Thomas Edison, known as much for his rather strange marketing ideas as for his invention of the light bulb, introduced the first electric Christmas light display in the 1880 holiday season. Brian Murray’s article “Christmas Lights and Community Building in America” describes Edison’s yuletide efforts to increase sales by stringing up incandescent bulbs all around his Menlo Park laboratory to excite passing commuters on the nearby railway with his colorful Christmas miracle. But Edison being Edison, he decided to make the challenge a little trickier by powering the lights from a remote generator eight miles away.
Christmas lights are popular everywhere, but no more so than in St. George. Homes from Ivins and Bloomington to Washington City and Hurricane, are lit up with red, green, blue, white and yellow lights, twinkling merrily in the darkness in eager anticipation of the arrival of the Jolly Old Elf, but representative of the Star of the East which rested on that cold winter night over the stable where laid the new born Babe in Bethlehem.
If Christmas lights – and a retelling of the real “reason for the season” – are your thing, then hop in your car for a short ride to some of the best lighting displays. The St. George LDS Temple is a good place to start. Walk the temple grounds to enjoy the twinkling lights and see a lifesize nativity scene on display against the backdrop of the dazzling white sacred structure completed in 1877.
Another display of lights can be found on the grounds of Dixie Regional Medical Center on River Road, but, the best and brightest display is at Tuacahn Center for the Arts. Multi-colored bulbs light up the Canyon of the Gods, but there is much more to see. Take pictures with you or your little ones on Santa’s lap between the hours of 6:30 – 9 p.,m. You can also enjoy a holiday train ride on the Old Salty Train (on loan from Ruby’s Inn), some hot chocolate around a blazing fire pit before or after a showing of the Live Nativity, which through music, narration and acting tells the story of the birth of the Christ child. Everything is free – except the hot chocolate and the reenactment of the Christmas story, performed twice each Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday through December 22 at 7 and 8 p.m. at a cost of only $2.00 per person or $15 for a family pass (up to 10 people).
One thing’s for sure: No matter what the reason or the season, the human desire to light up trees and houses in the cold darkness of the winter months is guaranteed to get your jingle going. Its also one really nice holiday activity you can do from the warmth and comfort of your own vehicle.
There’s still time to enjoy Christmas in the desert. Reserve your Christmas holiday vacation getaway overlooking the lights of the city, at St George Resort Rentals. Fill in the form on this page to make a reservation. Get out of the winter cold for a day, a week or several months. We’re here to help make your holiday season the best ever.