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The month of December is finally here and it’s time to get started on those holiday decorations. Of course, one of the most important parts of the festivities are the strings of lights, whether colorful or white, that can be strung about the trees, bushes, windows, light poles, rooflines and more. 

It’s time to light up the night during this festive season, and the first order of business is to celebrate National Christmas Lights Day!

History of National Christmas Lights Day

The background of electric lights used for Christmas decorations can be followed back to the late 1800s when lights were first strung together by a man named Edward H. Johnson. A partner and friend of Thomas Edison, Mr. Johnson handwired some lights together to combat the safety issues that were often encountered when people would use open-flamed candles to light their Christmas trees. 

By 1895, US President Grover Cleveland requested that the family tree in the White House be decorated with strings that included hundreds of Christmas lights. This set a trend and the idea of decorating with lights during the winter holiday season has become an important tradition. Some neighborhoods even hold contests or competitions to see who has the best decorated houses.

Join in on the fun and get into the spirit of the season by observing and enjoying National Christmas Lights Day!

How to Celebrate National Christmas Lights Day

Get involved with the festivities of the season and kick things off with the celebration of National Christmas Lights Day! Consider some of these fun activities to participate in the day:

Put Up Some Christmas Lights

This is the time to get truly festive by hanging those Christmas lights all throughout the house, in the front yard, back garden and various other places. National Christmas Lights Day is the unofficial time that everyone will be ready to welcome in the festive season with lights of red, green, blue and so many other delightful colors. It might even be fun to put up a small, battery powered string of lights around the desk at work or some people might even want to decorate their cars with Christmas lights (though check with local law enforcement first to see if it’s allowed) in celebration of the occasion!

Host a Christmas Lights Gathering

Get ahead of the game for the holiday parties and host a gathering of a few friends or family members in honor of National Christmas Lights Day. Have some folks over and make a party out of hanging up the lights, decorating the tree, and even baking and decorating some cookies that are representative of the season. Put on some Christmas music or play a favorite Christmas movie in the background. This could be a delightful way to celebrate the day with loved ones – and also get those lights hung at the same time.

Get Environmentally Friendly Christmas Lights

With the awareness that the use of energy can be a drain on the earth’s resources, celebrate this holiday season with a more earth-friendly take by purchasing lights that are better for the environment. Solar powered string lights can be a great option, especially for those who live in a sunnier portion of the world.

Another option is to be sure that any new lights purchased are LED rather than incandescent, because the LED lights use up about 80% less energy. In addition, be sure to get a timer box, which is just a simple contraption which lights can be plugged into to make sure they turn off at a reasonable hour, to avoid wasting energy by keeping them on all night long.

View Some Christmas Light Displays

It might be fun to take a little drive on this day to check out the previously mentioned neighborhoods where Christmas light displays are a big thing. Or, for folks who live in larger cities, it could be fun to take a walk and view the Christmas displays in the shop windows or light displays that are put on at local parks, museums or other outdoor spaces. Many cities with zoos will have a special light up festival for winter visitors to the zoo. Bundle up in warm clothes, pack some travel cups filled with hot chocolate and get ready to enjoy some amazing light-up displays on National Christmas Lights Day!

Watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting

One interesting event that is celebrated in the United States is the annual lighting of the national Christmas Tree at the White House in Washington, DC. The large evergreen tree, located on the northeast portion of the property, has a 100-year old tradition of being decorated as a Christmas tree. Typically, on either November 30 or December 1, the President and First Lady make a ceremony of the lighting of the tree. In honor of National Christmas Lights Day, it might be fun to watch the ceremony and get all the excitement from the event.

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