I came accross these plastic baubles shells a while ago, and thought 'I could do more than just put a photo in them.' Since then I aquired a 3D printer, and decided to have a little fun that a hacker could knock together in a few hours. Chances are most people are likely to have most of the parts to hand and might want have some fun too.
The reason I used the Particle photon to drive the pixels is simple, once built, what ever you choose do with the pixels themselves, being able to flash over the air, means you can custom the code to your own choice, without having to dismantle the Christmas tree to make updates.
My code uses the particle time() function to map the red, green and blue pixels to hours, minutes and seconds. This means the colour is constantly changing.