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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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About csmith

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  1. Just wanna say hello Chuck

  2. csmith

    Promote to Article

    Learn how to use the new "Promote to Article" feature to copy a post to the articles section.
  3. csmith

    Latest Topics

    This video shows how to create a latest topics block, showing the full post, and then adding that block to a new page.
  4. csmith

    Article Management

    This video shows off some of the user interface you can expect to see in the article management area of the ACP.
  5. Behind the scenes, your techies have been struggling with the constant updates coming from the vendor supplying the PlanetChristmas forums software. Every update seems to fix one problem while generating new ones. According to the vendor's official website, they still have 1300 bugs to resolve, down from 1700 a year ago at this time. We are seeing improvements but it appears glacial at times. Enough! The PlanetChristmas Forums will soon be changing the underlying infrastructure to another vendor. All existing posts and accounts will be migrated to the new platform. The functionality you're used to is the same though some of the terminology has changed. I expect some inconvenience, but it will be worth it to stabilize our forums and allow us a steady platform for growth. As for me, I can't wait to start moving forward after treading water for a year. What can you expect during the transition? There will be a 24 hour window where the current forums will be out of service while all the data is transitioned to the new platform. The forums will then reopen and you'll pick up where you left off... with many new new options available. Worried? Don't be. We've been through this before. Just for the record: I had a full head of hair when the PlanetChristmas forum was first opened in 1996 More to come so please stay tuned.
  6. No need to worry about the "humble enthusiasts"... there will be plenty to do and learn for everyone in Gatlinburg. The schedule on the website was written last summer... almost a year before the event so it was a bit tough putting the right spin on things. The goal was to get people to at least put the date on their 2011 calendar Remember pros and enthusiasts have plenty to learn from each other. The website is due for an update in a couple of weeks. One of several sessions we'll be adding is called "As Seen on TV" where we hope to bring in many of the people you've seen on the various Christmas specials over the years. You'll learn how they got picked, what it was like to be followed by a TV camera and how their life has changed since the show was aired on national television. Not quite like American Idol but I prefer to think PlanetChristmas decorators are just as talented in a different kind of way. Pointers heard in this session will help you when the local TV stations come calling as word gets out about your display. There will be sessions on indoor decorating, lasers, incorporating videos, next-gen Christmas lights and more. Stay tuned!
  7. RGB: Red Green Blue. Think of a single bulb with these three colors built in... mix the colors and produce just about any color in the visible lighting spectrum. RGB based LEDs are coming on strong. The dream of many light fanatics is to have a string of lights where any bulb can be told to be any color at anytime. Imagine the possibilities! Philips Color Kinetics pioneered this idea several years ago with their iColor Flex nodes, but gosh were they ever expensive. Now we're seeing other manufacturers getting interested and the prices are dropping. What's the biggest challenge besides the cost? Think control. Every bulb needs three channels to control the intensity of red, green and blue. That 100 light string suddenly needs 300 control channels. That megatree with 3200 lights needs 9600 control channels. My head is already starting to hurt imagining a 9600 channel sequencing grid. Ouuuuucccchhhhh! Are RGBs in your future? If not yet, they will be. Let's talk about them here so we all can be on that bloody cutting edge of technology and dazzle our audiences!
  8. csmith


    The PlanetChristmas community self-moderates. What in the world does self-moderate mean???? I rely on everyone to follow our three fundamental rules: family friendly, positive and Christmas centric. Anyone should feel comfortable allowing their six year old child or 100 year old mother to wander around PlanetChristmas and the forums. If you see a post violating any of our three rules before I do, please send me a private message (at the upper right of this page underneath the buttons) or high priority email at chuck@planetchristmas.com and I will address the issue. PlanetChristmas has zero tolerance for rule breakers. Violators will lose all rights with no notification.
  9. Merry Christmas, Chuck. Thank you for making ours merry, too. i really appreciate all you have done for us and the rest of the Christmas decorators. Darlene Pino

  10. csmith

    Help with Christmas cd's

    Let's be careful here. No pirate CDs are allowed at PlanetChristmas. We pay for what we use. Everyone needs to make a living.
  11. TYM In the very early days of my display there wasn't much traffic. Then I dropped a hint to my mother she come watch what I had done. Within a few days traffic really picked up. Tell Your Mother. She'll inform everybody as she brags about her kids Now that I thnk about it... the traffic picked up the closer it got to Christmas... no doubt just a coincidence
  12. DANGER WILL ROBINSON! Evil is not what we do. As tempting as it might be to punish the bad guys for messing with Christmas displays, leave that to law enforcement. They wear the bullet-proof vests. Signs and bright lights are the best deterrent.
  13. csmith

    Not as impressed as I thought I would be

    An artist is never satisfied with their work Sequencing lights to music is a bit like learning the piano. You can play a very simple tune quickly (I'm exceptionally talented at "Mary had a little lamb") but it takes years of practice, hard work and perseverance to find and take advantage of the instrument's nuances you hear when a great artist performs the same thing. If this was easy, everyone would do it. What's the key to a great show? Don't wait until the last minute. Practice your craft year-round.
  14. csmith

    A Little Test Pt. 3...

    I just pulled some snide remarks from this thread. Let me remind everyone about the PlanetChristmas rules: we're POSITIVE, family friendly and Christmas centric.
  15. Almost all of the giant frames you see in Gatlinburg (and most other cities) are custom made. It kinda makes sense if you think about it. Cities want to be unique and the size of the frames mean they're hand built and not sitting in quantity on a shelf in a warehouse. Building the frames does take a welder with talent. Really big frames might require a structural engineer just to make sure it doesn't collapse. If you can provide a scaled drawing of exactly what you want, getting it fabricated can usually be done locally. As for getting the lights attached... well, get ready to do that yourself or contact one of the pro Christmas fabricators. It's certainly not hard but it does take time. Large frames are lit with C7 LEDs. Why? Low current draw and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to replace a bad bulb. Bottom line: your imagination is your only limitation.