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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 Buckeyelights

  1. Another option is to email or take an image to a local blueprint shop; a place that prints plans for architects, engineers, etc.  They can enlarge any imagine (without a copyright) to any size you want.  The local one I use can print 46" wide (paper is 48" wide) x whatever length I want.  If the image is wider than 46", they print it on multiple pieces.  Cost is $6 - $10 for a 46"x 72" tall print.  Easy, fast and you have a pattern that's reusable. 

  2. In my opinion motion lights and signs are the cheapest, easiest, and yet most effective deterrent. A security camera that's clearly visible can be very imposing to a kid messing around. However a sucker or candy cane line the sidewalk out from is quite vulnerable. fortunately items like that are inexpensive and hopefully replaceable.

    As I mentioned above, I attach a cable to most items in the yard. You could attach a cable to the suckers, and while someone could still knock it over, break it; they're unlikely to run off with all of them if you attach the same long cable to each sucker. With work they could still get them, but they'll probably run off once they realize they can't get 'em easily.

  3. Thought I'd share an idea that has helped prevent vandalism to our display.  We do have security lights on motion detectors and all of the display items in the yard are secured with a vinyl coated security cable.  But another thing I do is visit our local police precinct.  They have a "watch" program, where they'll provide the officers on duty with a list of addresses to keep "watch" over.  It can be used when someone is away for extended periods of time, etc.; or to keep "watch" over a display. When the officers are not on a specific run, they'll cruise by the addresses on the "watch" list. 


    The security lights are very effective; however a cop car cruising by or stopped in front of your house; well that's a pretty darn good security system.


    I've gotten to know a few of the officers, so that helps too.  It got my kid out of a traffic ticket, when they recognized the name. :)   They'll stop and chat when they see me in the yard setting up, tearing down or even during the summer doing yard work.


    We've put a cooler on the back porch with drinks and snacks in it.  And we've taken them treats around the holidays.  Both of these ideas were my wife's.  They're very appreciative of it.  I'm sure it helps.


    All it takes is a phone call to your local police dept., ask if they have a "watch" program.


    May you have a safe & secure display!!!

  4. Instead of the pvc base, simply use a piece of rebar to slide inside the pole.  You'll need to guy wire it against the wind.  I use 50# test fishing line for guy wires on 10' tall poles.  You don't see the fishing line which is nice; however be careful, you don't see it either and it's easy to trip over.......he says from experience

  5. 20' is a long arch so it would likely need support mid-span.  Mine are 10' long and I use a guy wire (fishing line actually) to keep the top of the arches in line with each other.  Over 20', try a guy wire at 1/3 points, run it in opposite directions, perpendicular to the arches. So you'd have 4 guy wires on each arch.  The 2' rebar should be enough to keep the ends of the arches in place. 

  6. I have a PVC mega tree, but it's 18' high; so I have no experience with a 30 footer.  This is just my opinion on your question.


    I think you could use pvc.  I would strength the joints between sections of pipe and not depend solely on the threads.  I'd slide a long section of 2" pipe inside the 3" pipe at the joint, like a 6-8' section, so it would have 3'-4' of pipe on each side of the joint.


    I'd also put support wires every 10', so at 30' it would have 9 support wires. 


    Once vertical, it'll be fine.  Just have to be careful raising it, so the pole doesn't buckle.  Maybe build a lifting frame.  Such as a couple 1x4's nailed at 90 degree angle, that' would form a "V" shape to cradle the pole when raising it.


    good luck!!!

  7. Hello fellow Buckeye,


    I've been making and displaying plywood cut-outs for more years than I care to admit.  I typically use 1/2" exterior grade plywood, one side sanded smooth; available at any home improvement store or a lumber yard.  For a 6' high piece, I'd use 5/8" (little hard to find) or 3/4" thick; the 3/4" material is heavy, so call around and try to find the 5/8" material.


    I agree with NH-Dave, use a good primer on all sides, including the edges, after you cut out the shape.  I use two coats of primer.  I prefer exterior paints and use two coats of exterior paint. I'm not a fan of any kind of sealer, as some, actually most in my opinion will yellow over time.


    I don't have any problems with warping.


    Be careful with storing them; keep them as vertical as possible, leaned against something.  If they're stored for 11 months in wrong position, bent possibly due to something leaning against them, they natural take that shape.


    Oh, one more thing, when you display them, leave the bottom off the ground a couple inches.  That'll prevent them from being exposed to moisture from the ground constantly.


    Good luck and have fun making them.

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