Christmastime is filled with happy memories, cheerful music and delicious food. But one of the best parts about the season is all of the twinkling lights. Festive homeowners deck their houses with brightly colored strands of lights and it adds so much beauty to the world – especially when glowing against freshly fallen snow.
There’s truly nothing better than the warmth of Christmas lights, and one family from Boerne, Texas agrees. The Hinojosa family spends weeks preparing their elaborate display. But this year truly takes the cake!
Even though elaborate twinkle light displays like the Hinojosa’s are mainly a modern novelty, the concept of lights around Christmastime isn’t! The Smithsonian website explains that we owe our beautifully decorated Christmas trees and front porches to a man named Edward Hibberd Johnson from New York City.
The site says:
“President Franklin Pierce put [a Christmas tree] up at the White House in 1856, and by the 1870s fresh-cut trees were being sold at Washington Square Park, and pretty ornaments at Macy’s.
But what really made a tree a Christmas tree were the candles, and while flickering flames were festive, they were also a fire hazard…
Johnson saw an opportunity. Setting up a tree by the street-side window of his parlor, Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white and blue light bulbs and strung them together around it, and placed the trunk on a revolving pedestal, all powered by a generator. Then he called a reporter…”
“‘At the rear of the beautiful parlors, was a large Christmas tree presenting a most picturesque and uncanny aspect,’ wrote W.A. Croffut, a veteran writer for the Detroit Post and Tribune. ‘It was brilliantly lighted with… 80 lights in all encased in these dainty glass eggs, and about equally divided between white, red and blue… One can hardly imagine anything prettier.’
The lights drew a crowd as passers-by stopped to peer at the glowing marvel. Johnson turned his stunt into a tradition; he also pioneered the practice of doing more each year: An 1884 New York Times article counted 120 bulbs on his dazzling tree…
Today an estimated 150 million light sets are sold in America each year, adding to the tangled millions stuffed into boxes each January. They light 80 million homes and consume 6 percent of the nation’s electrical load each December. And though the contagious joy of these lights has been co-opted orange at Halloween and red at Valentine’s Day, it all started with Johnson’s miracle on 36th Street.”
Nowadays, people go all-out with their Christmas displays – just like the Hinojosa family did here. They set up a fun children’s front yard masterpiece set to the “Baby Shark” Christmas song. We know their family can’t wait for the big day. Only a few more sleeps!
Their awesome display of Christmas lights is set to a song that has taken the internet by storm due to its silly lyrics and catchy tune. What a fun neighborhood this must be!