January 18, 2019

Decorate In Old World Style Using Vintage Christmas Lights


Christmas Light Displays Have A Colorful History vintage

Electric Christmas light displays have been popular for more than a hundred years.  The first reported Christmas light displays radiated bright and colorful lights.  Although light sets have changed over the years, Christmas light displays remain constant in their ability to bring happiness, cheer, and joy to all who witness them.  The Antique Christmas Lights Museum, located at  www.oldchristmaslights.com, is chock full of historical information on Christmas light displays.  Information on light sets, lamps, bubble lights, lighted candles, novelty lights, tree toppers, table-top trees, music and lighting companies throughout history is available on the website.  Check out the transformation of Christmas light displays since the late 1800’s and learn how people around the world have celebrated Christmas.  The irresistible appeal of Christmas light displays make our world more colorful and festive so we can celebrate the holidays with family and friends.


Brilliant Christmas Tree Lights Adorned The First Christmas Tree

The first Christmas tree lights are believed to have radiantly glowed on a Christmas tree set up by Mr. E. H. Johnson, President of the Edison Company for Electric Lighting.  Mr. Johnson was interested in electric house lighting and came up with the idea to entertain his children with a festive Christmas tree brilliantly lit with Christmas tree lights.  In the early 1880’s, the magnificent Christmas tree lights were shown to his children and their friends in their home at No. 139 East 36th St., New York.  The 120 multi-colored Christmas tree lights showed bright on the six foot high tree.  The radiant Christmas tree lights are reported to be the most brilliant and colorful lights the children had ever seen.  They all looked on in amazement as the Christmas tree lights sparkled as the brilliant tree revolved.  A motor at the base of the tree made it revolve in a steady regular motion.  The Christmas tree lights were divided into six sets.  One Christmas tree lights set was lit at a time displayed on the front of the tree as it went round.  The first Christmas tree lights set was colored pure white.  The second vision of Christmas tree lights displayed were red and white followed by yellow and white and then other colors.  Mr. Johnson can be credited with providing happiness and cheer to many generations of people who have admired his Christmas tree lights.


bubble lightsBubble Lights Used To Be The World’s Most Popular Christmas Light

In the 1930’s, a man named Carl Otis, an accountant for the Montgomery Ward Company, had an idea for bubble lights to be used on a table top sign display.  His idea continued into small bubble lights he called, “Ornamental Illuminating Devices” specifically meant for Christmas trees.  Other inventors around the same time were also producing bubble lights and it is reported that Benjamin Franklin first came up with the idea for a bubbling liquid inside sealed glass tubes.  Otis, however, is regarded as the inventor of Christmas bubble lights.  While he was waiting for the Christmas bubble light patent to be approved, he sent a sample to ten electric Christmas light manufacturers.  The Noma Electric Company was the only one interested.  Noma began producing the bubble lights but because of World War II restrictions and materials shortages, they didn’t become popular until the mid-1940’s.  Others tried to copy the bubble lights but Noma remained the number one seller.  Noma manufactured  bubble lights until the 1970’s.  Bubble lights were hugely popular and remain decorations on Christmas trees today.

Movies Prominently Display Christmas Tree Lights Outdoor


Take Inspiration From Award-Winning Christmas Decor

charlie brown treeIn the 1965 A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown, with Lucy’s encouragement, sets about the task of finding a Christmas tree to embellish their school’s play with Christmas décor.  The tree lot is almost sold out but Charlie Brown picks the only live tree left on the lot, a small baby tree.  Upon returning to school, the kids laugh at Charlie Brown’s tree and tell him it is not festive Christmas décor.  Unhappy, Charlie Brown leaves with the tree wondering about Christmas décor and the true meaning of Christmas.  He passes Snoopy’s doghouse with Christmas décor proudly displaying a first place ribbon from the neighborhood’s lights and display contest.  Charlie Brown takes an ornament from Snoopy to use as Christmas décor on his tree.  The baby tree is not strong enough to hold the Christmas décor and it falls to the ground.  Charlie Brown’s friends, realizing they were too hard on him, show up and use all of Snoopy’s Christmas décor to decorate the baby tree.  Later, Lucy and the gang admit Charlie Brown picked a nice tree with beautiful Christmas décor, and they all shout, “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!”


Create Joy During the Holidays– Decorate With Outdoor Holiday Lights

Although not displayed until the last part of the movie, the 1954 musical White Christmas, shows a beautiful white light treeChristmas tree with outdoor holiday lights.  Guests at the Columbia Inn in Pinetree, Vermont are decorating the tree with outdoor holiday lights while an anxiously-awaited fresh new snow lightly falls on them and the tree creating a magical mood for the climax of the movie.  This evokes powerful emotions as the audience witness’s true friendship.  Lighting can change a mood and outdoor holiday lights can create an irresistible and jovial festive season.  Outdoor holiday lights add visual appeal to any scene.  Decorating with outdoor holiday lights can be as simple as hanging them on a Christmas tree to as complicated as layering lighting for more complicated staging.  In recent years, the lighting in many popular movies has become more layered and complicated as technology advances.  The ornament hanging and stringing of lights at the end of White Christmas create a calm mood before the audience’s emotions were intensified with the surprise climax.  Outdoor holiday lights are a powerful component of staging and can create powerful emotions in holiday decorating.


Unify Community Spirit With Christmas Light Displays

Many communities prominently display a large Christmas tree adorning Christmas light displays in a common area of town like a town square.  In the 2000 movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, an in-town Christmas tree is decorated with Christmas light displays to encourage festivity and joy to all the merry and warm-hearted Whos in Whoville.  The Grinch, an unhappy catlike creature with a heart too small, doesn’t like the happiness created from the Christmas light displays and sets out to ruin the Who’s fun.  The Grinch wreaks havoc when he goes into town and at one point, burns down the Christmas tree with its Christmas light displays.  Although trying to prevent Christmas from coming, the Christmas tree with all its Christmas light displays magically reappear within minutes and Christmas comes none-the-less.  He soon realizes Christmas is more than presents and Christmas light displays and from then on his heart grew triple its previous size.  Christmas light displays can bring cheer and joy to everyone in a community and help unify the people.

Slideshow of the World’s Best Hanging Holiday Lights

Ever dream of taking a tour around the world so you could see some of the best displays of hanging holiday lights?  With plenty of us obsessed with seeing the finest outdoor Xmas light displays in our communities, it’s only fitting that we want to branch out and see what the world has to offer.

If you’re one of those who’d love to see these Christmas light displays from around the world, be forewarned. We can’t take you in person for free to see this outdoor Christmas lighting, but we can do the next best thing.  We can lead you to a slideshow where you can see the absolute finest in exterior Christmas lights the world over. So come on, be an adventurous armchair traveler and see the highlights, with the help of Travel and Leisure magazine, what we have picked out for you.

This slideshow starts out with clips from Disney World, Tokyo, Brussels, Branson, Johnson City and Mexico City.  For more on these decorative holiday lights refer to our companion story, “The World’s Best Displays of Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights”.  Following clips from these locations the show moves on to cover the lights decorations of 5 additional outstanding light displays from around the world.  Stick with the slideshow and treat yourself to bold and bright holiday greetings from the following locales:

Slideshow of the Worlds Best Hanging Holiday LightsTivoli Gardens-Copenhagen: Tivoli’s amusement park Christmas decorations were designed by John Loring of Tiffany and Co.  With 20 acres of trees, buildings and rides decked out with festive lights, this is the place to be if you happen to land in Copenhagen at Christmastime.

Plaza de Comunicaciones, Madrid: This awe-inspiring display occurs only on Christmas Eve at the new city hall in Madrid. Unusual in the sense that it combines a whole lot of smoke and fireworks with the Christmas lights, it will remind you that cultures around the world each have a different take on what constitutes a successful light display.

Dededo, Guam: Smack in the middle of the Micronesia Mall, this Christmas light display includes a holiday lights train as well as a 35 foot tree and lights that blink in time to music.  Most unusual is the aroma machine that pumps out the smell of Christmas’ familiar pine trees.

Harbor City, Kowloon, Hong Kong: Thousands of blinking light in this shopping area serve to make the whole experience an overwhelming and dizzying one.  When it comes to Christmas lights, if you’re looking for excess–this is the place!

Take me to the show!


Landscape Lighting for Year Round Use

Landscape Lighting–Not Just for the Warmer Months

Landscape Lighting for Year Round UseIf you think landscape lighting is only about summer–think again.  Well planned outdoor landscape lighting should offer you, the homeowner, year-round pleasure and include an opportunity to use your investment in concert with all the seasons including the season of exterior Christmas lights.

Often the drabbest of seasons, winter, usually gets livened up in the yard only when the holiday lights come out. Tasteful landscape lighting can change all this.  Lights can be installed to add interest to your home and your plantings as well as to provide light for safety and security.  And come Christmas time, your investment can be modified slightly to accommodate a rich and opulent display of exterior Christmas lights.

Adapt Your Existing Landscape Lighting to Accommodate Exterior Christmas Lights

Simply replacing your landscape spots with colored outside holiday lights can make them adaptable as the seasons change.  With very little labor after the initial installation, you can change the effect passersby have as they drive down your block.  From spring and summer, to fall and winter, and into the holidays the lighting can be quickly modified to the holiday season.

Simple, elegant Christmas Light Displays

Landscape Lighting for Year Round Use 1At Christmas, your lighting needn’t be the brightest on the block to be the finest.  Simple, versus complex lighting schemes, can sometimes allow you to achieve more elegant outdoor Christmas light displays.  Consider lighting a stately, tall tree in your yard with single spotlights.  As an alternative, you could use tree uplighting as seen in this photo, where the lights are at the base of the trees and angled upward.  The concept is simple, but the effect can be as perfect as the beautiful snow-covered trees on a sophisticated Christmas card.

Landscape Lighting for Year Round Use 2On your home you could try adding some simple wreath lights with stark red bows. With these outdoor Christmas lighting ideas you’ll have some of the most beautiful, classic holiday lighting displays around.  All you need to complete the picture is a fresh, white blanket of newly fallen snow!

Kmart’s Christmas Lane Includes Ceramic Villages & LED Christmas Decorations

Time to Plan Your Holiday Lighting & Decorating

Have you started thinking about your holiday lighting and decorating yet?  You may not have, but retailers are starting early hoping to get you thinking now about how you’ll deck your halls come December.  It’s time to plan your Christmas light displays!

The retail mega-combo Kmart and Sears today blasted thousand of American homes with its first animated e-mail of the season.  Complete with a flying airplane banner boosting its Christmas Lane line and traditional bell-tinkling holiday music, the execs of these stores don’t want to miss a single early holiday sale–especially when little or no growth is to be expected.

Kmart Christmas Lane includes ceramic villages & LED christmas decorationsSo what are they touting for the holidays this year? The highlight of the collection appears to be a Kmart exclusive grouping of collectibles and ornaments from the Lemax Village Collection.  The collection includes a little something for everyone.  Victorian homes, a scuba and boat salvage, a vintage lighthouse and even a nostalgic bowling alley round out the we’ve-got-it-all village.  For those of us that covet ceramic Christmas villages but don’t have the money to make a huge investment, there’s Lemax.

Light up Your Village with Miniature Christmas Lights

A cute little warming hut starts at $11.99 with plenty of selections in the $20-$40 range.  If it’s movement you covet, check out the Ferris wheel, carousel or flight school.  Each of these come with a 4.5 volt adapter and cost $65-$75.  Pictured here is the Lemax village collection Inn and Ale House offered at $29.99.  A simple attractive display can be assembled with a few of these village buildings placed on a bed of fiber-fill snow.  For added interest run some miniature Christmas lights through and around your display.  To check out the selection of villages see Kmarts website of holiday lights decorating http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/s_10151_10104_Gifts_Seasonal+Shop_Collectables.

Holiday Lighting–ideas in LED Christmas Decorations

Kmart Christmas Lane includes ceramic villages & LED christmas decorations 1Cute little villages aren’t the only thing you’ll be seeing at Kmart this year.  In the lighting category you’ll find LED Christmas decorations such as the Neo Neon LED Rope Lighting in bright blue or green.  9 ft. strings of these LED Christmas rope lights cost just $14.99.  This Neon LED Snowflake lighting set is yet another of the LED Christmas decorations you’ll find at Kmart.  An 8 piece set of these will set you back $36.99

Whatever the holidays have in store for you Kmart and the nations holiday retailers are ready provide–preferably sooner than later.

The Evolution of Christmas Decorations

Prevalence of Christmas Decorations
the evolution of xmas decorationsYou might not have ever thought about it, but Christmas decorations haven’t always been so prevalent.  Can you imagine there was a time when December didn’t bring streets lined with brightly lit homes and sparkling trees? Or can you picture a time when downtown streets and shops weren’t lit with festive holiday lights?

You probably can’t, but believe it or not, in the big scheme of things such a time was not that long ago.  In the 2,000 or so years since the birth of Christ, it’s only within the last 150 years or so that Christmas decorations have been so prevalent in the United States.

Festive Lighting–A Little History

the evolution of xmas decorations 1Although Christmas decorations per se are relatively new, for millennia, light has been an integral part of religious and spiritual festivals celebrating the cycle of life.  Ancient peoples recognized light and the importance of it to life itself and therefore assigned it an important position.  Symbolic, ceremonial use of festive lighting became a staple fairly early on in the course of humanity.

the evolution of xmas decorations 2Traditionally, the Jews used light to indicate the beginning and end of their most holy day–Shabbat or the Sabbath.  The lighting of Friday night Shabbat candles to this day begins the Sabbath at sundown and ends it Saturday evening with the lighting of the elegant twisted Havdalah candle.  Since the Jews used candlelight for signifying the beginning of all the important festivals like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Tu Be Shevat and Passover, it was only natural that when Christianity developed as an offshoot of this religion that the use of candlelight followed down this new path.

The Origins of Christmas Light Displays in the US.
the evolution of xmas decorations 3Over the centuries the use of festive lighting in the world’s religions continued, but not until the mid-nineteenth century did Christmas take on the significance that would make it stand out as a day different than any other in the relatively new country–the United States.  At this time the Germans are credited with bringing the first Christmas tree to the US.  Initially, citizens were reluctant to bring a tree into their home.  It just didn’t make sense to them.  Imagine Grandmother’s horror when a dirty tree came into the house.  But, as is common in all generations,  youth prevailed, pursued the trends of the times and eventually the Christmas tree became the staple it is in our homes today.

Beginning with just a small decorated tree in the home, the tradition of Christmas light displays and eventually extensive decorating and holiday lights of all kinds began.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the expansive holiday lighting we see each year began so humbly with man’s homage to the life-giving light of the sun.

the evolution of xmas decorations 4Contribute to the environment by using energy efficient xmas lightthe evolution of xmas decorations 5