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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.

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About my display

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  1. My 7th project is the wire-frame "Merry Christmas" sign with EL wire; I wanted a largish sign outside and over our main front window, one that could be seen form the street - neon was an overkill and way too expensive, and LED strips would not bend properly around the curves I had in mind - I ended up getting some 12v red and green EL wire, red for the "Merry" and green for the "Christmas".This project was extremely challenging and progress was slow, but the hard work of bending the 6mm wire is now complete and the results speak for themselves.The general supply list for this project was: 6mm galvanised wire EL wire; 5m of each - red and green with 12v input drivers and 1-to-2 splitter cable template for the letters bending guide - sourced from MS Word fonts and blown up on a photocopier aluminium frame bracing - 10mm x 4mm aluminium strap and and 10mm U section - the words were attached to this sturdy light-weight frame and can be attached to my wall with 2 hooks; it's painted the same colour as the existing wall paint to blend in Black spray paint for the letters Basic tools included: heavy duty pliers (2 pairs help), bench vise, hammer, bending forms, glue gun, thick gloves for the wire bending process, tough hands/fingers! This was an absolute pain at first - I don't have access to a welder (and am not planning on buying one anytime soon) so bending the 6mm wire into the letter curves I needed was no joke, particularly without a professional form or bender, however I plodded on and managed to complete all the bends using only a vise, two pairs of pliers and a hammer...it took the best part of 3 weekends to do, but once done it looked great! The capital "M" and "C" are approx. 30cm's in height.The words were primed and spray painted matt black, then the EL wire was attached using a glue gun - fiddly, but turned out well.Here's some pictures of the build stages: The bracing/holding frame was made from aluminium "U" sections and flat aluminium strap for the braces; everything was riveted together, using the wire-frame words as a spacing guide, then primed and painted with the house paint colour, being outdoor acrylic PVA.The Merry Christmas wire-frame then attached to the aluminium frame using the smallest black nylon zip-ties I had in the workshop: The EL wire was fitted onto the wire-frame words using a glue gun - it took some time and my glue-gun technique wasn't the best, however its turned out really well and I'm well-pleased with the results!Here's some pictures of the final project lit up; the first is with the garage lights on, while the second is with the garage lights off Here's some more outdoor distance/mounted photos; unfortunately not the clearest as they were taken with my phone.This is also not the final placement setting on the wall (as I don't have readily-available 12v power where it will be located yet); I've just hung it temporarily with thick bent wire over the parapet wall, but you get the general idea. The section of wall it will be mounted on is approx. 1m from the top of the window frame to the top of the parapet wall - it will be mounted with 2 L-type hook screws so that it can be moved easily, but will also be stable when mounted.I think the mounting frame has blended well with the existing wall colour, given it was painted with the same paint colour/type. The frame does stand out a bit during the day (sun shadows), however the purpose of this sign will be to light and use at night.Onto the photos... each has 3 shots: late afternoon (not lit), dusk (lit) and after dark (lit)A close-up photo of the sign: Medium distance photo - based on how people will see it from our front gate: Longer distance photo - you'd have to stand outside our gate and across our street to get this view distance: This was a once-off project and I don't expect I'll be making more of these wire-frame letter/word signs any time soon - I may however try my hand at a few small wire-frame reindeer though!If you need more pictures or information on the build steps let me know.
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