Merry and Bright
A custom of quintessential quality, the annual display of Christmas lights has a deep-rooted history in civilized society. The tradition of lighting a Christmas tree is believed to have been established by Martin Luther, the priest responsible for the Protestant Reformation. A lover of nature, Luther attempted to replicate the serenity of starlight shining through tree branches by placing candles among the branches of an evergreen tree he had placed in his house. Electric lights became vogue after President Cleveland decked the White House in an ornate display of Christmas lights in 1895. Families who were fortunate enough to afford then-costly lights payed an electrician an average of three hundred dollars to wire lights on their Christmas trees, a fee equaling nine thousand dollars in modern money. America’s lavish love for Christmas light displays continues to require an amazing amount of monetary resources. Americans spend approximately six billion dollars on holiday decoration each year as well. In addition to the initial purchase price of light strands, energy usage and subsequent bills seem to spike around Christmas. Americans use more electricity during the holiday season than the entire nation of Ethiopia utilizes during an entire year!