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Light of Christmas

When I first heard this song the beat spoke to me of a VU meter.  I couldn't quite figure out how I would implement that but I went to Amazon and bought the music.  Whenever I was looking for a new song to sequence, I'd pull thsi one out again.  One day Julie came to me and said she wanted a new song.  I played this one for her and shared the movement I had in my mind.  She said "What about doing it on the window frames?" and we discussed how that might look.  All that's history and now we have the song in our show.

Segment Facts

Show: Christmas

Introduced: 2017

Author: I did the Animated GIF, Phoneme Creation, Matrices (images and lyrics) and Consulting (20%), Julie did all the Sequencing (80%)

Song: Light of Christmas

Artist: Owl City featuring Toby Mac


Julie chose Blue, Green and Gold as the colors for this segment.


The key motion is various representations of the VU meter with the primary being on the window frames.  I'm always impressed with how well Julie translated what the music made me feel into what I now see in the lights.

That's a Singing Light Bulb

I'm encouraged every year when I hear kids saying to their parents "that's a singing light bulb" or something similar.  We discussed other options but a light bulb just seemed to make sense with a chorus of "light me up" in a song with "light" in the title.   We didn't introduce the bulb until the 2018 show.  We had the bulb ready for 2017 without the glow but we really wanted the glow so we held him back until 2018.

We have other singing/speaking characters in our show but this is the first time we wanted something special to happen behind the character at different times.  Our plan was to handle the glow using an animated GIF behind the phonemes.  I created the phonemes with a transparent background (so only the bulb showed) but the transparency would not work with the animated GIF.  So, I came up with the idea to include the bulb shape as part of the animated GIF and make the phoneme just the face portion.  We also had to have an image of just the bulb, with a black background, to use when the glow isn't happening.  I've included the Animated GIF and the phonemes in the images section below.

A Man with a Bucket and a Bell

Another strong message in the song mentions a man with a bucket and a bell that has story to tell.  I translated that to be talking about a Salvation Army bell ringer.  We were watching a Hallmark Christmas move and I saw a bell ringer in a Santa suit and decided I would use that as an image for this part in the segment.  Since I had already fibured out how to simulate a handbell ringing motion, in the Carol of the Bells segment, I just added that to a man in a Santa suit and a red kettle on a tripod (which I modeled after something I saw on teh Salvation Army site).  I've included the animated GIF in the images section below.


This section provides photos from past versions of this segment in the show.


This section includes images that were either used in the segment or are provided to explain something about how we designed the segment.  Select an image to view a larger version and additional information.

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