Did you know that electric lights were first used on a Christmas tree in 1882, just three years after Thomas Edison patented his light bulb? And that President Grover Cleveland helped make electric Christmas lights popular in the 1890s by putting them on the White House tree?
We bring up this bit of history (thanks to a recent New York Times “Back Story”) because people have been fascinated with holiday lights ever since electric bulbs were invented and later mass-produced. And our readers always respond whenever anything is written about such decorations, whether they view the fanciful luminaries as wasteful or not.
A few contacted us after our last installment in this space, in which we featured the “Night Lights: Winter Reimagined 2018” program at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston. It runs through Dec. 30, but, alas, with apologies to those readers, the tickets have sold out.
Another reader chided us for not reporting that Provincetown is full of beautiful lights this time of year. “I hope you or someone does,” wrote Laura Rood. “It’s gorgeous.” We’ll take your word for it, Laura. No doubt many of our cities and towns are brightly lit this time of year.
Several publicity types sent press releases about various light shows and other holiday events. We can’t include all, unfortunately, but there’s a very popular one near us called the “Blink! Light & Sound Show” at Faneuil Hall Marketplace through Jan. 1. The press release says new songs, including “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” have been added to the original Blink! show, which runs every hour on the half hour every day from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Visit faneuilhallmarketplace.com.
If you haven’t tired of the holiday theme and décor, here are a few more places to go:
In Ipswich, take a guided tour of the Great House at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, offered from Dec. 26 through Dec. 30. Tours are on a first-come, first-served basis; visit thetrustees.org/castlehill.
In Concord, take in the 23rd annual “Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature” exhibit through Jan. 1 at the Concord Museum, at 53 Cambridge Turnpike. The holiday event showcases 31 trees and wreaths whose designs were inspired by various children’s books, which are on exhibit as well. Visit concordmuseum.org.
Want to send your favorite Santa a special message? In Hamilton, you can join a thank-you-card-making workshop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29
at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St. Visit hwlibrary.org or e-mail [email protected]
In Wayland, the “Holiday Art Show,” a collection of small paintings, collages, and photos, runs through Dec. 29
at the Wayland Public Library, 5 Concord Road. There’s a range of local artists displaying their talent and creativity here. Visit artswayland.com.
The South Street Gallery in Hingham also has a holiday exhibit, titled “One,” consisting of paintings of single objects by more than 35 artists, all of which one may buy for holiday gifts. The exhibit continues through Dec. 31 at 149 South St. Visit southstreetgallery.com.
Finally, while you’re celebrating, give a thought for our servicemen and women deployed around the world protecting the interests of this country. From the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tenn., here’s a video holiday greeting from a local sailor on the USS Gerald R. Ford, HN Elizabeth Collins of Billerica: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/649900/hn-elizabeth-collins-holiday-greeting.
L. Kim Tan can be reached at [email protected]