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Did you know?
  • 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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    Senior Member
  • Birthday June 27

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  • Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
  • Biography
    Business owner who loves Christmas and showing off the celebration of Christ's arrival. I am active with my Church Mission Board as well.
  • Interests
    Longhorns (they're my cattle to raise); Flying; Traveling; Cycling; Water Sports; Scuba; Cruising on RCL; and Christmas Lighting as well as Gingerbread Houses
  • Occupation
    Business Owner & Rancher
  • About my display
    We are moving from Mr Christmas with its limited ability for our 2007 display, to AL 48 to maybe 64 or 80 channel solution. It depends if my daughter gets me to agree to make the leaping arches. A Mega Tree is in the works and a reset of some of the decorating from last year is in the works as well to better display the yard this year as well as to take advantage of much improved landscaping and opening up one garden to more visibility at least for a year or two, unless the drought continues then for a few extra years as well.
  1. We added the Jesus is the Reason for the Season sign this year. Next year I am considering redoing the Nativity Scene.
  2. The Spirit filled me a couple weeks back and it has been full throttle since. Today we are at 85% up and ready for go live maybe a night early on Wednesday...at least we will be testing it then... The frustration tonight came when some of the lights quit working....hopefully replugging everything in the daylight tomorrow will make it all work just fine...2 mini trees need to be checked and probably a light string replaced....the deer were a challenge today. Tomorrow we should have the Mega Tree all together and from there we are down to some strings up high in trees....it is really taking shape!!! Hope everyone else is now filled with the spirit as well!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!
  3. Glad you are OK. First I thought the deer was going 50-55...that would be some impact. Your passenger airbag may be one that is off unless the seat is occupied by someone heavy enought to engage it...count your blessing in that case as that is one less cost... I'd be surprised if a deer strike is comprehensive since you were moving at the time...but even if you are out a deductible that is far better than not having any coverage or having been seriously hurt. (Heck I got sick, passed out and ended up with a concussion on Monday that led to an overnight hospital stay...2 days lost progress on everything and in the end a few hundred bucks from our pockets for the co-insurnace.) You walked away, got to drive to a safe place etc...that is the blessing, as deer strikes can be deadly. Now, as some fellow Texans would ask (I am repeating, not actually asking) did you tag it and take it home? Seriously I've heard of folks doing so...I'd personally think it would have too much trauma to be really edible. I see deer on the side of the road every trip to the ranch this time of year...and personally try to avoid driving that route except in daylight so I can at least have a heads up of a pending collision. May God bless you with some positive things happening the rest of the year!
  4. Yes it is a plywood set we have. Please do post a picture of what your baby Jesus looks like in the manger when you can. If it looks close to what I had I definitely would be interested in the link to those plans. THANKS!!!
  5. I'd suggest checking with your attorney to be sure by hiring the security firm, if they direct traffic and an accident happens etc...that you incur additional liability. It may be better to actually find a way to get a local sheriff or other neighboring law enforcement officer (certified and employed full time in law enforcement) to help do the work...maybe the sheriff can do it on a solo officer assignment. That would definitely help keep the cost down and likely limits your liability over private security. Besides if someone gets rowdy that person is probably more likley to obey a uniformed law enforcement officer over a private security guard. Last year as the year went on, traffic grew at our display. We were gone the last couple of weeks, so perhaps this year we will see a ton of traffic. If it ever starts to cause problems, I think we will just have to move someplace we aint got no neighbors... :-) Seriously, I'd love to live at the ranch and have a big display out front that is segregated from the cattle by electric fencing for the Season so the display is safe, and with it behind barbed wire and a closed gate it should be safe from onlookers while giving a nice view. Fortunately most of the neighbors really like the display.
  6. Awesome design. I wonder, have to play with pencil and paper to get my answer, how much stuff it would take to make a 6' tall tree like that as an in between size to fit in among my deer. I have roughly 3' tall minis and a 11-12' with star Mega tree. I could make a small group of 5-6' trees around the deer and run probably 4 zones per tree, maybe 8 if I use two colors. This is the one project I may just have to go do it...we will see. Thanks for the idea!!!!
  7. Today I planned to do some work, stayed up too late last night....hope tomorrow to have a second wind so I can get all of my new new rope light hangers up. Have to program one new song for the year and add in a few different light elements to all of the others. Guess that means I need to set up all the controllers so I can run some tests and make sure everything survived the sit thru the Summer....actually to check that all cords are working and all the light zones still work. I'd rather fix a broken zone by blocking it and moving that string to a different zone now. Neighbor and I have more help to install this year and plan a different controller location making it easier to run strings to the controller...hope to save a few hours on selected parts of the overall set up. Can't wait for late afternoon when I can do more of the Christmas stuff I needed to do this weekend...
  8. Just a thought, but BP really needs to have some GOOD publicity about now, maybe they would provide the petrol for the trip. (aka reflined black gold) I haven't looked at the tour route yet, are you coming to Houston?
  9. For inspiration, watch the miners from Chile get rescued...the joy on their face for being pulled out is so incredible...it can inspire us to gain the strength to do what we know will bring joy to others. Now if it will inspire me to find where I hid the layout for this year I can get things really rolling here.
  10. Keep the faith, the spirit will hit you. We had a family issue pop up about 10 days ago that totally changed our direction for the rest of the year. As that is settling in, it may give us more spirit to have it become a nicer display this year...not sure yet. I did finally do some of the tasks on my task list as they relate to the Christmas Display. If only I could find the page I drew up in January outlining this year's display I would be far better off... Tonight I fixed strings on 2 display items...confirmed a third is all good. I have my lit sign to take apart and start making into two signs, one each for my and my neighbor's yard. The one item I have yet to start messing with is a replacement cut out wood figure....a marker and jig saw will make quick work of the cut out part....painting the display item to match the item being replaced is the hard part... It will come together. Once I get really going well, it all starts flowing....I pray OP will have the same inspiration.
  11. Some jerk stole Jesus image from our manger scene last year. Needless to say I am behind on thoughts of replacing his image for our Manger Scene. If someone around Houston happens to know someone who makes them or makes them for sale, please let me know who you are so we can chat. Ideally I will find a nice one to fit our manger scene...the stall is roughly 8'x5' deep and the other human images are not more than about 3' tall, kneeling mostly...so ideally I can find something to scale. Thanks y'all!!!
  12. Has anyone split the story up where it is spoken between songs, perhaps in some cases songs that match up relatively well to the most recently read lines? If so any suggestion on how to make it flow? Were you pleased doing it that way?
  13. Wow...after stringing 96 lines on the mega tree, I am concerned to hear this. I ended up with both kinds of strings, in the plug and the 3 bulges one near each plug and one nearly dead center. I also have 10 mini trees, 5 dozen strings threaded around those as well. I will be very dissapointed if this year again I have loads of failures. I am interested in hearing which ones are failing for y'all.
  14. We will be praying for the whole family.
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