For 2008, there were 8 lit wreaths, 8 sections of shrubs, four mini trees and four little shrubs, all in clear mini lights. A Japanese Magnolia and a river birch were wrapped in clear, red and green minis, and 12 lit candy canes line the walk. Altogether there were 9625 lights using at most about 3 hairdryer’s worth of electricity for the moments when everything was turned on (roughly 30 amps). 48 channels of Light-O-Rama controlled it all, and a Ramsey FM25B transmitter was broadcasting at 92.5MHz.
The playlist was:
- Siberian Sleigh Ride
- Music Box Dancer
- Joy To The World
- Christmas Canon
- Linus and Lucy
There was also a fun little piece using Lucasfilm’s THX intro from the Pixar movie Cars.
2008 was a learning, get our feet wet year.
The decision to forge ahead with the display was made in early November. Yee-haw. A lot of work was compressed into a three week period, (7 hours alone creating that flower-like structure in the tree on the left,) but since some of the planning and construction happened last spring, we were able to get the show up and running by December 3rd with 4 songs. (Siberian Sleigh Ride, Joy To The World, Linus & Lucy, and Pat-a-Pan.)
At that point it was pretty monochromatic. That seems to be decorator-speak for ho-hum. We visited Larry Drum’s show on the 8th (awesome,) and decided we had to get more colors going. I assembled another Light-O-Rama controller that evening, picked up four more candy canes (to make it a dozen,) some leftover LED strings from Lowes sale, and by the 11th had them up and integrated in most of the songs.
Although it would have been nice to have lights along the roof line, this left the physical layout about where we wanted it for 2008. Christmas Canon and Music Box Dancer were added over the following week, along with the THX Break from Cars (just because it’s fun.)
Credit for the design of the minitrees goes to Kevin Thomas.
Credit for shortening some songs so they don’t get boring and repetitious goes to discussions on the Planet Christmas forum, and especially Richard Holdman for just the right time to do an early fade out on Music Box Dancer. I’m still getting the knack for this: if you listen carefully, there’s an extra beat in the middle of the shortened Siberian Sleigh Ride, which I heard a hundred times but didn’t notice until sequencing the song.
Credit for the encouragement to pursue this hobby goes to my bride, Diane, and our kids.