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  • 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.

Central Pa. "Tour Of Lights"

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My name is Ron and doing my show for friends, family and neighbors has been great for a long time.

Last year we put on a 300+ channel animated display and raised money for St. Judes Childrens Hospital.

We were able to raise a couple thousand dollars with no publicty and had a great time in doing so.

This year myself and several other animators within 25 miles or so of Harrisburg are working together to raise money for St. Judes.

It gives people an oppertunity to donate directly online and also just give people a reason to go out and see several animated shows throughout the season. I have as i mentioned a couple others and if anyone within 100 miles or so is interested shoot me a message.

I am trying to work directly with St. Judes and hoping to have a flyer with all the shows just as a handout at each of our locations to give visitors an oppertunity to go out and see other shows. Hershey lights charges $20 per car and $50 per van/bus and we equally put endless hours into this all year, why not do it for a greater cause.

It was an honor for me to hand someone the money my family raised and to know it could make a difference and it was the most rewarding part of all my efforts from last season. If you have a 1 channel animated show or plan between 4-500 channels as we do i would love to hear from you. I will also help anyone not currently not doing an animated show locally build your own controllers and have a computer controlled show for around 100 bucks with a 24 channel controller.

Making peoples holidays brighter...........Ron

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Hey Ron,

I'm ready to get on board with this. I have about 200 channels so far and I have some ideas for this year. I could use the exposure.

I'll shoot you a PM and give you my details.


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Hey Ron

Lucas Here.

I am interested in being a part of this.

I live in southern hanover and last year was my fisrt year.

I am a complete do it yourselfer and last year all i used to do my house was a Basic Stamp i already owned and 20 bucks of electro mechanical relays. Wrote my own C++ gui controller application, "borrowed" some LOR version 2 sequence xml files and ended up with a pretty good 16 channel show.

Hack a day was nice enough to feature my mess.



(I know its horrible compared to what i am doing now.)


I am a ME from Virginia Tech and i focus on Robotics.

I work for General Dynamics Robotics Systems.

Love doing project around the house, and this hobby seems affordable compared to the amount of time I can put into it and benefit to others.

While i am an ME i would say i am generally more interested in Software and microcontrollers but electronics are my worst area. (Thus the mistake of using electromechanical relays.)

So for this year coming up.

After last christmas ended i really did my research online, found vixen and all the DIY boards that were already done. I really didn't want to put together someone elses project. So i studied what they did found parts lists, decided to use a different microcontroller than everyone else (SX), and wanted to do it all as cheap as possible cutting out things i do not need for my situation. My design is done, i have 1 board built and working and have material for more. Overall bought enough material to build 100 channels for ~400 bucks, not including extension cords/lights. Also worked with KC (Creator of Vixen) and implemented an "Input" plugin. But i wanna keep the details of that off this forum.

Here is a thread discussing my current SSR board, don't have any pics of my controller board yet.


So our first daughter was just born this past week. Name is Halle and she is perfect, healthy and cute.

I have alot of work to do for this christmas and no one knows what life may bring, especially with a new kid around. So i cannot quarantee i will be up and running for this christmas but i do plan on it. I would really like to be a part of a charity thing.

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Great to have you on board with us Lucas. So far there are 4 of us and Its still may. Thanks as well as its for something we truly can make a difference in helping draw some attention to St. Judes.


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I maybe on board with this. I work for Messick Farm Equipment on RT283 between Lancaster and Harrisburg. We do 128 channels, about 80,000 lights. We do mostly large (30-50ft) mega-trees. We have 1/4 mile of highway frontage, so its not exactly a house that you can park in front of and watch a show, but its an impressive amount of stuff if you can catch it while flying by at 70mph.

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