Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a look ahead to AusChristmasLighting in 2019


Senior elf
Jun 30, 2010
Adelaide, Australia
On behalf of myself, the admin/moderating team and all our members who make AusChristmasLighting the place it is, I hope you've had a great Christmas 2018 and best wishes for 2019! For everyone who decorated this year, I hope your efforts have yielded a result you are happy with and have left you with some ideas for what to add or change in the years going forward.

In 2019...

Mini Christmas Light Expos
Now that the rush of Christmas is over and the season of lighting is winding down, it is time to think about 2019. Over the next few weeks or months I'd expect discussion and planning to begin for the next Australian Minis. For 2018, five minis across four states were organised among members. These one to two day weekend events are a great chance to meet up with other lighting decorators and exchange/learn new ideas while the pressures of that looming show start date (e.g. December 1) are long forgotten. Don't forget to watch the mini forum so that you'll receive a forum alert (and optionally, an email) when a new thread is posted (and replies if you wish).

Changes To The Site
As some of you may know, perhaps due to me leaking some details, there are changes coming to the site 'soon'. By soon, I mean most likely in 2019. Some of these changes are already ready to go but they depend on updates to the website forum software and some extensions that we use occurring first by their developers. While these third-party changes to the forum & extensions are mostly in progress or complete, I don't know when the third-parties will finish off the last of the necessary changes.
  • The site overall: There will be tweaks to the look of the overall site while keeping to a similar colour palette. Tweaks include a sticky main navigation bar that pins itself to the top of your browser window as you scroll and on smaller screens changes to a collapsible vertical menu. A "What's New" area with unread/unseen content from around the site is on the way, too.
  • Display Locations: Display Locations is getting an overhaul. A map of member displays will still be the primary feature of this part of the site, however a more traditional list view broken down by region (AU States, New Zealand, and elsewhere) will be added. There'll be some ability to filter display listings by certain traits, such as displays that have music and/or displays that should be running 'today'. For individual display listings there will be a place to enter in show times (start and end time) and the ability to share a single listing on social media (this I've already teased). Also planned is some way for members to save particular display listings into a list plus you'll be able to 'like' them (the same as forum posts).
  • Display Videos: This area should see some changes too. Just like Display Locations, you'll be able to like each of the videos submitted through here. There will also be permalinks (the same as videos/pictures in the media area) where you can watch YouTube/Vimeo videos on a dedicated page within the AusChristmasLighting site.
On a personal note, these and other changes planned for 2019 will make the site more like what I imagined back when we first migrated to the XenForo platform in 2017. The site changes will have us moving from the current XenForo 1.x branch (which has seen incremental improvements/changes since its initial release in 2011) over to their 2.x branch, which has been rewritten from the ground up.

How You Can Help
AusChristmasLighting is powered by you, the community. No matter where you look, whether it be the wiki, forums, media, display videos, or the topics covered at minis, all of this info wouldn't be here without people like you and the willingness to share the things you've learned, mistakes that were made, and all of that. Thank you! Your contribution to the site and community is greatly appreciated, whether that be through the content you create/share we all can learn from around AusChristmasLighting and information presented at Mini Christmas Light Expos, or contributing financially by becoming a Generous Elf which offsets the costs of hosting, and updates to core forum software and certain extensions (the paid ones).