December 1st

National Christmas Lights Day -

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Each year, on the 1st of December, we welcome the holiday season with National Christmas Lights Day. This day is dedicated to the cherished holiday tradition of adorning homes and Christmas trees with beautiful lights. Hanging Christmas lights is more than just a festive decoration, it serves as a beacon of hope, warmth, and cheer during the holiday season.

Regardless of your preference for minimalist white lights or a sparkling mix of colorful ones, National Christmas Lights Day encourages everyone to join in and illuminate the festive season with joy and brightness.

History of National Christmas Lights Day

The story of Christmas lights goes as far back as 17th century. The initial form of Christmas lighting was achieved using candles, primarily applied by first-generation German immigrants. However, the danger posed by open flames prompted a transition towards safer, electric-based lighting.

This change arrived in 1882 when Edward H. Johnson, vice president of Thomas Edison’s electric company, crafted the first string of Christmas lights using 80 bulbs in red, white, and blue colors. These lights were first displayed around his Christmas tree, in his New York City home.

The selling of Christmas lights began in 1890, with the Edison company initiating the trend. Owning Christmas lights remained a luxury mostly afforded by government buildings, stores, and affluent families, as they were quite expensive for the average household.

Between 1910 and 1920, mass Christmas tree lighting events became common across America. This period also witnessed the birth of brightly colored Christmas tree lights following Albert Sadacca’s suggestion that his family’s lighting company produce them. The 1980s saw the introduction of mini-lights. They were smaller and consumed less power. By the 2000s, LED Christmas lights became popular as they offered even higher energy efficiency.

At present, it’s hard to imagine Christmas without the iconic lights. This integral festive tradition is celebrated informally as National Christmas Lights Day when households or communities light up their Christmas displays for the first time each season, usually after Thanksgiving in the United States. Official recognition of the day is yet to be achieved.

National Christmas Lights Day Timeline

Candles as Christmas Lights

The practice of using candles as decorations on Christmas trees started in Germany.

First Electrically Lit Christmas Tree

Edward H. Johnson had an idea to electrically light his Christmas tree, thus inventing the first electric Christmas lights.

First Official White House Christmas Tree

The first official White House Christmas tree, decorated with electric lights, was placed in the White House during the Presidency of Grover Cleveland.

General Electric Begins Selling Christmas Lights

General Electric began to sell pre-wired, socketed Christmas light sets.

First National Christmas Tree

President Calvin Coolidge lights up the first National Christmas tree adorned with electric lights.

Affordable Christmas Lights

In the 1930s, Christmas lights finally became affordable for the average family. People started buying them for home decoration.

Outdoor Christmas Lights

The trend of decorating the exterior of homes with Christmas lights started in the 1950s and quickly became popular.

LED Christmas Lights

In the early 2000s, LED Christmas lights started to appear in stores. They are safer, sturdier, longer-lasting, and more energy-efficient.

Ideas to Celebrate National Christmas Lights Day

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Light up Your Home

National Christmas Lights Day is the perfect opportunity to show off your decorating skills. Light up your home with vibrant, festive lights. You can opt for traditional string lights, icicle lights, or even animated projector lights for a more modern touch.

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Neighborhood Light Show Competition

Organize a Christmas lights competition in your neighborhood. This promotes community involvement and interaction. You could have different categories such as 'Most Festive,' 'Most Creative,' and 'Best Overall.'

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DIY Christmas Lights Crafts

Get creative and transform old Christmas lights into fun crafts. You could create a light-up wreath for your front door, tabletop Christmas trees or a lighted glass display for your mantel.

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Christmas Lights Photography

If you enjoy photography, take your camera out and capture the beauty of Christmas lights around your town. You could create a photo album or even use your best shots for personalized Christmas cards.

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Plan a Drive through a Festival of Lights

Research nearby towns or cities that are hosting a Festival of Lights event. Make it a family outing and drive through the display while enjoying some hot chocolate and Christmas music.

7 Interesting Facts About Christmas Lights


First Invention

Christmas lights were first invented in 1882 by Edward H. Johnson. He had the idea to electrically light his Christmas tree during the holiday season.


First Presidential Display

The first Christmas lights display at the White House was in 1895 during the presidency of Grover Cleveland.


Creating Safer Lights

Before electric Christmas lights, people used candles to decorate their Christmas trees. This was a fire hazard which inspired Edward H. Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison, to create the first electric Christmas light string of red, white, and blue bulbs in 1882.


The 'Town of Christmas Lights'

Every year, the town of Medellín in Colombia holds a festival called 'Los Alumbrados', or 'The Lighting', during which millions of Christmas lights are strung across the city.


Setting Records

The Guinness World Record for the most lights on a Christmas tree is held by the Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, which decorated a tree with over 612,000 lights in 2022.


Expensive Beginning

In the beginning, Christmas lights were so expensive that they were more commonly rented than bought. An electrically lit tree was a status symbol in the early 1900s.


Important Law about Christmas Lights

In the U.S, the federal law stipulates that all consumer-grade Christmas lights need to be flame resistant and not present any electrical or mechanical shocks.

National Christmas Lights Day FAQs

Next National Christmas Lights Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 December 1st Friday
2024 December 1st Sunday
2025 December 1st Monday
2026 December 1st Tuesday
2027 December 1st Wednesday
What is the pattern? Every December 1st

National Christmas Lights Day Word Search

  • Lights
  • Christmas
  • Decorations
  • Celebration
  • Illumination
  • Colors