I confess. I’m a Big D!ck Contest of Holiday Hoopla (BDC #34) player. It’s not that I’m trying to beat anyone else in sharing their holiday spirit – it’s just that I love to display mine. In case you’re wondering just how much hoopla … well, the inside of my house could be a holiday movie set.
A few years ago I added outdoor lights to my holiday hoopla. My bucket list includes building a display worthy of competing on The Great Christmas Light Fight but my 1500-ish light display is still several hundred thousand lights short. On the bright side (get it? 🙂 ), my festooned townhouse would make me a contender in a friendly neighborhood competition.
The Great Holiday Light Conspiracy
Have you ever wondered who started the holiday hoopla of lights? How about a Christmas conspiracy theory that’s not really a theory.
Blame the electric lobby. In 1923, when only about 35% of homes had electricity, they wanted to encourage people to display holiday lights, thus increasing the demand for electricity.
Faster than Blitzen, Frederick Feiker, an assistant to Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, got the idea for a National Christmas Tree. So President Calvin Coolidge flipped a switch to light our first 60-foot national tree from his home state of Vermont. More importantly, the tree had 2,500 electric lights.
The tradition stuck and presidents are still lighting trees today – even though they don’t really need to encourage other people to decorate the outside of their homes anymore.