Driving around to look at lights over the holiday season has been a tradition across America since we started stringing the outdoor ornaments in the 1930s.
The first electric Christmas lights were invented by Thomas Edison in 1880, when he hung strings outside his laboratory. Edward Johnson, a close friend of Edison, rigged up lights on his Christmas tree in 1882. In 1884, the New York Times covered his lights in a feature story, and Americans became fascinated with all that twinkles and shines.
Children everywhere – and of all ages – are drawn to the lights. I find myself more delighted with the simple, non-dazzling displays; a single candle in a window, a tree with simple lights and traditional ornaments, a wreath made from real pine that brings the fresh smell of the woods into the house.
But one of my seasonal favorites has become Jerry’s Tree. About one hour south of the Twin Cities on I35 and clearly visible from both north and south-bound lanes, a magnificent 40-foot oak is covered top to bottom in well over 25,000 clear bright bulbs. Our gift to you this Christmas Eve, enjoy what has become appreciated by the millions of motorists along one of Minnesota’s main highways. View for yourself, and hear the touching story of how one man’s vision has become an act of love and sharing.
Season’s Greetings from Occupy World Writes!