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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.

paultoole

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Everything posted by paultoole

  1. If you guys need any help or advise, send me a message, would be pleased to help. http://www.ukchristmaslights.com/
  2. Yeah, I too thought about that. Will make for more work, but worth it come the end product. - Thanks!
  3. Hey, That looks great. Thanks for sharing!
  4. WOW! That sounds very interesting. Can you share the link? I guess however it might be located in the States? I've sourced all the items for the 2012 show, but i do like the sound of this! Cheers!
  5. Hi folks! Since we were featured in a Network national documentary, We've been contacted by a zoo to design and create their display. We travelled the 3 1/2 hours to visit the directors. They want the same display as we have here, which they came to visit since the TV show aired. www.paultoole.co.uk On visiting the Zoo and seeing the area which we will transform, they have changed it from lawn to 'Astro - Turf' fake grass! In the centre of the area is a manhole with a sleeve for a tree, so location for a mega tree won't be a problem. But I'm really not sure how to secure Arches & Mini Tree's, as we won't be able to make holes within the astro turf. Any ideas guys? Here's a picture....................
  6. I'm also with the other members. Once you really push and promote your display via newspapers & news media, you really need to be geared up for a huge increase in visitors. You'll have to make sure that most if not all of your neighbours are happy with the increase of visitors, whether that be by car or foot. Switch On Night We hold a switch on every year, and last year (2011) on opening night we had in excess of 1,000 people turn up. I had already informed the Police, who knew and supports our display, I didn't bother with local government (Town Council) as I'm already good friends with most of them. Members of my family and friends had collection buckets which we used to collect for Make-A-Wish UK, and i had local carnival committee marshals to attend to the roads in my area. That's a must, otherwise it will cause chaos... and lose you support as fast as gaining it. We had local pubs set up stands and give out free Mulled Wine, Local bakeries also set up and gave out mince pie's (British Christmas Cakes) and even had starbucks with a stand giving out free coffee. All of this takes time to organise and prepare. Judy Pancoast sang for us, and i had invited a British TV star to come and switch the lights on, I have a friend who has a huge fleet of cars, and he brought our star to the switch on in a Rolls Royce Phantom, escorted by a real LAPD police car. So all in all, it's so much more than lighting, It was a show put on for the whole community, a Free show of course,with free entertainment and refreshments, but one where we hoped to raise some great money for charity. After The Switch On Once news is out, people WILL travel. The UK compared to the US is tiny I know, But once the display had been featured in a National documentary, we had people drive from Scotland and such come to visit the display, in a lot of cases this would have been a 800 miles round trip. I even had a text on Christmas morning from a lady who lived 200 miles from me to ask if i was running the show that evening, and she later turned up with her family. Many nights i would personally have to be outside, talk with people and tend to the roads for traffic. (we live in a cul-de-sac) Once news is out, people like to see the person behind the display. So being a front of house person and good with people will help. From past displays and getting the press involved along with TV News, I had some contacts with the 'Press Association' Who actually contacted me back in July of last year to ask if i was doing the same. You see once you get the press involved from the start, and if they like what they see and it makes a good story, they will be hungry to come back year on year. This is what will really make your display absolutely manic, and you really need to be prepared for such events. It's true from the other posters, when they say 'Be care what you wish for' personally I'm really lucky to have all the neighbours and local authorities on board and support me and the display, but like I've said, it's taken a whole lot of planning to get things just right for everyone. I really hope you can master some of the above, and see visitor numbers rise, there's nothing like seeing a huge crowd out front all enjoying your hard work and effort.
  7. Aww, You guys here on PC are absolutely brilliant. Such an amazing community to be part of. I can't begin to tell you how much I've pushed the words Planetchristmas.com on the visitors here in the UK.
  8. In my experience with these types of lights, especially from China and such, Is that they will rust very quickly and last no longer than one season. Personally i would steer well clear of them. Never compromise price over quality. I've found LED strings made with rubber cable and sealed LED's will last for many seasons.
  9. Hey thanks! No sadly, once the season is done, it gets thrown in the trash. Over the season, I'll normally top it up, so it looks like fresh snow. I use standard tent pegs to secure it into the lawn.
  10. Because we don't get reliable snow here in the UK to cover extension cords & wires, I use 'Fake Snow' Polyester Wadding 4oz 1m Wide x 50m rolls. Normally get through 8 rolls of the stuff, but it covers everything so well, and people are always bending down to touch it, to see if it's real.
  11. **** special note: language is a bit course in some areas Throwing a spotlight on what Christmas means in contemporary Britain, King of Christmas Lights finds out what motivates people to cover their houses in Christmas every year. Are these twinkly-light-enthusiasts the last bastions of community and Christmas spirit? Some may do it for fun, some may want to bring festive cheer to the neighbourhood, others maybe for charity, but none of them can get enough of the buzz they get when the neighbours coo at their displays. The programme follows them as they plan for months, buying the latest equipment and music-sequencing software and spending much of their disposable incomes on nothing but lights. This heart-warming, quirky and entertaining film offers both an eye-popping spectacle and also an insight into their true motives, relationships under strain from overindulgent merriment, households pitted against their neighbours in a bid to make their decorations outshine all others, and communities united in their desire to light up the night sky. Paul Toole, 36, from Somerset, has one of the biggest and best Christmas light displays in the country, on which he spends around £5000 each year. This year he wants to decorate all of the houses on the street, although they don't know that yet. Twenty-two-year-old Karl Beetson from Northamptonshire is one of the most impressive decorators in Britain; he experiments with the latest computer technology to create amazing sequenced displays. This year the computer wizard is introducing animatronics in his display. There's rarely a day of putting up the lights without a family Beetson brouhaha, with mum Nicky acting as mediator between father and son - a battle that Karl's dad usually loses. Brothers Paul and Lee Brailsford live next door to each other in Bristol; they work together; their homes are identical; and they both have girlfriends called Emma. The brothers decorate their mother's house across the street every year because it's detached and they can add to it on three sides.
  12. Throwing a spotlight on what Christmas means in contemporary Britain, King of Christmas Lights finds out what motivates people to cover their houses in Christmas every year. Are these twinkly-light-enthusiasts the last bastions of community and Christmas spirit? Some may do it for fun, some may want to bring festive cheer to the neighbourhood, others maybe for charity, but none of them can get enough of the buzz they get when the neighbours coo at their displays. The programme follows them as they plan for months, buying the latest equipment and music-sequencing software and spending much of their disposable incomes on nothing but lights. This heart-warming, quirky and entertaining film offers both an eye-popping spectacle and also an insight into their true motives, relationships under strain from overindulgent merriment, households pitted against their neighbours in a bid to make their decorations outshine all others, and communities united in their desire to light up the night sky. Paul Toole, 36, from Somerset, has one of the biggest and best Christmas light displays in the country, on which he spends around £5000 each year. This year he wants to decorate all of the houses on the street, although they don't know that yet. Twenty-two-year-old Karl Beetson from Northamptonshire is one of the most impressive decorators in Britain; he experiments with the latest computer technology to create amazing sequenced displays. This year the computer wizard is introducing animatronics in his display. There's rarely a day of putting up the lights without a family Beetson brouhaha, with mum Nicky acting as mediator between father and son - a battle that Karl's dad usually loses. Brothers Paul and Lee Brailsford live next door to each other in Bristol; they work together; their homes are identical; and they both have girlfriends called Emma. The brothers decorate their mother's house across the street every year because it's detached and they can add to it on three sides.
  13. Throwing a spotlight on what Christmas means in contemporary Britain, King of Christmas Lights finds out what motivates people to cover their houses in Christmas every year. Are these twinkly-light-enthusiasts the last bastions of community and Christmas spirit? Some may do it for fun, some may want to bring festive cheer to the neighbourhood, others maybe for charity, but none of them can get enough of the buzz they get when the neighbours coo at their displays. The programme follows them as they plan for months, buying the latest equipment and music-sequencing software and spending much of their disposable incomes on nothing but lights. This heart-warming, quirky and entertaining film offers both an eye-popping spectacle and also an insight into their true motives, relationships under strain from overindulgent merriment, households pitted against their neighbours in a bid to make their decorations outshine all others, and communities united in their desire to light up the night sky. Paul Toole, 36, from Somerset, has one of the biggest and best Christmas light displays in the country, on which he spends around £5000 each year. This year he wants to decorate all of the houses on the street, although they don't know that yet. Twenty-two-year-old Karl Beetson from Northamptonshire is one of the most impressive decorators in Britain; he experiments with the latest computer technology to create amazing sequenced displays. This year the computer wizard is introducing animatronics in his display. There's rarely a day of putting up the lights without a family Beetson brouhaha, with mum Nicky acting as mediator between father and son - a battle that Karl's dad usually loses. Brothers Paul and Lee Brailsford live next door to each other in Bristol; they work together; their homes are identical; and they both have girlfriends called Emma. The brothers decorate their mother's house across the street every year because it's detached and they can add to it on three sides.
  14. Hi Martin, Great to meet you! Brilliant display, especially being a 1st time user with LOR. You've certainly lit up your neighbourhood. Can't wait to see what else you'll be doing for 2012, We're already getting items in now. Keep in touch throughout the year won't you!? Regards Paul
  15. Hi Jerry, So sorry i haven't got back to you sooner, But things here are quite hectic now, and will probably remain so right up until switch on night (Nov 30th) LOR's website isn't really set up too well for orders in the UK. Your best bet is to give them a call directly, they're really helpful and shipping is quite fast. Your best option for value including shipping is to purchase the CTB controller in its weatherproof casing (platic & lighter) Ask them to set it to 240v, or this can be done very easily yourself by positioning the jumpers on the board. Shipping to the UK for 2 controllers will be about $100 (£66.00) but you will have to pay duty once it's arrived in the UK - Anything between £25-£40 so 2 x controllers including shipping + duty about £436 Once you received your controller, you simply cut off the US sockets and plugs and change to UK one's Don't forget if your using blowmoulds & UK lighting with transformers - These don't work too well with LOR, You really need to be using straight mains lighting 240V Checkout my display www.paultoole.org - You'll see most of the lighting used by the controller is mains. If you need any ideas, christmas lights & decorations - checkout my online store, where i'm sure we can look after you www.12monthsofxmas.com Hope that gives you a little insight to your questions, Hope to speak soon! Paul
  16. PM Me. I have the total length of Santas Symphonies sequenced 19 minutes 50 seconds !
  17. Even short distances take forever here in the UK, We don't have super highways like you guys. I'm adding another arch over the drive this year, some 3ft high baubles , another LED lake, doubling the mini trees and some other stuff. Really can't wait now, I'm itching to get outside and get started, I plan to start setting up October 29th, So not long to go now! How about you? Are you doing anything different this year? Here's the new jingle i just got done on, this time it features Demented Elf (Kevin) He really is amazing at what he does!
  18. Sure - It's probably easier if you read this, You either love or hate these. I absolutely love 'em!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mince_pie
  19. Hey Happy Weekend Everyone! Just a heads up for those that might be able to join us in the UK for our Light Up Ceremony. We have Judy Pancoast joining us again for a Live Concert Father Christmas FREE Mince Pies & Mulled Wine Plus FREE Starbucks Coffee - They'll be here on the night to hand our hundreds of FREE cups of coffee. http://facebook.com/event.php?eid=210139985674325 http://paultoole.org http://12monthsofxmas.com/our_christmas_display_switch_on
  20. For sale, Blizzard / Snowfall tubes SPECIFICATIONS - Tube Length 100 CM - 39.4" -120 LEDS/TUBE -10 TUBES PER SET -DOUBLE SIDED, CAN BE VIEW FROM ANY ANGLE -LONG LIFE SPAN EXCEED 80,000 HOURS -PURE WHITE COLOUR -Package includes 1 Transformer (AC 100- 240v CE ETL GS/ IP68/ 1A), Guide Wire (Cable) 8 metre, T Type Cable (Connecting Tube) 10 Metre -CE AND ROHS STANDARD APPROVED Price £250 ($400) Shipping to UK £10.99 Shipping to USA & Other countries £60.00 ($85.00 US)
  21. Hey folks!!! Hope your year is going well so far, but isn't it passing so quickly. So quickly, that i am now preparing for this years show, And thought that i would like to include UK Light Shows on my website. So, if you'd like to be included in an UK Map of Christmas Light Shows, please do let me know your location and website details. If you dont have a website, don't worry we can include a small write up. You can check my site out at www.paultoole.org Cheers for now!!! Paul
  22. Hey Guys n' Gals!! Already posted this on another thread, but just in case you miss it, Here is is!! Judy Pancoast Live in concert in England, UK, 2010 Runtime : 32 mins Enjoy!!
  23. Anyone interested. You'd need to come collect, will let this go for £165.00
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