven outlets wherever you need them - each tree simply plugs into the same cord and they all run independent of the others.
  12. Although this topic has been beaten to death, I figured I would throw in my $0.02. If the GFCI is tripping, it is indicative of a problem! Find the source of the current leak and repair it. It could be as simple as raising a connection, or using liquid electrical tape on the base ring of mini trees or stakes. A few extra steps in preparation or careful planning can spare you the headaches later. As I train explosive safety and deal with electrically primed explosives on a daily basis, I do not take safety lightly. If you bypass a safety feature or system, you are asking for catastophic failure of end components. The question is where do YOU fall in the chain of components?
  13. First things first... How many amps is the outlet and circuit in question rated for? This should be your starting point to determine how many lights you will run, not how many lights the cord can handle. Is there anything else on that circuit (exterior light fixtures, outlets, etc.) that will draw power at the same time? Using the 80% rule, a 15 amp circuit can be run at 12 amps/1440 watts continuously without issue, a 20 amp circuit is good for 16 amps/1920 watts. Incandescants will consume a lot more power than LEDs, so consider that as well. Have a look at the information here: http://www.planetchr...FigurePower.htm . For timers, you should have no issue finding some with three outlets. I use a few of these http://www.lowes.com...timer= with no complaints, or any retailer should have some out with holiday lighting. And I agree with Brian - some floods to wash those trees by the road or the brick on the house would look great!
  14. After taking so much info from this forum, it's high time I gave back (if only a little), and I FINALLY have something worth sharing. Here is a great tool for those who make their own LED arrays. It calculates the required resistor values based on supply voltage and your diode specs. No more trying to use Ohm's Law in your head or on paper! I have used this for a while for other projects and it just dawned on me that someone here might find it useful as well. http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz I hope this helps someone!
  15. This is the exact method I use with a 3/16" pencil tip. The only caveat for punching lots of holes is that the plastic builds up quickly on the tip and the holes can get a little sloppy. Have a green ScotchBrite pad handy to keep the tip clean. Incandescant minis fit perfectly in the holes and saves your thumbs some pain in the end!
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