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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.

batdad

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About batdad

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 12/04/1973

Profile Information

  • Location
    Green Bay
  • Biography
    My family and I love christmas lights and I am looking to bring our outdoor display to the next level for next year. I am here to learn and share...
  • Interests
    Toy and comic collecting
  • Occupation
    historian
  • About my display
    So far just mini lights, an inflatable, and some simple display items. Looking to upgrade to C7s and C9s next year with more planning

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  1. Last year I started mounting my inflatables on particle board and it really helps to stabalize them in this far northern climate in Green Bay. To give at least some shielding to my plugs I have on the tree ( I used white mini lights and red C9s and C7s to make an eight foot candy cane!) I was thinking of mounting a cut up ice cream bucket over the outlets to give just a littel bit of protection from the constant snow we tend to get in December. I will let you know how it works.
  2. Your display looks great! I have been trying to learn about how to put these lights up for about four years. I do this on a tight budget s I am now finishing graduate school and my wife is just finishing college. I really do think that quality can be a greater factor than qualtity. I use about two thousand mini-lights, about three hundred C9s, about 100 C7s, three great infaltables, and a few small blow bolds. Care and planning goes into every bulb. I use no LEDS. I use at least ten different colors of C9s to really have a variety. I use some antique lights mixed with mostly modern. It is not the biggest display in Green Bay, but I think it looks alot better than as someone put it, just taking the lights out and throwing them up. The best compliment I could get was today. I went to my daughters class today- she is in Kingergarden. One of her classmates told me that he loved my Christmas lights! That to me means more than somebody else who does lights telling me its good. Just think of all of the happiness that your display gives to people, especially people who cannot afford to travel fifty miles to see that huge display you mentioned.
  3. I am in Wisconsin, so for me weather is a big factor. We had a week in the 60s in early November, which is almost unheard of around here, so I got most of the lights up then. I am left with the harsh fact that as soon as the snow and ice hits, I am not getting back on the roof until March at the earliest, May at the latest so whatever gets done needs to be done early. A tradition in my family is that we have always put up the tree and the decorations the day after Thanksgiving. This year was the first year that my outdoor display started to get a bit larger than average. So, I started putting things up the week after Halloween as we also decorate for Halloween. My wife aned I agreed that I would put up Christmas lights, but we do not light anything until the day after Thanksgiving.
  4. batdad

    Test as you go

    I am not working with a tremendous number of lights, but I usually plug them in right after I put them up just to see what they look like, and to make sure they work, but thanks for the tips. adam
  5. Hi Python, This is my second year coming to Planet Christmas and my display also gets just a little bigger each year. I am a teacher, not an electrician, but as I understand it, the three strings of incandescents runs the maximum amount of electricity through the lighting cords, any more than this blows the fuses. Putting extension cords between each three does not alter the amount of electricity running through the lines. People have various tricks for hooking more than three in a line, but I am hesitant about this as I am not an electrician. As I continue to learn about this, I use heavy, grounded, extension cords that have the standard plug into the wall and then three plug-ins at the opposite end where I put the lights. That makes nine strings per outlet. I have a total of four outlets outside and six more in my garage, and even running that much sometimes trips my breakers. I know many people modify their electrical systems to handle more power, and also install more outdoor outlets. I rent (but hopefully my last year renting as I am finishing my degree in a few months) and do as much as I can. I know I do not have as many lights as some people, so I work to make sure they look as as I can get them. I hope this helps, god luck and nice to meet you. adam
  6. With all of the problems in this country, it amazes me how some people can complain about this. I am just getting started yet into this but the displays do not amaze me. It is seeing folks like all of you who spend so much time and money to do nothing more than create something to be proud of, and to bring other people a little happiness and even raise money for local charities- only to have other people complain.
  7. Hi everybody. I'm Adam from Green Bay. I participated in the site last year but forgot my username. anyway, I am a historian finishing my doctoral dissertation this year, and to sort of say hello to the forum, I am writing this in case anybody is unfamiliar with the book The Battle for Christmas by David Nissenbaum. He is a historian mostly of early America, he has written some spectacular and innovative books on the Salen Witch Trials. You may have seen him as a talking head on some History Channel programs on Salem or about Christmas. In this book though he researched the history of Christmas in America from the time of the early Puritan colonists in New England (I will not refer to them as Pilgrims;)) through about the late nineteenth century. His essential thesis is that our modern notion of a very faith based Christmas might be great, but it is not the "traditional" way Christmas has been celebrated through history. Chrstmas was a celebration that involved the last big meal you might eat until spring, some good drink, dancing, and music. For example, he describes very well how "carolers" and this tradition began as young men roving around communities singing songs in return for a drink of hard cider or a shot of brandy. This then evolved into going into rich neighborhoods and making a tremendous about of noise such as banging pots and pans together, and stopping only when the rich folks either paid you, or gave you a drink. His research points towards the late ninteenth century, what we refer to as the vicgtorian era, when there was a deliberate effort to make Christmas more of a religious holiday to cut down on the bawdyness it had long been associated with. New traditions were embraced, such as Christmas trees, lights! serious personal reflection, and Santa Claus. None of these traiditions were new of course, but there was a deliberate effort by communities to push them and bring them together into a new image of Christmas. So, if you are unfamiliar with this book, it is a great read, well researched, and while not taking away from the more faith based ideas of Christmas, it does put them in historical perspective. Adam
  8. batdad

    snow and LEDs

    For those of us in more northern climates, here is something that happened last year. The city of Green Bay decided to install LEDs in all of thier stop lights. Well we are known to get a flake or two of snow in Northern Wisconsin. A particularily bad storm we had encased all of the stop lights in snow. The LEDs did not give off enough heat to melt away the snow and the road crews had to go and take the snow off by hand. I don't like LEDs because they do not look the same, but this is just another reason for anyone on the fence. If you use them and get a bad storm, they will be buried. adam
  9. batdad

    Lots to Learn

    I think of it this way. Last year I put up a bunch of white mini-lights and I discovered PC. I read a bit and leraned a bit. This year I used C9s for the first time. Reading here, putting them on the roof, not having enough extension cords, blowing fuses, I learned a alittle more this year. I also started with a few inflatables this year. This coming year, I am going to read more, learn a bit more. Next year, my display will be better, bigger, and brighter. I want to learn at this point because frankly, I cannot afford a mega display right now as I am finishing my PhD and my wife almost has her teaching degree. In a few years when I can afford it, I will know what I'm doing. Its a process. adam
  10. Okay, this is interesting now. I am wondering if the LEDs I have seen are store bought as well. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of the power savings both on my electric bill and the environment. If there are LEDs out there that have the same look as incandecents I will consider it, and I don't mind paying a little extra for quality. But this is the first year I have used standard C9s and I love them. adam
  11. I am a newbie. This is the first year that I started using C9s and still, I only have a few thousand lights. With that said, the LEDs just do not look the same. I am slowly working towrds having more and more C9s and the difference is just so obvious. I love living green, but this is one area that I am sticking to the old bulbs. Not to mention, here in Green bay everybody's Christmas lights were buried under snow, many of the LEDs still are under snow because they don't generate any heat to burn off the snow. The city of Green Bay this year switched all of their traffic lights to LEDS and last week crews had to go around town just to brush off the snow because it wouldnt melt off. I'm sticking with my lovely old style C9s until somebody comes to take them away. then I'll shine them even brighter. Adam
  12. I might be interested in the June date if it is an open invite. Adam
  13. Thanks all I will keep that in mind. Adam
  14. We are on Cabinet Maker Court. It is right around the corner from Werey's Green House in Howard which has one of the more infamous displays in Green Bay. It is the pink and purple house in Howard on Lenwood Avenue. Our display is not very big yet. This is the first year I have C9s and I have a bit more than 100. Some C7s and about 1000 minilights. But it gets bigger every year. Also, we went from 1 inflatable last year to 3 this year. Its a process. Do you know of any houses in the area that have displays that use sequencers? So we can take the kids.
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