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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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About VinceL

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 12/07/1953

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    When I was 4 years old, my parents hired their friend's son to play Santa Claus for me. He came our house on Christmas Eve with a bagful of toys for me (I am an only child). My father was ready with the movie camera. I cherish that film. After getting married and having kids, I vowed to do the same thing for our 3 kids. They are close enough in age so we could pick a year that they all believed and would be old enough to remember. I had a co-worker come to the house as Santa. I had left a sack in my car for him to bring in. It had gifts (with their names on them) for them. I had the video camera ready, and that is also a cherished video.
  • Location
    Newton, NC
  • Biography
    Started using Light-O-Rama for Christmas 2005. We moved from PA to NC in 2008. It's a lot warmer in NC for putting up and taking down the decorations. :)
  • Interests
    Music (playing and listening)
    Model trains (O and G gauge)
    Computers (maintain network of 10 PC's at home)
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    I have learned a lot from the PlanetChristmas and Light-O-Rama forums. I am probably one of Lowes hardware's biggest customers for PVC pipe. :) We put up a PVC pipe fence around our front yard each year. For Halloween, it has black and orange posts. Those posts are replaced with red, green and white ones for Christmas. We have lights (gradually retiring the incandescents for LED's), blow molds, inflatables, motorized decorations, arches and other decoration built with PVC pipe, annd a few other items in our display. I maintain a spreadsheet of which decorations we use each year....we don't want the neighbors to get bored. :)

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  1. This is the second year that we have used our Snowball Cannon inflatable. The first year it worked flawlessly. This year, it has had problems where it gets stuck when it starts to change rotation direction. It has now gotten to the point where it will not rotate at all. I thought it might be cold temperatures or wetness from rain that we have had. We have taken down all of our inflatables and brought them into our garages to run so they will dry out. The Snowball Cannon has now been running for over 24 hours in the garage, and it still will not rotate. Does anyone know of any solutions to this problem? It is definitely my favorite inflatable, and I hate to see it not rotating. Thanks.
  2. I use LED C6's on my arches. I'm happy with them.
  3. I have a similar problem with the Snowball Cannon inflatable. The day we put it up (and in past years) it worked fine. But, after 3 days of rain, it no longer turns. I am thinking of bringing it in to a heated garage to run it and dry it out. It may be a combination of all the moisture and cold temperatures (we've been down into the mid-20's each night since the rain).
  4. I bought one of the giant 8 foot Gemmy snowglobes about 7 or 8 years ago and had never used it. This year we decided to put it up. I had heard about and seen some of the weather-related problems associated with these snowglobes; so, I knew we might have some challenges ahead. We put it up on a nice sunny day. For the next 3 days we had rain and some high winds. It laid on the ground deflated through all of this (along with the other 8 inflatables we put out this year). Needless to say, when I started up the snowglobe, the vinyl was almost completely coated with wet styrofoam pellets...you could hardly see the snowmen inside. Based on the comments and suggestions I found in the Inflatables forum, I decided to let it run 24 hours per day so see if it would clear up. I was skeptical, but I didn't want to have to take it to the garage. As I type this, it has been running for about 30 hours. About 90% of the pellets have dried enough to come off the vinyl, and it is snowing like crazy in the snowglobe. Rain is forecast for 2 days from now....I'll be interested to see how well it repels the rain while it is running. Just wanted to post my positive experience as a way to acknowledge the great advice that PlanetChristmas members provide.
  5. Toymakr000, Great snowball fight (as well as all your other decorations). Given the small size of the Penguin snowball fight inflatables, I would think your "snowballs" might be a bit too big. About what is the diameter of your snowballs? I did find these: http://shop.christmascentral.com/Items/dj%2030lcs-cw?sck=20714430&caSKU=dj%2030lcs-cw&caTitle=White%20LED%20Lighted%20Hanging%20Christmas%20Crystal%20Sphere%20Ball%20Outdoor%20Decoration%206%22 But, at $17.99 each, it would become a very expensive snowball fight. The 100 mini-light sets are usually wired as 2 50 light sets. Maybe I should just use 50 lights balled up to be a smaller snowball?
  6. I have managed to acquire 2 of the Penguin snowball fight inflatables plus the Penguin snowball cannon. I'd like to set up an animated snowball fight like y'all are talking about. I have several pieces of PVC pipe painted black (used for Halloween) that I could use to make arches and then attach snowballs to the arches. But, I am not sure what I could use for snowballs. Does anyone sell small (say 2-3" diameter) individual lighted ornaments so that I could animate them with a LOR controller? Thanks.
  7. Thanks for the replies. I saw my friend yesterday and told him about the replies. I think he's ready to junk the tree and get an LED tree.
  8. A friend of mine has asked me for help with his artificial pre-lit tree that has incandescent mini-lights installed. He got it used so he doesn't have the box or any paperwork that came with it. Some of the mini-lights have burned out. He has gone to Lowes, Home Depot, etc. and bought their replacement mini-lights. But, they burn out after a very short period of time. The voltage of these replacement lights is most likely too low for the light strings on his tree. The questions he has asked me are: 1. What voltage mini-lights are needed for his tree? 2. Where can he get those mini-lights? With the lights installed on the tree, I think it would be a real challenge to figure out how the light strands are configured to determine what voltage is needed. Years ago, most larger towns had at least one store that carried a wide assortment of Christmas lights, including replacement bulbs. That doesn't seem to be the case any more. I haven't been able to find a website offers mini-lights in various voltages. Can anyone offer any suggestions? Or should I just tell him to junk the tree, and if he still wants a pre-lit tree to get a newer one with LED's?
  9. Living in North Carolina, I have to deal with its infamous red clay. Between rocks in the ground and the red clay, I have a box full of the corkscrew stakes that come with the inflatables. I was able to use them when we lived in Pennsylvania, but they are useless with the red clay in NC. I found some great (but somewhat expensive) titanium tent stakes. I use these to stake the inflatable blowers to the ground. For the tethers, I use the heavy duty yellow tent stakes sold at most sporting goods stores. I've bent/broken the tips on several of them, so I have about 100 stakes on hand. And, you have to drive the stakes deep into the red clay because when it rains, the clay just breaks up near the surface and the stakes won't hold if there is any significant wind. I learned that the hard way last Christmas when we had rain followed by winds. One of my inflatables was totally destroyed.
  10. Man, you guys are good if you can get inflatables back in the original boxes. For the life of me, I just cannot compress them that well. I have purchased a bunch of plastic storage containers from WallyWorld and put the inflatables in them. For some of the smaller/simpler inflatables, I can fit 3 of them into one container. I cut out the side panel of the original box and put that in the container. And I use a resealable freezer bag (with a white spot for labelling) to store the tethers, spare bulbs, etc. and put that in the container as well. I use a permanent marker to label the outside of the container. The containers are sturdy and I can easily stack them 4 high. And, as mentioned in previous posts, I wash them and run them in the garage until they are dry before storing them.
  11. We had a lot of rain overnight. So, to keep my inflatables from laying on the ground and getting real dirty, I left them on overnight. Went out to get the newspaper around 7 am and all was fine. I looked out the window around 9:30 am and disaster had struck. My 12 foot Santa and Stable had ripped free from the stakes and tethers. It blew right into my Santa's Toy Shop inflatable and then knocked over 3 blowmolds and my ropelight animated see-saw. Other inflatables and decorations were fine except for one of my mini-trees that had blown over. Luckily, the Santa and Stable seems to be fine. The only damage was the tether clip that attaches to the D-ring ripped off the tether. The Santa's Toy Shop is basically destroyed. The fabric has a long rip all around the blower. Some of fabric actually got ripped out of the blower base. And 2 of the straps that connect the fabric to the blower base actually tore off. So, now I have a spare blower, a few extra tethers, and a bunch of fabric if I ever need to patch other inflatables. The blowmolds and see-saw seem to be fine. I have never had an inflatable come completely free from all of its tethers and stakes before. The weather didn't seem that severe...it must have been a freak gust of wind. When the stable goes back out, it will be located much closer to the house to hopefully reduce its risk of taking another gust of wind. I was able to locate a replacement Santa's Toy Shop online today. So, hopefully, in a week or so, I'll have a replacement in the yard.
  12. Hi, I wanted to introduce myself to the North Carolina group. My wife and I recently moved to Newton. We previously lived in Pennsylvania for 23 years. Over the years, we learned about many wonderful retailers who had a great selection of Christmas decorations in PA and northern NJ. I have been using LOR controllers for the past few years (up to 56 channels now), and also have a large number of inflatables and some blowmolds. Well, now we are newbies in NC and don't know about any retailers for Christmas decorations other than the standard big box stores. So, I was wondering if any of you could recommend some good Christmas decoration retailers in NC (preferably in the central and western part of the state). We would really like to find a store that carries a good selection of blowmolds. Thanks. VinceL
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