Time to deck the halls, folks, because December 1 is National Christmas Lights Day! Before the invention of electric lights, families would balance candles on the branches of their Christmas trees—a risky practice that naturally led to several house fires. Electric Christmas lights were first invented in 1880 by Thomas Edison, who promptly strung them all over the outside of his Menlo Park laboratory. Because people were initially distrustful of electricity, however, it took another several decades for the invention to catch on. And it wasn’t until 1903, when General Electric began selling pre-assembled kits of Christmas lights, that electric lights became popular with people of all classes. Today, electric lights are an integral part of the winter holiday season, and certainly aren’t exclusive to Christmas. As we get ready for the end of the year, let’s string up our lights and celebrate. ‘Tis the season, after all.
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