The Brief (And Bright) History of Holiday Lighting

Every holiday season, the GTA comes alive with fantastic displays of holiday lights.

For many of us, we’ve been admiring these annual light shows for as long as we can remember. But have you ever stopped and wondered how it all began? Let’s take a look at the history of holiday lighting.

Holiday lights, commonly referred to as Christmas lights, have a rich and storied history dating back to 18th-century Germany. Wealthier families would decorate their Christmas trees with candles, which sounds both delightful and dangerous. Years passed and the tradition spread throughout Europe, and eventually landed in the Americas. But it wasn’t until the late 19th-century when Thomas Edison had the bright idea of decorating a Christmas tree in electric lights.

Now let’s fast forward to the 1960’s. It was around this time that suburbs, similar to the ones you see in Markham, Brampton, Ajax, and other GTA communities, became increasingly popular for growing families. These tightly-knit neighbourhoods began using the holidays as an opportunity to decorate the exterior of their homes with holiday lights. And while it started with simply lining the eaves of their homes, it grew to include outlining their entire homes and gardens with lights and decorations—a trend that continues until today.

Holiday lighting in the GTA is more alive and brighter than ever. It’s almost as much a Christmas tradition for families to drive through beautifully lit neighbourhoods to admire the bright show of holiday lights, as it is to celebrate the holidays.

So, if your family wants to take their holiday lighting to the next level, and put on a show for their neighbourhood, contact Illuminations today to learn more about how we can transform your home this holiday season!


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