Holiday Lights Have Long Tradition
Posted on December 20, 2018
By Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
It is not uncommon these days for each community to have at least one private home with an extravaganza of holidays lights. According to Smithsonian.com, as of 2017 a private citizen had put up a record 601,736 bulbs. Here in Connecticut, one of the most elaborate displays of holiday lights can be found at the home of Thomas Delnicki at 130 Felt Road in South Windsor.
An array of characters from Charlie Brown & company and much, much more clad in seasonal wear, are also spread out across his lawn. It is a gradual process that gets underway nearly two months before Christmas until the time comes to flip on the lights !
Where did the tradition of holiday lights begin? It dates back to a time when trees were decorated with candles to symbolize “Christ being the light of the world.” In modern Germany the trees were brought inside homes. In the United States, in 1856 President Franklin Pierce put a Christmas Tree up in the White House. However, nearly forty years passed before the White House Christmas Tree, put up by President Grover Cleveland, was lit by electric bulbs rather than candles.
The history of electric light bulbs for Christmas trees followed the scientific advancements of American inventor Thomas Edison. Colored light bulbs came after white lights adoring trees. By the 1870’s Smithsonian.com reports, Christmas Trees were being sold in Washington Square and pretty ornaments could be purchased at Macy’s Department Store.