Interesting Facts about Christmas Trees & Lights You Probably Never Knew

With Christmas around the corner, you must be happy thinking it is time to bring in the Christmas tree and decorate it with twinkling lights. It is the perfect occasion to hang the Christmas wreath on the main door to add festive cheer and give a warm welcome to guests. But do you ever wonder who started the tradition of decorating a tree during Christmas? Or what is the story that lies behind the fairy lights, which people use to decorate their house during the festive season?  Apart from unwrapping the incredible Christmas gifts, let us unfold some lovely facts about this festival. Here are some interesting facts about Christmas trees and lights that you probably never knew.

  • The father of the light bulb, Thomas Edison invented long strands of lights in 1880, which was used 2 years later for Christmas decoration by the VP of his company. The sight was so enchanting that reporters described it as the continuous twinkling of dancing colors- red, white, green, and blue. Since then they are popularly known as Christmas lights.

  • The blinking lights are a pure miracle of science. They blink in an on-off pattern because of the simple thermostat method. When you plug in the lights, there is a strip of metal inside the bulb that gets heated by the electricity until it bends. Afterward, it breaks the circuit and turns off the light. Later, the strip cools down and reconnects to the same circuit again, allowing the light to reappear.

  • In 2014, a family in New York decorated a 2-acre space with 601,736 lights surpassing the famous 2016 Rockefeller Christmas Tree that was decorated with 50,000 lights.

  • Every year, 20 million pounds of blinking lights are shipped to Shijiao, a town in China, where they are recycled and broken down into different component materials. They are either recycled into new Christmas lights or other products, such as furniture, slippers, and ornaments.

  • According to researchers, American household Christmas lights use up more electricity than the annual power consumption of some countries like Ethiopia & El Salvador.

  • Before the safer electric lights were invented, candles were originally used to decorate Christmas trees. A large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem.

  • England’s Prince Albert is known to bring the Christmas tree from his native Germany to the English-speaking world. He made it a well-publicized tradition in the royal household of his wife, Queen Victoria.

  • In southwest Germany, during the 17th & 18th centuries, people used to hang smaller trees from the ceiling or rafters. It created a flashy display and kept the goodies in the tree out of the reach of children.

  • In the first decades in the USA, the Christmas trees held Christmas gifts in their branches more often than under them.

  • According to the University of Illinois, during the 19th century, artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany and later became popular in the USA.

  • New York City used to hold a big citywide celebration in Madison Square Park. Thousands of people would gather to watch the lighting of ‘Tree of Light.’ But in 1933, the party shifted to midtown Manhattan.

  • According to the National Christmas Tree Association, more than 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree farming industry. The USA alone has nearly 15,000 Christmas tree farms.

  • The most famous song about a Christmas tree is ‘O Tannenbaum’, but in German, the word ‘Tannenbaum’ just refers to a general fir tree. The actual German word for ‘Christmas tree’ is weihnachtsbaum.

  • The typical height of a Christmas tree is about 6 or 7 feet that take as little as four years to reach this height but the average growing time is seven years.

  • Washington State University plant pathologist Gary Chastagner is leading a project aimed at helping Christmas trees retain their needles for longer.

If you want to add more such interesting facts about Christmas to this list, then do let us know in the comment section below.

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About the author

Apeksha Rawat

Apeksha Rawat is a passionate writer who believes in working hard and putting her best foot forward. She is fond of trying all the new DIY trends and loves to channelise her creative side in all her tasks. She is a brilliant storyteller and is always ready to help every member of the team.