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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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King Of Christmas Lights - Part Three

By paultoole, 02/20/2012
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**** special note: language is a bit course in some areas

Throwing a spotlight on what Christmas means in contemporary Britain, King of Christmas Lights finds out what motivates people to cover their houses in Christmas every year.

Are these twinkly-light-enthusiasts the last bastions of community and Christmas spirit?

Some may do it for fun, some may want to bring festive cheer to the neighbourhood, others maybe for charity, but none of them can get enough of the buzz they get when the neighbours coo at their displays.

The programme follows them as they plan for months, buying the latest equipment and music-sequencing software and spending much of their disposable incomes on nothing but lights.

This heart-warming, quirky and entertaining film offers both an eye-popping spectacle and also an insight into their true motives, relationships under strain from overindulgent merriment, households pitted against their neighbours in a bid to make their decorations outshine all others, and communities united in their desire to light up the night sky.

Paul Toole, 36, from Somerset, has one of the biggest and best Christmas light displays in the country, on which he spends around £5000 each year. This year he wants to decorate all of the houses on the street, although they don't know that yet.

Twenty-two-year-old Karl Beetson from Northamptonshire is one of the most impressive decorators in Britain; he experiments with the latest computer technology to create amazing sequenced displays. This year the computer wizard is introducing animatronics in his display.

There's rarely a day of putting up the lights without a family Beetson brouhaha, with mum Nicky acting as mediator between father and son - a battle that Karl's dad usually loses.

Brothers Paul and Lee Brailsford live next door to each other in Bristol; they work together; their homes are identical; and they both have girlfriends called Emma. The brothers decorate their mother's house across the street every year because it's detached and they can add to it on three sides.

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