Americans have celebrated Christmas with lights for 135 years now. As far back as 1882, we have been decorating our houses with electric bulbs. It all started with a friend of Thomas Edison and now we can’t seem to get enough of those lights.

It was way back in the 16th century that people started adding candles to Christmas trees, and the need for sparkling light has not waned in the centuries that followed. It really is understandable that people would want to brighten up the darkness that falls so early in the day during the winter months.

When Edward Johnson first decorated his tree with 80 of Thomas Edison’s famous lightbulbs, little did he know he would start something that would endure for over 100 years.

And now, with the advent of LED lights, we’re not using as much electricity, it’s not costing as much, and people are getting even more enthusiastic about their decorating.

Trees and houses are not the only things that we decorate. There are so many venues going all-out to create that wonderful holiday atmosphere we all crave.

So many lights, so little time

The Houston Zoo is worth a visit every Christmas to see their Zoo Lights presentation. 2017 will be the 60th year they’ve celebrated the holidays with a Festival Of Lights, displaying more than 2 million of them. Their ancient oak trees and walking paths are all lit with over 15 miles of LED lights.

If you don’t mind a colder venue, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens are worthy of a visit every year as well.

They’ll be featuring a 4k theater with Classic Holiday Movie Clips, BB&T Toyland Express Train Ride, life-size animal lanterns, and so much more.

If you would like a more old-time Christmas experience, check out the Silver Dollar City Theme Park in Branson, MO. Enjoy more than 6.5 million lights on 1,000 Christmas Trees, two Broadway-style productions, and the Holly Jolly parade featuring Rudolph and Friends.

If you want a nice drive you might want to check out the Glittering Lights circuit at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. You can drive the 2.5-mile circuit while enjoying over 400 animated light displays. No one will be on the superspeedway track, so you can leave your crash helmets at home.

Visit the North Pole

Last but not least, you may want to go to the source and check out Santa Claus House North Pole in Alaska. There are a lot of events to enjoy in addition to the lights.

There are hundreds more venues around the country. Don't forget about all of the houses with their individual displays to enjoy.