Christmas display ideas

Listed here are various ideas I've been introduced to, thought up on my own, or come across while on the internet.

If anyone has ideas on how to improve the ideas listed here or have other neat ideas of their own, please send them my way.  We'll post them here and give credit to the contributor.

Gallery of all display idea pictures

ACME Gift Wrapping Machine

Here's an idea I had in 1998: the official ACME Christmas Gift Wrapping Machine! Here's my concept of it (warning: 100+K animated file size).

I recently came across another picture of a very similar idea.  I believe it's from a display in Houston, TX:

toywrapper.gif (37731 bytes)

You can see the one of the elf's on the right side putting things into the "input funnel."  Also notice there are two conveyor belts and that the elf (or is it Santa) on the left side is waving.  Packages leave the machine on the left side and fall into the waiting bin.  I see many opportunities for animation here.  One could make the little indicator lights on the machine blink, gears could turn, the half-circle gauges could go back and forth, smoke could come out of the smoke stacks, the elf waves, the packages fall out of the machine, etc.  The person who came up with this idea and then built it was a very creative person!

Here's another picture I discovered out on the internet from a company down in Witchita, KS:

Animated Santa Workshop

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Toy Soldiers

Another idea I've seen along the lines of toy soldiers is to have them salute with their arms going up and down.  I thought about making one of these and placing it next to my soldier that fires the cannon.  That way the "commanding officer" can salute first and then the second solider fires the cannon.  I'm also going to try and add a strobe light to the display and will fire it when the cannon fires.

soldiersalute.gif (8872 bytes)

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Bell Ringers

Another idea I thought of was to make a bunch of different figures that stand next to figures/outlines of bells.  Each figure would hold a stick of some sort and have two frames/cells of animation.  The first frame would be the figure just standing and holding the stick and the second frame would be the figure hitting it's assigned bell.  Make several of these and then sync them to music that makes it sound like the figures are hitting the bells.

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One could purchase some of those cheap laser pointing devices from the sites listed below:

These pointers have different pattern lenses/tips that you can place on the end of the pointer.  These tips enable the laser to draw/project an image on to the surface you point the laser at.

I was thinking of building a 110vac power supply for them.  That way one could plug them into a standard outlet and have them on all the time or switch them on and off using a hardware and/or software solution.  Very easy way to make your display look professional.  Why not have several lasers/patterns and turn them on in sequence so it looks like animation?

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Wire frame patterns

The following are some pictures I scanned from a mail order catalog or two.  They could be used to help you make your own wire frames to put lights on.

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Here are a few other ideas I've seen out on the internet:

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Last modified on 02/02/01