Holiday decorations in Warsaw, Poland, for Christmas
© David Milsen/Alam
Merry and bright
Germans began decorating Christmas trees with candles as far back as the 1700s, but people wouldn't begin stringing trees with electric lights until the late 1800s. Thomas Edison created the first practical incandescent lights and used them to decorate his Menlo Park Laboratory in 1880. Then three years later, the vice president of Edison's company, Edward H. Johnson, had Christmas tree bulbs especially made for him and he used them to decorate the Christmas tree in his New York City home. But they weren't popularized as a holiday decoration until President Grover Cleveland used them on the White House Christmas tree in 1894. Today, bright scenes like this one in Warsaw, Poland, wouldn't be complete without holiday lights.
If you're celebrating Christmas today, we wish you a merry one.