From that point on, electrically illuminated Christmas trees, but only indoors, grew with mounting enthusiasm in the United States and elsewhere. San Diego in 1904, Appleton, Wisconsin in 1909, and New York City in 1912 were the first recorded instances of the use of Christmas lights outside. McAdenville, North Carolina claims to have been the first in 1956. The Library of Congress credits the town for inventing "the tradition of decorating evergreen trees with Christmas lights dates back to 1956 when the McAdenville Men's Club conceived of the idea of decorating a few trees around the McAdenville Community Center. " However, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has had "lights" since 1931, but did not have real electric lights until 1956. Furthermore, Philadelphia's Christmas Light Show and Disney's Christmas Tree also began in 1956. Though General Electric sponsored community lighting competitions during the 1920s, it would take until the mid-1950s for the use of such lights to be adopted by average households.
Christmas lights (also known as fairy lights ) are lights used for decoration in celebration of Christmas , often on display throughout the Christmas season including Advent and Christmastide . The custom goes back to when Christmas trees were decorated with candles , which symbolized Christ being the light of the world ;  these were brought by Christians into their homes in early modern Germany .