Five Things to Consider Before You Build That Mega Christmas Light Display

Five Things to Consider Before You Build That Mega Christmas Light Display

Ron Behringer thinks back to his epic Christmas displays of the late 1990s with great fondness. “It was a new age for Christmas lighting,” he says. “Computer technology was really cutting edge. It was expensive but it was so exciting. It took it all to a new level and I was all in.” Once upon a time Behringer lit up his home – and his neighborhood – with more than half a million lights. His synchronized display drew thousands of people, was featured on television news and was the envy of nearly every other Christmas fanatic in Arizona. Those wereRead more

Celebrating Christmas Year Round

Celebrating Christmas Year Round

For some people the Christmas tree never comes down. Their reasons vary. And others just think it is weird. “Right around this time of year you start hearing the uncomfortable comments,” Mitzi Unger, 64, said from her Louisiana home. She has kept her tree up and decorated in various themes since 2011. “When my husband was sick and then later died in December of 2011 we had the tree up for him,” she explains. “He loved it, it made him happy. He requested Christmas trees at his funeral and people made it happen. It was a wonderful and different kindRead more

Five Reasons NOT to take Down Your Christmas Tree Yet

Five Reasons NOT to take Down Your Christmas Tree Yet

We live on a busy Main Street in our little town. We have a large picture window at the front of our house. Each Thanksgiving weekend we look forward to the beacon of light our Christmas tree becomes along our bustling street. But as the week of Christmas passes and New Year’s brings the month of January our Christmas tree quickly falls out of fashion. One year we left the tree up so long in such a visible place the neighbors began to ask out of concern if we were not well. Nothing was wrong, of course. We just loveRead more

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 notRead 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 thereRead 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.Read 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 thanRead 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 theRead 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 ThanksgivingRead more