Time to decorate the hallways, folks, because December 1 is National Christmas Lights Day! Before the invention of electric lights, families balanced candles on the branches of their Christmas trees, a risky practice that naturally caused several house fires.
Electric Christmas lights were first invented in 1880 by Thomas Edison, who quickly hung them all over the exterior of his Menlo Park laboratory. However, because people initially distrusted electricity, it took several decades for the invention to catch on. And it wasn’t until 1903, when General Electric began selling pre-assembled Christmas light kits, that electric lights became popular with people of all classes. Today electric lights are an integral part of the winter holiday season and they are certainly not exclusive to Christmas. As we prepare for the end of the year, turn on our lights and let’s celebrate. After all, it is the season.
ACTIVITIES OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
Take a walk through the Christmas lights
Bundle up in your winter coat and take a walk around your neighborhood to enjoy the lights on display. Or, if there’s a place in your hometown that’s known for its great light displays, take a trip there to see them. It’s a great way to stay connected to your community, get some exercise, and just enjoy the beauty of the winter season.
Coordinate with your neighbors
If you feel like putting on a great scene with your neighbors, you can collaborate on a specific design together. Whether it’s a repeating motif or an extended scene, this is a great way to exercise your creativity and have a great time with your neighbors. And as a bonus, it could end up going viral thanks to some passerby with a smartphone.
Put your lights to music
This was a trend a few years ago, but we maintain that it is still a classic Christmas project. If you have the technical know-how (or know someone who does), you can set the lights to flash in time with your favorite song.
WHY WE LOVE THE NATIONAL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DAY
They are beautiful
There is something about the look of Christmas lights shining on a cold winter night that captures the imagination. Instantly transports you to your childhood, when magic was real and life was much less complicated. Whether they shine against a blanket of snow or shine from the trunk of a palm tree, Christmas lights have their own special beauty.
They keep you warm
Anyone who has ever singed their hand on a light bulb that has been on for too long knows this to be true. Sure, a roaring log fire might be a more efficient way to keep warm (or heck, even an oven), but in case you don’t have any of those things, snuggle up next to a bright string of Christmas lights and warm up above. . (Just be careful not to touch them.)
They make a great family puzzle
At some point during the months leading up to December, the holiday lights will inevitably tangle. No matter how carefully you put them away last year, they will always tangle when you take them out again. So instead of being miserable and grumpy about it, get the family together and turn the Great Untangled into a game! Develop your hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking skills as you prepare to “step into Christmas.”