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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.


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Everything posted by MattKat

  1. I got my replacement buttons at Jo-Ann's in the button department, they were cheap and easy to replace and you can't tell they're not original. I even forgot that I put new ones on and I'm pretty picky about how my decorations look.
  2. I'm trying to decide if I should sell my Empire Church or just keep it. I like it and I think it's pretty cool, but I just don't know where I could put it and it just dosen't fit in any area of my display really. It's in pretty much pristine condition, it's got all the windows and the cross, no fading, and has just a hairline crack on one of the corners. Would anyone be interested in buying/trading it? I just wanted to see if it's worth trying to sell it or if I should just hold onto it because it's just been collecting dust for the past few years upstairs. I would prefer this possible sale/trade to be local though since it's so big.
  3. Oh constantlyyyyy! I'm always checking out the windows making sure everything's still there.
  4. Mine's got the same color scheme & problem, they just sprayed the faces too heavy during that run. I'm going to repaint him like AF Nut said... at some point when I have time lol
  5. I knew it! Did you take that this year? I've been wanting to take another trip over there this weekend...
  6. If you're using incandescant, I would go with the regular frosted 25 watt bulbs. I use them in all of mine and it gives them a nice warm glow. I have to use incandescant because of the computer control though, I can't dim of flash CFL's. My Menards just started carrying 25 watt CFL's though, so if you can find those and don't run a light show, you might want to look into using them. They pull only 4 watts a piece and take only about a minute or so to warm up.
  7. I haven't seen the new Garden Ridge ones, but I bought the 20' one with the red vest last year, you can't beat it for impact, it's just huge! I'll have to find a picture, I made a few modifications to mine though.
  8. Yeah, Union made that one, it's from the early 90's I believe. My neighbors have 4 of them, I'm repainting the 2nd set this year, I did the other set last year. They're pretty cool and you're right, I haven't seen any other ones except for theirs. Ebay might be your best bet at finding one.
  9. My Menards just started carrying 25 watt CFL bulbs and I used them in all of a neighbor's molds when he contracted me out to repair them all and put new bulbs in. They use only 4 watts, less than a C7! They're not as warm looking as incandescants, but if you switch them all over, most normal viewers wouldn't notice the difference, it's actually not that bad. I'm really picky about that stuff, and it dosen't bother me too much so you should be fine lol. They have about a 1-2 min warmup time, but if you bring everything on a little earlier than usual, they'll all be bright by the time they're usually on. You're saving a ton of energy with them, so the earlier on time shouldn't matter too much either. The only other problem I had when installing them in my neighbor's Halloween molds was that some of the newer ones had the long "Type A Bulb" sockets that GF currently uses, and the ballast didn't fit in the socket, so I just shaved off the extra plastic with my Dremmel and now they're fine. Personally, if I didn't run a computerized show with all the fading and blinking, I'd switch all mine over to the CFL's, they're a pretty decent replacement. I actually just got a set of candles today and tried one with a CFL and it fits and looks fine, so maybe that's what you're looking for. Hope that helps!
  10. I got mine for $40 on Craigslist. The seller said it was in "Great" condition but there was a big dent with cracks down each side under one of his hands and the socket mount (GF Knob) was missing and it was hanging from a piece of tie wire inside AND his plug was cut off and replaced with one of those huge orange and yellow grounded replacement plugs they sell at the hardware store... so it wasn't technically in "Great" condition but I got him anyways since they go for almost twice as much new. Despite all that, I love him, he's a great piece! I was able to fix most of the problems, so he's fine now and actually plan to repaint him sometime soon now after seeing AF Nut's restoration job on his. I actually go by two of them that have been sitting on the side of someone's house every morning for about a week or so now and am seriously debating whether or not to ring their bell and ask if they're going in the garbage because I need at least one more for another display I'm doing... Has anyone ever done that before? Asking random people if they're pitching/willing to sell a mold they have out? Hope you're able to find one, I'll let you know if I come across any more! By the way, where specifically in Illinois are you, I'm actually in Des Plaines.
  11. That's incredible, as usual! I love the repaints on the cats on the pumpkins, I was thinking about doing the yellow eyes, just like you did, and now I know how great it looks, definatley going to add that! The witch to the right of them looks pretty awesome from what I could see. I'm hoping American Sale has some of them left by the time I go on Friday, I was already thinking about changing some colors on mine when (hopefully) I get it. So cool as always! (: PS: I still haven't forgotten about your Santa, I'm still looking for the cheapest way to ship it, because right now, most of them are saying about $80-$100 and that's not too fun ): I'm trying to make sure you get him before the Christmas season, and definatley before Christmas. Great job again!
  12. If you're still looking for something to do with the candy canes, my neighbor (who is also addicted to decorations, and where I got the bug from) uses his fleet of Union canes to line his driveway and sidewalks to his front door and shed/patio area. You can see them in a video I posted of his train a year or two ago. I always thought they looked pretty good displayed that way. Maybe that could give you some ideas...
  13. Yes I did, I just wanted to get the pictures up first so you could see it before I responded.
  14. Ok, I tried a bunch of things to upload them directly to the forum, but they're not working... so I made a Flickr account! Finally I get some pictures up here for those of you who might be interested to look at before you decide. I know how annoying for sale posts are without pictures, but now this one has some! Here's the entire set for the Santa: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157626179655843/ EDIT: Never mind! Flickr made a slideshow thingy out of the set when I pasted the link into the post! You should be able to go the individual pictures on the website through that show thing if you want to.
  15. It kills me to do it, but I think I'm going to have to let go of at least one of my Traditional Santas. He's in brand new condition, he's 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, no dark spots. He's got the realistic push-in eyes that Union used on a few of their other pieces, 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 if you decide to put him outside. If you want more pictures, let me know, I'd be glad to take some more. I was looking to get $150 for him. I am looking for more Easter molds to build on my teeny Easter display, so if there's anyone local that would like to trade for some of those, I'm open to offers. Trades probably have to be local because I don't know how to go about making a long-distance trade, but if you can figure something out, let me know. I was going to use the money for that display anyways, lol. He's really cool, I hope he finds a good home! EDIT: I can't figure out how to upload pictures on the new forums, can someone help me with that? The pictures are almost like 1/2 of a "for sale" post! hahaha
  16. Yeah, I'd like to know a little bit more about the Polar Plunge too, It looks like a cylinder that pulls the car up and down using cables. I assume the whole thing is pneumatic. There might be a similar ride poping up in Chicago this Christmas...
  17. The blinking items, if I recall correctly, were equipped with a regular C7 socket that had a blinking bulb screwed into them. I'm pretty sure you can still buy the bulbs at like Menards or similar hardware stores at Christmas time. Walmart might even have them, but I'm not sure. They were always with the replacement bulbs, sometimes they were called "twinkling" or "flashing" too. I haven't looked for them for a while, but I assume they still sell them every year.
  18. MattKat

    Where To Buy?

    Sorry it took me so long, we got dumped on by a massive blizzard and the Civic happend to be the car parked under the stairs to the attic, so it wasn't going anywhere soon, and once the snow was cleared enough I had to go back to school, and blah, blah, blah... ANYWAYS, this is the plate I was talking about, it's simply a scrap piece of wood with a replacement ceramic socket from Menards (hardware store) screwed onto it, which was actually cheaper than the plastic sockets they sell, so that was even better. The cord came from an old VCR one of my neighbors was tossing, so that was free. I drilled a small hole for it to pass through and connected the two with some wire nuts. (I'm constantly snipping cords off of things before they get thrown out because they come in handy quite a bit) The socket is attached with a screw coming from the bottom (outside) and a nut & washer on the inside. Then the whole thing just gets screwed onto the original opening on the mold, still using the old screw holes. I could've sprayed the wood white or whatever color the piece it's attached to is, but this one faces the ground and nobody sees it, especially after is snows a bit. I may paint it if I fly the sleigh next year though... Anyways, the entire thing cost me a couple bucks and I think the socket's better than a new GF one and it will fit all those funky shaped bulbs and CFL's without modification. EDIT: Well I'd love to post the pictures that kept me from posting this for so long to help describe what I did, but for some reason it won't work! Anybody else having the same problems with posting pictures?
  19. MattKat

    Where To Buy?

    I made one myself REALLY easily and cheaply, I'll try to get a picture of it tomorrow when I go upstairs. It's unbelievably simple, much cheaper than getting an "official" one from GF or Ebay.
  20. Thank you for all your hard work and great advice over the years! Are you just stepping down as a moderator or leaving the forums alltogether?
  21. Oh look, here's another one, this time with a pair of GF Snowmen. Go back and play on your swings, kids!
  22. Really??? I just might have to take you up on that offer. I have to talk to a couple people and figure a few more things out at the club, but that would be great! I think they might've known the people they stole the set of Santas from because it says that they are "stealing the santas from John's house" at the bottom when they run up to the house.
  23. These kinds of videos really get me, I mean, why would you do something like that? Especially the video where they stole the Santas from their friends house because it was 15 days after Christmas. The ones with their personal Santas, ok it's yours, you can do with it what you want, but still... The last one might even be too graphic for some people, it's a Poloron whispering Santa! People do this when they don't realize that people like me would be willing to pay a few bucks for each of the List Santas! I'm looking all over the place for a List Santa for my German club for a small display I want to set up on the roof of the building because we're right on a main road, but for the life of me can't find one that's not outrageously priced because we don't have the money for things like that, and here are these people burning a bunch of them, beating them, and running them over with cars! I just don't get it! I guess I'm one of the few kids that turned out alright in the decoration department... But the people in the videos, shame on you!
  24. MattKat

    Display 2010

    I saw the tracks and was going to ask about the train. Yes! Please get some video!
  25. Wow! Where'd you manage to get 6? Did you get them when they were still in stores?
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