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Did you know?
  • 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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Christmas Expo latest updates

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So many new things happening with Expo that I've had trouble keeping up with posting and announcements this week. If you aren't on our mailing list, here's the latest news:

  • Class Updates: The most current class schedule and class descriptions have been posted. We've added new classes and descriptions this week - 61 class sessions to choose from! You can plan your classes in advance, or choose them as you go along.
  • Soldering: Class size is limited on the soldering hands-on so if you are interested in this workshop, it's a good idea to sign up in advance. Participants will be soldering a mini Christmas Tree (it's so cute!). This workshop is included in your Expo pass but does have a $25 kit fee. Kits will be available for purchase at the Registration Desk. Reserve your spot now.
  • Vendor List update: Your favorite vendors are returning to Expo and some new faces are joining us this year as well. We've had some new vendors sign up this week. See the latest vendor list. Also, follow us on Facebook to see the Vendor Sneak Peeks to learn about the specials and new products coming to Christmas Expo.
  • Special Event: We are pleased to welcome Rick Goldschmidt, official historian for Rankin/Bass Productions to Christmas Expo this year. If you have loved watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and more holiday classics - the shows that always remind you of the magic of Christmas - you've watched productions from Rankin/Bass. Rick will be answering questions in our Opening Session on Thursday morning and will be available in the Exhibit Hall during the Expo. Read more about this event.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago!


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