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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.


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Posts posted by BMcGeeny

  1. him and the kids are planning on setting up a Santas Hot CoCo station outside their house to sell this crap to the passers-by in front of my house. In addition, the wife states they will donate the money to charity. ..........................................

    I would love to hear some comments and suggesstions. Thanks.


    Yes he is serious. There are people in this world (well even on this forum) who cannot think outside of themselves. They cannot see how their actions affect any one else. Since they seem like good neighbors their intentions are probably genuine.

    First, I would look at WHY you are having this reaction? Is it because it is your display? That's ok because it is, and if you don't want somebody doing something that might effect what you are doing, I completely understand.

    Second, remember you are the one who has had it running negatively around in your head. Do you really want to give him that much power over you? Try to look at it where he is coming from.

    Third, since you talk on a regular basis, if it really upsets you, tell him so. Just explain that you really don't want money activites associated with your display, that you have thought about doing a fund raiser etc but just dont feel good with it at this time.

    Or lastly, if you want, just put ups some signs noteing that your display has nothing to do with the vendors of hot chocolate. I think I would do that no mater what even if you come to an agreement to let them vend or that there is nothing you can do about it. I say that from a litigious standpoint in I want it clear that I have nothing to do with it and have no control over it.

    In the end, it is probably one of the less harmfull neighbor problems you could have. What I am seeing are people who are trying to grab on to your coat-tails for a little warm fuzzy's on their part.

  2. Looks like this needs a bump.

    It's the end of September. We need at least a short get together. A bite and some chat at minimum.

    I'd be willing but being 2 hours south of the cities puts a damper on it. Anybody. I bet you can find a couple of us to help out. I did think of the building my company offices in but I don't know if the conference rooms can be used for non work related gigs.

    Another member here has their business in the same building and might have luck with it. Our company used the room on the main level for a meeting a couple months back. Has great electronics with a built in projector, light blocking shades etc. Would hold 20-30 people and gear. I would think a Friday night or a Saturday it would be available.

    Or maybe a picnic and hope for good weather. I think last year we had soemthing about the middle of October.

    Time is running short.

  3. Not trying to start a fight, but how did Senator Obama vote?

    He voted the same way I did. LED lights are not real Christmas lights. Saying they are is like saying a smokeless cigarette is a real cigarette. Or neer beer is drinking.

    You guys can put up all the LED lights you want, but don't start calling them Christmas Lights. Christmas Lights are either bulbs that screw into a C-9, C-7 or push into a mini socket, are made out of glass and break when you drop them, they give off lots of heat and make your electric meter spin like crazy.

    If you can't afford to do an electrical upgrade to several hundred amps and pay the bill when it comes, get out of the game. This is for real.


    But then, I really don't have an opinion on them.

  4. My usual post on Cameras and security.

    I have a very similar system to what you bought. Mine is wired however instead of wireless. It came from that same seller, the cameras look the same so I would guess they are. I think I paid about $130 for a wired setup.

    The picture you get will not be anywhere near as clear as shown in the photos on e-bay, but by adjusting the camera's a little you can get a pretty good picture. The color is poor so I tone it way down and get pretty good quality greyscale. The software is really pretty good and easy to use. If it is the same as I got, (and it looks like it) when you hit the record, it records each channel on a seperate file and starts a new file every 10 minutes. Makes t pretty easy to go back and check if something happens.

    What I do to protect the display. First try and keep people out. I set up a perimiter with 150' of ropelight on posts. I keep it about 30 inches off the ground, like a fence. I hang Danger High Voltage, Keep Out and Video signs right from the "fence" every 5' I have never seen anybody inside it. I also have motion detector Flood Lights that are live anytime the display is not. When the display goes off for the night, power to the motion detectors comes on.

    As for the signs you are looking for, I make my own. There are several sites on the iternet where they have all kinds of signs. Save the ones you want and print them as 8 1/2 x 11 signs. Then go buy clear contact paper. Cut peices of contact paper a little larger than you paper signs. Peel the backing paper off and stick the sign face down on it. Now peal the backing paper off another piece and stick it on the back side. You have just made a laminated sign. Trim the plastic contact paper 1/4 larger than the sign and use a paper punch to put a couple holes in the corner to hang the signs.

    I figure I have somewhere around $.03 in each of my signs. I make extras because being what they are some get ruined or torn or blow away in the storm but so what. I also put them up in several languages, just for fun.

  5. Are all LEDs powered by DC?

    I know you can buy strings that plug into AC power, but is that when the rectifier does

    also, can an LED string be shortened??

    Yes. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode

    Diode, by its nature passes electricity only one way. AC works on them, but realize the diode is only lit when the AC is going one direction. When it goes back, it's not lit.

  6. I'd like to chime in on this subject.

    I have bought nearly 50,000 of the big chain lights .......................

    These lights have cost me under $10 a strand of 50...............

    So you have $10,000 in LED Lights? I can replace every light I have every year for the next 15 years and still be ahead of that.

    And do a Bob Cox 400 amp electrical upgrade.

    One more reason to lave LED's in auto tail lights.

  7. I think I'm screwed. I spent several hundred dollars on replacing my icicles with LEDs from Sam's club last year. I hung them in the spring just to get the spacing down, etc. They were up for a couple days, and it rained during that time. Upon taking them down just a few days later, there were actually orange rust streaks on some of the sockets! ...................................................................

    Oh well, live and learn. It's hard not to drink the "LED Kool-Aid" when seeing so many people switching to them here...

    I think you are Tim. I bought some LED 3 years ago thinking they were the way to go. Nearly 1/2 the strings did not even light right out of the box. After several trips to return (I learned to test each string at the store) and many hours, I got enough to work to do my icicles and windows. Within 3 weeks, I had to take them all down and replace with my old (5-8 year) incans that still worked.

    Now, I understand that if you buy the commercial grade non replaceable bulb LED's you don't have nearly the problems. But there was even a big deal here last year about some high dollar ones that caught fire and burnt. And while the vendor replaced them, you still had to pay to ship them back.

    So how many strings can I buy when I paid $1.57 for 100 count boxes of incan's at Fleet Farm vs the High Grade LED's at say, $13.00 a string. The way the squirrls eat the wire off my tree's only an idiot would put LED's up. If I wasn't such a cheap skate I would have thrown the no working ones away at the end of the season. Instead I fixed them while watcing Andy and Opie.

    And before you start on the economics, my electric bill goes up $33 for the month I run my display. (30,000 lights)

    Plus LED's give off ugly light. But now I'm into opinion.

  8. Considering mounting my 15 foot Mega Tree on my roof.

    Have a small front yard with is pretty cramped with what I have already.

    Figure to guy it at the 4 corners of the roof but wondered if anyone out there has ever attempted this before with success?

    If so...what kind of base did you use?

    Any photos of previous (successful) attempts would be appreciated.


    Roof should be easy. Go to any home improvement store and buy a TV antenna mount and mast. Just don't buy the antenna. The set them things to go up 25' so should not be a problem.

  9. I read a couple stories while looking for a certain Christmas Light manufacture that I didn't find.

    The stories were about Christmas Lights being made by Chinese Christians who were imprisoned for there faith in Jesus Christ and for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. If there quota of 5000 were not meet before days end they were beaten then sent back to finish the job.....sometimes getting no sleep.

    Do these pastors and followers of Christ want people to stop buying Chinese Christmas Lights? No, they hope it reminds people to pray for them and there families.....and help take care of their families.

    Are these stories true or bogus? You can read them for yourself.



    I have been to China. Most of it is true. But you must be sure you get accurate accounts. To worship in a Christian church it must be state sponsored.

    These people are paid by the piece for all the simple products they make. Poverty level at best.

    Just remeber where these people were at in the 60's and 70's. They are struggleing meet those kind of financial progress right now.

    Vietnam, Burma, and Mylasia are the new "China"

  10. Boy, I see and awfull lot of money, time and overkill go into megatree's. Keep it simple.

    First one is a 10' piece of 3" PVC ($9.99) I take three $4 T fence posts and drive them in the ground just close enough to the 3" PVC fits in the center. I use a plastic Pipe cap ($1.99) with holes drilled in it with S-Hooks (2 packs of 6 at $.79). I put 4 strings of 50 count lights (4 colors) zip tied together, put the tops in the hooks and tip the post up into the opening of the fence posts. I then use 3 6" plumber clamps ($1.29 each) at evenly spaced to tighten the postes to the PVC. I pull the light strings out evenly and hold them down with lawn staples.

    I can set this up by myself in less thn 15 minutes. I did have to go back two days later, after the wires had all evend out and tighten them up a little, but after that, never touched it through 50+ mph winds.

    I am doing a bigger one now made from 2 pieces of 4" PVC. We did not glue the coupler that might be the only weak spot. Did have to drive it together with a hammer so should be ok. This I do the same way, only I use 5' fence posts instead of 3'. I used a 4" toilet flange for the top, same S hooks and 100 count light strings. I did have to have help to hoist it up, but did not put guy wires on it. with 24 sets of 4 double light strings I don't think they will be needed.

    This took 2 of us about 1 1/2 to set up. Should go faster this fall when we set it up for good..

    I can't imagine spending $200 - $300 on a stick to hold up lights.

  11. I do have extra spaces in my panel which I will be putting in a couple breakers. I do not have any extra channels though to control static lights. I have been giving it more thought and trying to figure what will be used as far as appliances and stuff during the show. Also with the animated part of the display I will not be at full power.

    I first need to get a clamp meter to find out what I am using first. At that point I will see what I need to cut back on. It would still be nice to find something to run my static lights at 80%.

    There will be no cooking, no hot showers and no clothes drying during the show. Might as well make that clear to the Missus right now!

  12. I remember reading about that.

    Just a thought. I remember recently someone was trying to get a PA mini together. I don't know if that would help or not, but it could be a "working" mini at your house...

    That starts Labor Day and ends Halloween!

  13. one more little trick to squeeze a couple extra amps. If you are getting close, back all your 100% intensity down to 80%. It will not be noticeable in the display, but it rally does draw 20% less.

    I have plenty of power, but near the limit of the triac on some rope lights, my icicles on the eve's (actually had to split them) and some 100' strings that go in the trees.

  14. This is what happens when someone asks for my car keys. I come out and find these in the back seat.

    Not being a moldie, what are they and are they worth anything?

    The candles look like new, the paint on the snowman is pretty worn but the plastic is in very nice shape and this could easily be repainted. If it's worth it.

  15. So far this year I've:

    wrapped 9 artificial trees

    created 14 window outlines with peg-board (in 3 colors)

    wrapped 6 mini trees

    built 11 new LOR controllers

    created a bethlehem star

    ordered 6,000 ft. of spt-2

    ordered a dozen snowflakes

    added 2 50-amp range plugs

    added 2 new 'portable' sub panels / load centers with GFIs

    I still lack:

    wrapping new arches

    designing the mega-tree

    putting it all on the house

    How is your 2009 show progressing?

    I need to put up lights.

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