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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. And some more pictures...
  2. I've been doing a Halloween Display every year, but this is the first year with LOR control. This year, I've got 32 Channels. (although not all are used) This is the third year for the cemetary, which doubled in tombstones last year from the '08 display, the first year, because I never got around to making the seccond set that year, and the fence was another '09 addition. I borrowed a bunch of the molds from my neighbors, as I noted in another thread about that topic. All of them are actually theirs, except for the pumpkin on the doorstep. We've probably had that one since before I was born. The "Monster Choir" as I call it, was actually a visual barrier intended to hide one of the controllers that turned out, in my opinion, pretty nice! It's all set to music, but I brought everything on at the to take the pictures. For Halloween night, I'm going to be alternating between sinchronized and static songs so the few songs I got done don't get too annoying. Hopefully I gave someone some ideas for next year. Let me know what you think! (I don't know why the scarecrow looks so washed out. He's just got a 25 watt inside and glows nicely in real life.) I'll get some better pictures and videos tonight.
  3. VERY NICE!!! I always love seeing what you turn out every holiday, your displays always look so beautiful and so well thought out!
  4. Hmmm... I live pretty close to a couple American Sales and have been there a couple times, so that may be an option. And, now that I think about it, my Menards actually has the GF sleighs & reindeer this year and that's only a few minutes away, so that might work too. I just don't know about spending 80 bucks on it right now though, I might be better off just selling them or something... But that's definatley an idea, they look good with that sleigh!
  5. ]So I picked a set of GV reindeer up over the summer in basically new condition. Boxes, bags, and all. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with them! I wanted to know how hard it is to find the santa/sleigh and the other reindeer these days to see if it's worth finding the rest of the set and displaying them, or figuring something else out. If I was smart, I would've gotten the sleighs when they still had them at an FIM store I went to a year or two ago. I was surprised to still see them in a store since they stopped making them, but they had no deer to go with them, nor did I have a place to put them. Gah! Silly me!
  6. Haha, sorry, I should've specified, now that I look at it, that was a pretty general statement.
  7. They could be refered to as something like "UnionC" or "Union C" or something like that to distinguish between the two companies... That might be an idea.
  8. That Chicago Christmas decoration book that came out a couple years ago. I had my neighbors and his brother autograph their pages in the book. It was my goal to get as many signatures in it as I could, but we never really went around to that many of them so I haven't gotten very far...
  9. Oh, ok, I wasn't sure if you did Christmas only or if you did Halloween too. I'll HAVE to come by this year for Christmas though. I want my book signed!
  10. Ohhh! I didn't know you were doing a Halloween display! If I'd have known, I would've come by to see it!
  11. Well they light up, so it's actually not that dark over here...
  12. The stuff in the picture was in the attic in his shed... yes, he has a staircase in his shed... Today, we're going to raid the attic in his house when they get home. And yes, hoyt, there are lots of molds in Des Plaines, between my neighbors and I, we've got a decent collection going. They've got a full Empire choir and a ton of Union's candy canes, among a ton of other molds.
  13. I'm starting to ask my neighbors if I can borrow some of the stuff that they don't put up now, so today they let me raid the attic in their shed, and this is what I got. I already knew what I wanted to borrow, which was basically everything, but the crow was a last minute addition because the shelf full of crows kept staring at me, so I grabbed one and now I've got to find a place to put him... The last time most of this stuff was put outside was when I was like five, so it's pretty nice to see it all again, and this time it's on my house, so that's even better! I don't think that they understand how happy this makes me, and I keep thanking them, but I felt I just needed to thank them on here too. I don't know why, but it just makes me feel better... I'm really thankful to have neighbors like them, especially after hearing about some of the people members on here have to live next to! I just needed to get that out of my system, it's not meant to be like bragging or anything, but I just need to express how much I appreciate it... sorry So tomorrow we're raiding their house attic to look for most of Empire's Monster Collection and a couple other pieces...
  14. I've actually been toying with that idea for a while before I saw this thread, because I'm having a he!! of a time trying to get the paint off of a bunch of molds I have to repaint, and I believe I may have access to a sandblaster, so that might just make things quite a bit faster... So you used baking soda??? Hmm, I'll have to look into this now...
  15. Feel free to send some of that back scaling my way...
  16. Once again, ANOTHER AMAZING JOB by Joe! Unbelieveable!!! I just love your restorations! I'd love to hear about any tips you might have, especially stripping and painting evenly, I'm having a "Super" time trying to get all the paint off of my neighbors!
  17. Hey, Carrie, what Menards was that? Is that the newer jumbo Menards they built somewhat recently?
  18. On my way home from Menards from checking out what they had for Halloween this year, we went past a garage sale at which I noticed some reindeer and what looked like soldier hats poking out of the top of a box next to them. We didn't stop and went home. While at home, the desire to go back and get them got stronger and stronger and finally convinced my mom to drive me back there and get them. Good thing I did. I now have two GV deer with their boxes, bags, and everything, it almost perfect condition, it looks like they were probably used once, if even. There was also an Empire deer too, but it was missing its antlers, but I grabbed him anyway. There was a big box with six solders in it, I think they're Union, I'm not sure, but they're in great condition too, except one has a crack on the base, but who cares, I'm going to drill through them to stake them down anyway... and it snows here. So now I got my soldiers for our parkway to start the "Solder Street" thing I talked about on here a while ago. My nextdoor neighbor has 6 of them too, and the people across from them have a couple too, so it's a good start. I'm going to give the Empire deer to my neighbors because they have a sleigh set still in the sealed box in his shed plus another deer, also sealed that they wanted to put up this year. I don't know what I'm going to do with the GV deer, I don't have a sleigh, let alone a GV one but I like them, they're cute, so we'll see what's going to happen with those, I don't know yet. I'm happy!
  19. WHAT??? My santa blow mold count is at ZERO and you leave it there!?!?! (actually I do have a little mini TPI santa, but that doesn't count, I mean like standard size santas ) I have to keep borrowing from what my neighbors don't put up every year, and you leave a free one in the trash?!?! I don't even need to pay for shipping, I could've stopped by and got him in person! Feel free to let me have any duplicates you find in the trash or have too many of, I'll take them off your hands for FREE!
  20. AMAZING JOB!!! You're the reason I'm repainting my neighbor's beco/general foam nativity! I fell in love with your restoration job, now I'm starting on theirs! I just finished the donkey this afternoon. That was my first piece. What did you use to mask off the areas? Your lines are PERFECT!
  21. I finished stripping some sort of evil, non-factory paint off of my neighbor's Beco Mary & Joseph, and after a couple stripping sessions and a ton of picking and scratching more paint off, I still have some spots of paint left. There's not too too much, but I'm worried that it'll show up as a bunch of black spots after I paint them. Here's some pictures of what's left. I'm going to give Joseph a brown robe, so that might help with hiding the spots too, and Mary's obviously getting blue, so it might just be a little darker in those spots. There's a lot of overspray on Mary's white parts that I can't get off either, but I don't think there's anything I can do about that, I'll just have to live with it.
  22. I was just going to ask that!
  23. Thanks! The flood wash was done to make up for the lack channels for color changing lights, and I thought it didn't turn out too bad... Thanks!
  24. Thanks! The mice in the window boxes actually belong to my neighbor, who's display I'm constantly talking about, lol. He has so many decorations, many of them never even come out! One of the mice was still in its original plastic bag when I borrowed them! The Santa & snowman belong to me, and I thought the boxes needed something extra, and remembered from a looonngggg time ago that he had a bunch of those mice sitting around somewhere and... Perfect! He had just the right amount to fill in the boxes!
  25. Thanks! I really made sure I didn't have too much random blinky-blinky going on, no offense to those who do. I know there's not that much there, but I hope to have much more this year, lol.
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