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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.

Rob Herronen -RGS RR of NC

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About Rob Herronen -RGS RR of NC

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Getting a train set and playing with it all vacation. Now I spend most of my vacations maintaining my Live Steam railroad and hauling firewood.
  • Location
    Asheboro, N.C.
  • Biography
    Way off the beaten path
  • Interests
    Railroading, Engineering, Geology
  • Occupation
    Analyst at a large N.C. University
  • About my display
    Static, simple and getting simplier.

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  1. I found that I could tie mine up to trees I have to keep them upright. The thing that seemed to happen to mine is they would leak too much air too fast. I got some tent sealer to use for the coming fall and winter on the air blowns. The other thing that seems to happen for me (other than light bulbs burning out) is the transformers die on many of the ones which plug in... well.... that and I had a dog that would chew them up, I do try to place my air blowns in sheltered areas too. I have mine on timers too (one set near the road on a mechanical timer coupled to a phototimer that lets them come on in the morning and night... the phototimer made sure they went off when it got light so they could be up longer... usually I have Halloween followed by Thanksgiving followed by Christmas.) Of course I also have blow molds and lighted trees up that way too. Right now the timer is turning on a big LED American Flag.) One thing I am finding is so few cars come down to see my lights down on the house so I find I like simpler stuff near the house and would put stuff up the driveway near the road mainly for the kids on the school buses or folks driving by to enjoy. And he blow molds with brighter LEDs now really lights my way. But yeah, when it rains which it seems to do here more than snow... I find it best to walk up and turn off the lights for the night, If they dry out the next day I turn them back on. Hey, I get my exercise too., And some airblowns come up needing straightening as the windiest months are winter and spring here.
  2. That's amazing. Congrats on your find. Of course now you need to store them all somewhere! I was thrilled when my wife who never really showed much interest in my decorating came home with 4 more large ones for me to use. And I HAD to buy another Santa to stick up on the chimney. And some more candles. Cost me a small mint to get those and get them shipped. I think I'm done getting me any more for now, unless I had a find like THAT. Enjoy and post pictures next Christmas of your display!
  3. Maybe you need a sign that any cars left unattended will be decorated for Christmas. Some nice vinyl stickers and such would make it so "purdy." Although if it snowed... You could remove the snow from the windshield and grill to make a character from Pixar's "Cars". Saw a picture recently where someone did that with some police cars of all things. :-) I would not advocate any sort of damage to anyone's car but perhaps a kind reminder that parking on the driveway would be safer especially if the roads are icy.
  4. I read it was $5,000 per DAY. A little too steep for making other people happy. I'm so glad you found a new home for it away from the neighbors. Now go throw a block party, don't attend and have them all get fined $5,000 apiece. ;-) Just kidding.
  5. Mike - That sounds like a heat lamp. They are usually in the 250 watt range. You do need to find a fixture capable of handling such a bulb as they put off a lot of heat. I'm sure they are out there. We use the heat lamps with our chickens except we use the "scoop" style lights which are like work lights clamped to the rafters of the hen house so during the summer they can be moved out of the way. They have ceramic bases else they would melt. Good luck! -Rob
  6. I agree. The possibilities for this year's and next year's displays are now endless. And they will be appriciated! I do love living in the country because people from the city know that the people out here are armed and tend to shoot first, ask questions later and then shoot again. Believe me. I have a neighbor 2 "doors" down who pulled a gun on the power company who was there to clear the tree limbs from the power lines. They did their job after the sheriff told him they were in their rights to do so. But they did not shape the tree nicely for them so it looks BAD. Personally, I would have just disconnected the power. This same guy was the one who would trespass on the neighbor's land to steal his gas until that neighbor mixed up all sorts of other stuff in the fuel can and left it there. The can was soon empty and the guy's girlfriend's van had a major malfunction about a mile down the road leaving that day... No more theiving has gone on. Luckily this guy has not made it all the way to my place to steal stuff. Although one night he did try to open the barn door to find that it's on the same alarm system as the house and my brother-in-law showed up with his gun and waited for the sheriff. He said he could hear someone running back up the hill towards that house. I have since added more motion lights around the barn and other than deer, the lights tend to stay off. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, in the time sense, my mother-in-law noticed a strange car in our driveway (our house is about 300 feet off the road back in the trees.) Luckily around the same time, the mail carrier showed up and that strange car was soon back on the road leaving. After learning about that, I added 4 motion sensor cameras around the property to watch for such occurances. These cameras are wireless to a base station hidden away in the house so I can move them around. I have yet to catch a stranger down there but next time I will have evidence. Cameras are really good for that too. They also catch tornadic winds (like one which ripped the flags from the house, just snapped the metal base clean off - got that on video.)
  7. I had to leave the air blown chick-in-egg inflated in the loft of the barn for an extra couple days after I took it down from Easter because it rained a lot the night before. I wanted to make sure it was completely dry before putting it away for the season so it would not mold or mildew. It was eerie having a glow coming from the window of the barn for a while and I'm glad it was lit or else I would have forgotten about it. I do know I have a couple lights burned out on it but replacements are easier to find closer to Christmas, so I'll just wait.
  8. When I took the Christmas airblowns down they had been rained on and then frozen. In order to dry them out, I remove the loose ice without forcing it and then hung them down from the rafters in the barn which warms during the day from the sun. A couple refused to come dry (intricate ones) so I set them up after taking the others down and plugging them in for a couple days until they were very dry. I store my airblowns in a couple large storage bins, just rolling them up like you would a tent. In years past, some of the airblowns got completely caked with our wonderful red mud. Unfortunately some staining happened but that was low down on the design. And mostly it's the Halloween ones which get so much mud on them since the Christmas ones sit over along the driveway on the grass. Halloween ones go in the fields which by fall have been harvested. What I did to clean them was first shake all the lose dirt out / off of them - no need making more mud. I then hang them from the clothesline and spray them down while deflated first. Then I inflate them and touch it up with directed blasts. I have not tried using any soap because these are not really up close for inspection so clean enough is good enough. Usually the rain washes most of the stuff off each year so they remain clean. Right now I have my airblown chick up over the henhouse (my Christmas and Easter decoration) and it's got some staining on the front of it which I will get when it's time to take it down. It looks like it laid in some mud up there on the roof. My airblowns I only inflate from dusk until about 11pm since no one really comes around at the other times. So they tend to fall in the mud. However, this past winter I had all the airblowns on their own circuits so when it was supposed to rain or snow, I changed the timers so they would remain inflated all day and night. Still, the snow and ice would cause them to collapse but at least they did not sit in puddles. But water would seep inside and freeze. Best thing I could do for them at those times is pull them back upright and get the ice to the bottom where it could melt away later. I think I had around 9 or 10 airblowns up this past Christmas. I have a lot of real estate to fill and they work well.
  9. Yep. Only the lights on my house as it has rained or snowed Friday since Christmas and the roof has been slick. If it was dry, I was busy working on other projects or forgot... This might be a great weekend to take them down and check out the chicken air blown because it will go back up for Easter. Then again it might snow tonight and we need the icicle lights.
  10. I have several mini-trees I use outdoors. They have the same construction as the indoor trees. In fact, the big tree I do not use any more for inside came from Colorado where it sat in a flooded basement for a week when I was out here visiting my soon-to-be wife. It's rusty and musty and that's why it's not used too often. I might move it to outdoors purposes next year as well. I know just where to put it.
  11. Full sized ones? Darn. You're set then! Now you need to buy something big to store them in which is cool, dry and varmit proof!
  12. Like others I placed the manger scene first and foremost for people entering our driveway. There are no other lights around the blow molds so people actually LOOK over and see it. Then I have snowmen and others down the driveway farther. And only one Santa (part of an air blown I got from Walmart this year.) I had a "forest" of snowmen air blowns all in one area but I think next year I'll spead them out as well. It uses a lot more cords but covers more area. Speaking of - time to go take them down. If my wife is not parked in the way. :-) I would have started earlier but it rained... Five snows in December and then on Jan 2nd it RAINED. Geez. Air blowns are all nice and wet. :-(
  13. Beat the partiers to the curb. Park your vehicles along there until show time. Or perhaps post signs asking people to respect the other visitors to the nightly light show and not to park there. Or perhaps offer valet parking around the corner? Or have some net lights available to toss on the cars to make them part of the show? Okay. That last one night cause issues with a drunken party-goer. Have you asked the neighbor what they would do?
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