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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.

happyreindeer

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About happyreindeer

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 09/11/1962

Profile Information

  • Location
    Westfield, IN
  • Biography
    Animating since 2007. Had large static displays prior to that. Attended the Texas Christmas Light Show in 2006 or 2007 to learn about animation. EXCELLENT show. Work with a neighbor to do our display. He's a programmer and a musician; my husband and I are electrical engineers. On the side, I'm an artist and my husband was an electronics technician in the Navy - so between the three of us we have a great team!
  • Interests
    Outdoor activities
  • Occupation
    Engineer
  • About my display
    Third year animating. Have added 3 adjoining homes to the display. 35,000 lights, 144 LOR channels. Third year #1 display to see in Indianapolis area. Here are two videos of the display from 2009:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBqu5vIJGoQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCix7xw0Ww4

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  1. I want to put a 36" star on top of a 15' spruce tree. The tree will just be wired with LED lights. The tree won't be synchronized or anything - just plain lights. I want to make the star standout, maybe even be a small "wow" on the tree. I was thinking I could get a 3 channel star and maybe purchase a small stand alone sequencer to keep the star rotating all the time. Or maybe just wire it with twinkle lights? I have seen small inexpensive 2 or 3 channel sequencers before, but I can't seem to find them now. Does anyone know who sells them? Or have any good ideas for making the star "pop?"
  2. Can anyone suggest a good source for 100 count sealed 5 MM lime LED lights?
  3. We live in a neighborhood on street that immediately ends into two short cul-de-sacs. (I.e. There is no thru street for driving past our house.) This is the fourth year of our display and I am really worried about the traffic backing up. The first year of the display, traffic backed up onto two major streets and the police paid us a visit. That year, I posted a question on the forums and got quick, fantastic help from the members. We implemented all the suggestions from the forum and it has helped tremendously. This year, we have really expanded the display - eight houses in the cul-de-sacs are now included in the show. With the show moving up such a "notch" - I'm worried about traffic becoming uncontrollable! (We started the show last night, and we had cars and limo's waiting in line!) Here are the traffic control things we've done..........does anyone else have any ideas of other things we can do? We have multiple signs lining the cul-de-sacs that say "On busy evenings, please help us keep traffic moving" and then there is a picture of the layout of the cul-de-sac with arrows on where to drive to. Between each song we have voices (like Rudolph, Santa, the Grinch, etc) that come on and say things like "I have to get back to the North Pole, so help us keep traffic moving." We have many songs in the show, but I actually put the show ending every 4 songs, so the show just doesn't keep going and going. We have characters that come out in the evening....Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Elfs, etc......and they help direct traffic. We talk to the Home Association and the neighbors. I call the local police and give them a heads up about our show and hours. We do have a neighborhood clubhouse with parking, but that's more than 1/2 mile away. There are no sidewalks in our neighborhood. So far the neighbors living on the two cul-de-sacs have been great - and we haven't had any neighbor complaints, but we work really hard to do that. (The president of the HOA lives on one of the cul-de-sacs.) Does anyone have any other ideas to help keep the traffic moving> with the show moving up such a big "notch" and the volume of opening night traffic, I AM WORRIED!!!!
  4. I purchased warm white 100 count 5MM LEDs from Paul at CDI during the pre-sale. I have one strand that has a section of lights out between 2 resistors. Paul is sending a replacement string out (I have always had great service from him!). But if this should happen again, sometime down the road - is there a way to fix these lights? The section that is out is maybe 1/4 of the strand of 100. I looked at all the "obvious things" - no broken bulbs, fuses ok, power ok, etc. Are there ways of fixing these sealed LEDs? Is it unusual that a section goes out? What has likely caused it? I'm thinking about switching my whole display to LEDs next year, and I'd like to know, before I make such a big investment.
  5. Check out the vendor Christmas-leds from the vendor list. http://www.christmas-leds.com/ They make "combo clips". White lights slide into the combo clips and then the combo clips clips onto the wire frame. The combo clips come in 19 different colors. Using the combo clips makes it easy, you only need white lights and gives you a lot of flexible on colors. Valerie is very helpful and easy to work with. I purchased and used about 3000 combo clips; and have been pleased with them. Get a couple first as a sample to make sure they'll fit the lights you plan to use.
  6. I really want to add a life size (or at least 2/3 size) wireframe nativity scene to my display. With as many characters as I can make or afford. The larger nativity characters are expensive so I was considering making my own. I haven't made any wire frames before, but am pretty handy and have a welder. I'm interested in any advice? In the end, would I wind up save much money? Any money saving advice? Could it wind up taking me until next Christmas? To big for a first project? If I opt NOT to make my own, any suggestions on the best value vendors to look at? Thanks to anyone with experience to share!
  7. Anyone recommend a good source for purchasing a buzz box? (Light tester)
  8. This is my first year to animate my lights. Last night was my first Christmas eve with lights to music AND with the police! We had a little bit of a traffic backup. The police were pretty nice...said they liked the display, but we had to "fix" the traffic problem." Put up a sign to keep moving or get out there and direct it or shut everything off. Any advice? (Is that really our job?) Unfortunately (?) we live on a road with two cul-de-sacs - maybe 0.1 mile long on one and 0.2 miles long on the other. So there's really no where to go - but "around" those cul-de-sacs. And most people don't know they could do that. The is the first year for our show. My husband and I teamed up with a neighbor and put it together. (After I attended the wonderful Texas Christmas light show to learn how!) We have 6 songs in the show with a voiced in intro/outro....24 minutes. A few like to watch the whole show, but the main problem is there is just not enough road space to see the show from. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) the Indianapolis newspaper put us as the top spot to see for lights and then the local NBC station came out and did a spot. We had planned this morning to put a message in after each song saying "Please keep moving". Any other advice? We had "big" plans to expand the show to include the neighbors next year. Now I don't know. (If you want to see our show you can go to you tube and search "Tom and Allison" Or here is a link to one of the songs: Any advice on handling the traffic is appreciated!
  9. Hello, my name is Allison and that is my husband and my display in Westfield. This is our first year to animate and "wow" it's been quite a year! The two of us teamed up with our neighbor to put together the display. We have about 25,000 lights and 96 Light O Rama channels. I went to the Texas Christmas Light Show this past summer to learn how to do this. The show was fantastic and the three of us have made a good team. We live on a cul-de-sac and I'm not sure what to do! Tonight we had the police stop....to ask us to do something to keep traffic moving. We're thinking we'll record some announcements and put them in after each song to try to keep traffic moving. After the Star article and Channel 13 Tuesday, the traffic really picked up. Any advice on what to do with the traffic would be appreciated, as we are completely new at this! Our show is 6 songs long. You can see the songs on youtube if you go in and search on "Tom and Allison." Or here's a link to one of the songs: Merry Christmas.
  10. Why did they stop making the Grinch inflatables? Especially if they were so popular?
  11. Why did they stop making the Grinch inflatables? Especially if they were so popular.
  12. Is there any particular reason why it is so difficult to find an inflatable grinch?
  13. You might consider using one channel for strobes on top of your mini trees. I did that with mine and I like the effect.
  14. I'm a newbie this year to automation. I purchased the whole house transmitter and couldn't get it to work. Poor signal strength, lot of noise, no distance. I suppose it could be operator error on my end - I did have three engineers working on it! I gave up on the whole house transmitter and have a Ramsey 30 on order....I'm hoping for better luck with it.
  15. Hi, Thank you for the Black Out Cap order. I'm going to put a check in the box to reimburse you on most of the shipping charges, I don't know why our shipping calculator is so messed up. The caps will be on the way tomorrow. Thanks again, Val

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