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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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About Statman

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 07/01/1966

Profile Information

  • Location
    Grayslake, Illinois
  • Biography
    I enjoy exploring and learning new things and working to accomplish a goal. That's part of what appeals to me about the holiday decorations, not only do I get to share the joy of the holidays, but also get to tackle the challenge of planning and building displays and projects.
  • Interests
    Halloween decorating, coaching soccer, home improvement projects
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    I currently have a static display with c-9s and minis, and would like to move up to an animated display.

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  1. Yes, it was from Hobby Lobby last year, except for baby Jesus which is from this year's version (they changed style a bit between seasons). We were very happy with how it turned out and that we could more directly share the true meaning of Christmas in our display.
  2. Thanks, everyone for the compliments. A few days after those photos the camel and cow were buried and there was an additional 14" of snow on the manger roof - that was quite the sight! KingDaddy, if you reply by selecting "More Options" (I think lower right), then you get a window to post your text and a button below that that lets you attach files.
  3. Okay, I finally added a nativity this year to my display. I custom built the stable with some old pallet wood and some new cedar boards. It comes apart by removing some hinge pins so I can store it more compactly. The "beam" holding up the roof hides a bunch of LED flood lights that really make this stand out when I want it to and because it is down-lit, very little light bleeds over to the rest of the display or house. If anyone is interested in how I incorporated this into my animated show his year, here is a link to my entire show (of course it is always better in person, but you'll get the idea): And, of course, if anyone has any other questions about this, I'm happy to answer them. Sorry, I can't get the photo attached - I'll work on it and see if I can figure it out.
  4. Actually, the new one looks just as nice - but slightly different in the poses, etc. Also, it appears to have a somewhat gloss or semi-gloss finish as opposed to last years (or really the last several years) where it was a flat finish. It is the same scale (36" standing figures) and the brochure looks very similar to the ones in years past - just different. I would also recommend it. I'll probably use the new baby Jesus and it'll work fine.
  5. No, it doesn't have to be from a hobby shop, it is just that is the store which used to carry that particular set. So it would be nice to have all pieces have the same color hues and artistic styles. However, I may need to abandon that hope and purchase a baby Jesus from another manufacturer's "set". If anybody else has any leads or suggestions for favorite 36" scale outdoor nativities, I'll love to hear. I know of two or three that seem to be fairly popular online.
  6. I walked into Hobby Lobby today to see if they had their large outdoor nativities in yet. They did, but it is different from last year's. I have everything I need from last year's EXCEPT baby Jesus. I think the new one may be a bit smaller as well (couldn't tell for sure, it was overhead on a high shelf). I have searched online for the Hobby Lobby set and don't seem to find it, even under other retailers/brands. Last year's was in what they call "Polystone" and I think it was 36" scale. I could purchase this year's baby Jesus, but I did like the look of last year's better. So, does anybody know of a source for the outdoor nativities that Hobby Lobby USED to sell? Or maybe of a store that has some stock from last year? Thanks, Galen
  7. Okay, take my suggestions for what they're worth (I have never done this before). However, I've contemplated this, nearly as you have it drawn. I personally wouldn't use PVC. I think it ends up flexing too much and therefore not being stable enough. My thought is simply to take a 2x6 or 2x8 of sufficient length (height) and simply attach (screw/nail/builder's choice) 1x2s of varying lengths horizontally to provide a place to mount the stars or snowflakes. As long as the top is anchored as you show to the house and the bottom is staked in to the ground so it doesn't move, I would think that would work fine. Simply paint the wood black to make it more invisible and you're done.
  8. They are hollow resin. They aren't as heavy as solid plaster, but they are heavier than blowmolds. They're probably 10-15 pounds, maybe 20 for the large standing pieces. I think these would still blow over in a storm. I'll give some thought to the adding weight idea. Though if I'm opening them up to add weight, I may be able to insert some hardware for an anchor of some sort. I'll have to pull them down and look more carefully at the base of each one. Thanks!
  9. I picked up the Hobby Lobby one after Christmas last year (or was that this year? I think it is a 36" set) so this season will be it's first on display. Do you do anything special to anchor them? Mine are hollow, but the bottom is closed except for may a 1/4" hole here or there. I'm in the Chicago area and we can have some pretty windy weather in the winter and as heavy as they are, I'm pretty sure the right wind gust and I (or a wise man) could have a broken arm or something. If I did do something to anchor them, I would want it to not be obvious or intrusive. My tentaive plans are to have them positioned on a low platform as opposed to directly on the ground. I think the platform will provide a nice flat surface with more stability than the uneven ground. Plus it will allow me to locate the nativity in a better spot. Some thoughts are: Drill a 1/2" hole or so in the bottom and slide them over a piece of rebar/stake/pole. This would be simple and keep them from completely tipping (probably). However, they could still be blown to an awkward stance (partially blown over). And it might not work as well on the platform. Mount something like a plywood plate on the bottom that is slightly larger than the base of the piece which I could then screw or stake down through the oversized plate wherever I wanted, and it wouldn't damage the piece. This could work whether the pieces were on a platform or on the ground. Hope that any stable I prepare will protect them from wind gusts . Some of these may be better than others or in reality, I'm sure some of you have much better solutions to this concern. I'm probably over thinking this, but when I saw this thread, I couldn't help but ask.
  10. Thanks, that is the kind of information I was looking for (and pretty much what I was planning). How about connections? It looks like they make little connectors that fit on the ribbon without soldering - does anybody have any recommended sources for those? Also, any suggestion as to whether I need the strips mounted on something (like I see in stores and online that these strips are simply mounted in some plastic or aluminum channel. Or does simply using their adhesive backing suffice for mounting? I like the idea of having two controllers that respond to the same remote (at the Armacost site) since I do have a section that is isolated from the other lights (ie, I can't easily run any data cable between them) but I'd like it to all act as one. Thanks, Hotrods.
  11. Well, I know this isn't Christmas related, but I suspect with the expertise here I'll get some important information. I have a nice display, but no RGB - however, I periodically read here so I am not completely ignorant of the basics of RGB (actually I do have rainbow floods that I use). The point of this post is that I have a kitchen remodel and would like under cabinet lighting and probably over cabinet (lighting the ceiling above the cabinets). I thought - hey, why not use RGB strips? I can cut them to length, maybe some are even self adhesive, and with the right controller I could change their color for different holidays/moods (no I wouldn't synchronize them). Are there any suggestions of which strips/chips would be preferred over others? I will have about 18' of undercabinet runs (with a few breaks in there) and about 30' of overcabinet runs. Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful. Thanks, Galen
  12. Stumbled across this sleigh at a government auction site. Looks like a great deal for the current price (<$30) - you couldn't even begin to get materials for that. I'm too far away and don't have room to store it, but thought some might be interested. http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=397&acctid=1024 Galen
  13. Just a note about scale, take it with a grain of salt. I have the camel from the Hobby Lobby set. I don't think it is truly to scale (that is, I can't believe it is 1/2 scale). It is laying down but is only 20" tall (to top of head). I suspect that a camel that would carry someone would be much larger, even at 1/2 scale. I think it is simply a comfortable size to include in a multi-piece nativity and get the point across. Hence something a bit larger probably would still not look bad if you had room for it.
  14. As of last Saturday our Hobby Lobby still had the angel and shepherd (no boxes of course, just the display). Not sure of the current status. I took a chance here when they were on sale and got everything we needed for the set except baby Jesus! I'm taking the chance that they'll have it again next year and I'll get a 40% off coupon and buy it early. Have you called around to other Hobby Lobbys?
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