You know what makes me feel all Christmassy? Hearing the musical sounds of the season helps of course but its more the Christmas lights adorning people’s homes when you drive around after dark. I’m glad to see a number of our neighbours houses lit up this year and I wish more people would do it. The lights give you a nice, warm feeling when you see them.
It was three years after Thomas Edison invented the world’s first practical light bulb in 1879 that an associate of his electrically lit up a Christmas tree for the first time. The tree was in the parlour of his home in the first section of New York city to be wired for electricity. His tree had 80 lights equally divided between red, white and blue encased in little glass eggs. It wasn’t until 1903 that electric tree lighting became truly practical when the General Electric Company offered a preassembled lighting outfit for the first time. GE made the bulbs but the string was made by the American Eveready Company, the name now associated with batteries. These light “festoons” were apparently quite expensive to buy so department stores in electrified cities would rent them out during the season for $1.50. Those were the days when a dollar was actually worth something.