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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.

MattKat

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Everything posted by MattKat

  1. I haven't been in this side of the forums for a looooonngggg time! The blowmolders sucked me in following many years with the inflatables a while ago lol. After I was converted to plastic, I didn't buy an inflatable for quite some time and only put up one, at the most, for each holiday on the isolated strip on the other side of the driveway... That is until a few years ago when I bought my 20' Snowman. I had told myself "no more!" but that one was just too cool to pass up, and it's been a neighborhood favorite ever since! So here I am a few years later and I think I've found another one: The 10 Foot Turkey. I just saw him online at yardinflatables.com and the bug bit me again. I already have the 8' standing pilgrim turkey that I usually plop dead center in the lawn every year for a nice, simple display, but I think he's about to get bumped to the other side of the driveway so I can put this beast in his place this year. It sounds like Yard Inflatables and their Inflatable Greetings line has a great reputation, so I have no problem ordering from them, I just wanted to know if anyone else has already bought one of these turkeys and could post some pictures & opinions about theirs before I get mine. Originally I was going to get their Pilgrim pair, but then I saw this one and noticed that it was actually cheaper, so I think I'll go with him instead. Any thoughts? http://www.yardinflatables.com/Inflatable-10-Turkey_p_1175.html **Oh, and when I was at the peak of my inflatable collecting obsession was when abrubtly stopped, so I have a few new and 1-season-used inflatables that have been in storage since, and am probably going to be selling off of anyone is interested.
  2. Hey guys, so I bought one of the big Santa's Best Santa's Best Santas over the summer to use in a simple display at a non-profit organization I volunteer at, and for some reason I'm just really starting to not like him too much anymore lol. There's nothing wrong with it aside from a couple scratches on one of the gloves and his boot and the little tabs on the back of the light plate that hold the fixture are broken off. The original light fixture is still there though, it's just tied on now but I can think of 10 different/better ways to re-attach it. And also I believe the yellows are a little faded as well, but other than that, it's in pretty good shape. I even have the original instruction papers and stakes for him too. He's got all his eyes and additional push-in pieces as well so he's actually not too bad at all. I only have one picture of him right now that I took with my phone when I first got him, but when I go back to the organization's building on Friday I can get a bunch more. American Sale carries the same one this year so maybe in the mean time you can check out a better look at him there: http://www.americans...on__941662.aspx So basically I was just wondering if anyone would be willing to trade him for a Union List Santa & the matching snowman or Mrs. Claus instead because I'd much rather have those molds much more than this one, and our organization helps quite a few seniors, so the more "classic" look of the Union's would probably be more appreciated by them as well. I saw some going on Ebay for like $10-$15 so they're not too uncommon or expensive either. It seems like everyone has one but I can never manage to track them down lol. I'd love to have one Santa and two of the snowmen so that I could put one inside the building next to the Christmas tree as well, but I might be pushing my luck there lol. Ideally someone locally would probably be best because shipping these things across the country might be a bit of a hassle and added expense for just something like this but we'll see what we can do. BTW: If you don't have a pair of the Unions but want the Santa and have something(s) you want to get rid of, let me know, maybe they'll work for what I had planned just as well. Whew, sorry that was such a long post, thanks for reading all that!
  3. Brand new vacucel carolers: http://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/gms/3325572802.html He says he's got "lighted Angels" too so I assume they're also vacucels, probably in new condition as well.
  4. MattKat

    Summer Finds

    Thanks everybody! I didn't really need the candles, but for being in such great shape, I just couldn't pass them up! There aren't even any scratches on the bottom so it looks like they were never displayed! And Drac's nose took 30 secconds with the end of a screw driver handle and he's as good as new!
  5. MattKat

    Summer Finds

    It's been a long time since I've been on here... wayyy too long! I always take the summer off from decorating because after Christmas is over and finally packed away, I want nothing to do with decorations of any kind! (It's terrible, I know) I'm just so burnt out after going crazy with the stuff for three months straight that I have to take a little break. But anyways, that's not the point of this post, I'm getting off track here lol. I do make exceptions to my summer vacation, however, such as if I come across anything at garage sales and the flea market. The flea market had nothing really this year, however I did manage to pick up a few pieces at a garage sale one day and now that I'm back in the decoration mode, I just have to show them off! I found a nice Empire vampire at one house and then lying on the ground next to them was a pair of Beco candles brand new in their bags! The best part was that when I was buying the set, the lady remembered she had some "dirty old boxes" for the candles too and asked if I wanted them, of course I said yes and she brought back the original boxes too! So now I have two brand spanking new Beco candles in their bags with the instruction manuals, sand bags, and twistie ties! This was quite a few months ago, but retelling now, I'm getting all excited again lol. The vampire I've needed for a while but the candles were just an added bonus! Now figuring what to do with them is going to be another story...
  6. Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking! I live in Illinois too, and as much as I want them, the 8 hour drive just isn't worth it lol.
  7. Oh wow, those are municipal street decorations, those are nice! I wish I could pick up a few... That's a pretty decent price too!
  8. That's actually genius! I might have to try that...
  9. Well I do have a few people interested, however I did lower the price to $150 so not exactly that rare lol
  10. Well it looks like his time has come, my last Traditional Santa needs to find a new home! He's really cool, and it kills me to send him off, but I just have too much money tied up in him and I think the money and space would be better off spent building another holiday's display like my super tiny Easter one lol, so it's time for this guy to go. He's in brand new condition, never been outside. It still has the original instructions wrapped around the cord, which has neven been untied. Almost flawless paint job, VERY few scratches and almost no spots of overspray. The paint is evenly applied and there's no dark spots. He's got the blue realistic push-in eyes that Union used on a few of their other pieces like the taller turkey, they're not painted on. There's no scratches on the bottom either. He's got a nice big base sculped on to fill with sand to keep him from tipping should you decide to put him outside. I was looking to get about $200 for him. If you want more pictures, let me know, I'd be glad to take some more. Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157626179655843/
  11. Just wondering if anyone has any of Union's St. Patrick's Day shamrock discs. I haven't seen any around lately and Google managed to find only one. Are they really that rare?
  12. MattKat

    Chicagoland

    My neighbor and his brother are both in the book, I got them to autograph their pages lol
  13. Thanks! It's not even close to looking as good as yours, but hopefully it's off to a good start! It seems like it's always the little things that people love the most, the soldiers were originally a temporary fix but it seems like they're going to stay now lol. I have a piece that I threw together last minute a few years ago for Halloween that had people staring and asking questions about it all night! I really try to keep all the cords hidden as best as possible and try to make sure everything is sitting straight and level, otherwise I'll run out into a snowstorm wearing a towel to reposition something. (That's happened before) I can't have anything looking cluttered or messy. That's why I love your displays so much, they match right up with my own display goals! I still can't believe how nice the display at my grandparent's house turned out. The tree was originally supposed to have colored C9s on it but they didn't have enough to make it to the middle so I brought over a bunch of clear strings and I actually think I like the way they look more than the colored ones did. You're right, it gives it a more elegant look.
  14. Thanks! I actually ended up 2 short on the lamps though. I couldn't for the life of me find any more of the black ones to finish up the walk though! I guess it still looked alright lol
  15. I just added this, but I don't know if it'll show up in the first post. My grandparents hosted Christmas Eve with the family this year so I made sure their back yard looked extra festive. The tree drew so much power that it kept blowing the breaker it was on, I had to run it it's own line so the power would stay on. This was another one of my favorite pictures this year. The nativity set came from the trash a few years ago with its original box and even had the plastic bags they were wrapped in in the bottom when I found it! The cradle was missing the legs though, but aside from that I still think it was a great find! lol http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6596165117/
  16. Thanks! I had Union Santa Mice in there a couple years ago, but I had borrowed them from my neighbors and gave them back at the end of the season. I got the soldiers last summer and ended up using them instead of the mice last year and they went back again this year. NarJar, I'll check that out and see if I can fix it, thanks!
  17. Finally got pictures this year! I'll get around to putting videos together at some point lol. So for now, enjoy the pictures! http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157628616217455/with/6592639715/ *I went into Hardware Utility and just turned everything on to take pictures, but when running every night, it's a completley animated LOR controlled show. I like it just as much static as I do animated, but the animation adds that extra something I needed a few years ago when I brought in the computer control. (Excuse the star on the roof and anything else you may notice crooked or out of place, there was a recent wind storm that blew it over and slightly unseated the post it is sitting on. It was too cold to pull out the car to grab the ladder off the wall and climb up there and fix it... Knowing me I'll do it later and replace the pictures so people don't think I'm sloppy lol ) Hope you like it! **EDIT: I just realized my signature is off, I have 32 Channels, not 16. Does anyone know how to change it? It's been a while and I just never noticed it lol
  18. Uh oh, Double Post! Could somebody please delete this one? Sorry about that, no idea how this happened...
  19. Absolutley fantastic! You attention to detail is always stunning! You should have a new Santa to add to the collection pretty soon.
  20. Did Menards carry them this year? I broke one of my candles setting them up this year.
  21. Someone I bought a Beco shepherd off of on Craigslist the other day asked me to help her find any info on her newest acquisition, this giant bell. I think it was a commercial municipal decoration and it looks like something Beco would've made. I know they made the giant ornaments with the intention of them being hung on light poles, so this seems like something similar... I think the minis stuck through the holes are not original though, I'm not sure if the holes they were poked through were even original too... I haven't seen it in person yet, but I have to go over there tomorrow to pick up a Poloron nativity set, so I can take a better look while I'm there. Anyone have any info on this giant? http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157628544732729/
  22. Well I got the motor appart, had to find a tamperproof Torx screwdriver to do it though, and cleaned & lubed the fan and motor, but it's still just as bad. I guess this one's just done it seems...
  23. I believe he's talking about the one with the red scarf that had the white stars painted on it in a few runs. I'm pretty sure that Empire did change the head on the mold, because I have the original one as well as the new one and they are identical from the neck down. You can see the texture fade into the additional scarf they put on from the original. The hat is still from the original snowman as well. They must've done that right before they closed and sold the molds to GF.
  24. That "Poloron" looks to be made by Holiday Innovations because of the transparent plastic. They remade it after Poloron did. Poloron's plastic was a lot thicker and more solid white.
  25. Hey there! You have anything you want to get rid of? ...I'll give you a sparkly snowman! lol After doing some more research on it, I'd probably take more like $40. $60 was just way too high.
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