The first Christmas lights were invented by none other than Thomas Edison in 1880, at a time when folks used the dangerous practice of lighting Christmas trees with candles. Because electricity was so expensive at that time and many people were mistrustful of it, commercial incandescent Christmas light bulbs were not popular until the early 1900s. Since that time Christmas lights have gone through many upgrades and trends and have consistently become less expensive to buy and safer to use. Blinking lights first made the scene in the 1920s and funky-looking bubble lights appeared by 1946.
These retro Christmas bulbs are reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s and are the first ones I remember as a child. There was nothing better than sitting in the darkened living room, illuminated only by the soft glow of the lit Christmas tree.
Twinkling midget lights came out in the late 1960s and have become safer, less expense, and more energy efficient, so much so that folks now cover their homes and yards with enormous displays, sometimes set to music. Such displays are fun and quite entertaining to see, but I much prefer the cozy glow of the Christmas tree in our darkened living room.