Star Wars Funk

Star Wars Funk

We’ve been on the prowl for the great Christmas light videos of 2015 — where are they? It’s been pretty light this year, no pun intended. Here’s one but there’s little information to share with you about who did it or where it is from. It has only been on YouTube for a couple of days and there are others out there with greater views…but this is one of the best we’ve seen from this season so far: Of course, we wouldn’t want to live next door….

Johnson Light Show Fires Up in San Antonio

Johnson Light Show Fires Up in San Antonio

The Johnson Family Christmas Lights are pretty famous. They were a hit in San Antonio long before being featured on the Great Christmas Light Fight. This display likes to bill itself as “non-traditional” and right away it smacks the viewer as something very different. They explain: There are no inflatables, characters, blow molds, or other “traditional” elements. Even the music is not traditional Christmas music; it is a custom sound track composed of Dubstep, EDM, hip hop, movie clips and even our children! The result is an exciting show that feels like a dance party! Even the lights are not traditional, we use Pixels which are similar to what you would see in a stadium Jumbotron. Each pixel can beRead more

History of the American Christmas Tree

History of the American Christmas Tree

The story of Christmas trees in America usually takes us down the path of Hessian soldiers who showcased Christmas trees to George Washington’s troops during his famous Christmas trek across the Delaware. Historians explain that Christmas trees found their popularity in Pennsylvania over the ensuing 60 years in America as German settlers made them a permanent part of the American Christmas tradition. Others explain that Queen Victoria’s gaily decorated Christmas tree featured in newspapers and magazines of the 1840s and 1850s also gave rise to the use of evergreens in American holiday celebrations. All this is certainly true. But there is one other element of Christmas trees in the 19th Century that rarely gets credit for establishing Christmas trees asRead more

How Fast Does a Christmas Tree Burn?

How Fast Does a Christmas Tree Burn?

Every holiday season stories of tragedy hit the news as homes are burned and lives are lost to fires fueled by dry Christmas trees. Experts think that more critical care with Christmas trees can spare lives — even with simple strategies such as watering a tree daily versus just a few times a week. The ATF recently did a controlled burn test to find out how different kinds of strategies when it comes watering indoor real Christmas trees and how long it would take them to burn. Their motivation was the loss of a family last Christmas in Annapolis, Maryland. They found that continuously watered Christmas trees definitely prevent tragedies. The agency recreated a scenario of how long the familyRead more

A Different Kind of History of Christmas Trees

A Different Kind of History of Christmas Trees

Pick a history resource out there and you will find a history of Christmas trees that dates back to pagan traditions of the Winter Solstice. The History Channel says Christmas trees took root from ancient use of evergreens as an end-of-year ritual of hope and eternal life. Wikipedia, to its credit, admits that is purely a “speculative theory”. But even Christian history resources cite pagan roots for the modern Christmas tree. Like most history of Christmas all that is too lazy and too easy. Christmas trees are actually a complex form of celebration. And they are much, much older than merely the pagan civilizations we know about. Christmas trees, no doubt, pre-date Christ. But is it really all about theRead more

Tips for Keeping Your Christmas Tree Fresh

Tips for Keeping Your Christmas Tree Fresh

By Walt Frazer, California Tree Grower The great debate of Christmas trees will usually lead to what is “wrong” with a real or artificial tree. The hard truth of the matter is that no Christmas tree is imperfect. If there are problems with any kind of Christmas tree it comes from likely not knowing how to handle it. This is especially true of real trees. Growing up near and later working for a local tree grower I eventually learned to explain to people that they need to treat their new tree like a pet. If people abused their pets the way they abuse their Christmas trees there would be real trouble. I love the attitude Santa has about Christmas trees.Read more

What Thanksgiving Has to Do with Christmas

What Thanksgiving Has to Do with Christmas

There are complaints aplenty out there about how Christmas has stolen time and appreciation from Thanksgiving. Those who cry foul by claiming “Christmas creep” miss the larger lessons of history — and they fail to really see the absurdity of their complaints when compared to the worldwide stage. (See this epic rant and compare it to THIS epic rant). After all, in the UK their annual early-November tradition of Christmas is to showcase and celebrate the Christmas advertisements launched by English department stores. The ads are anticipated as greatly there as Santa Claus is at the end of the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York. But Christmas commercials in the USA are getting hammered for their mere presence and areRead more

The Christmas Pickle

The Christmas Pickle

It is a quaint tradition that nobody wants to claim. And its story would not be the first tradition of Christmas born of a total fabrication. It is the little-known tradition of the Christmas pickle. The Christmas pickle is not really a pickle at all. It is a pickle-shaped ornament that is the last one hung on the tree on Christmas Eve. The first child to find the Christmas pickle gets an extra gift from Saint Nicholas. Or so the so-called legend goes. There are two other versions of the origins of the Christmas pickle. One is a family story of a Bavarian-born ancestor who fought in the American Civil War. A prisoner in poor health and starving, he beggedRead more