OROVILLE — The tradition of Christmas lights began in Germany in the 17th Century when candles were attached by pins or wax to the holiday’s trees. It wasn’t until 1882 when Thomas Edison’s friend and partner in Edison’s Illumination Company put the very first string of electric lights together and hung them on a tree in the company’s front window. This first string of lights featured 80 red, white and blue bulbs.
Christmas lights and accompany decorations have come a long way in the past 139 years spilling from decorating trees inside homes to decorating homes and lawns outside. Rooftops and eaves are strung with hundreds of lights and front lawns feature stagnant and animated inflatables and statuary.
Neighbors at 245, 251 and 265 Lodgeview Drive have gone all out this year. One yard features a forest of 23 brightly lit white Christmas trees reminiscent of Narnia’s Woodhill Forest but, with holiday cheer and not an evil witch in sight. Directly next door there are 100,000 lights and 20 inflatable decorations.
Just east of these two homes on Lodgeview, Judee and Bob Schaffner have continued their 20-year tradition of lights and decorations including placing an “old school” Santa in a sled with reindeer on the roof.
“We love him because he’s an old fashion Santa,” said Judee Schaffner. While Bob Schaffner chimes in explaining, “We’re so old school, I spend more time fixing the lights and decorations than I do putting them up.”
Old school or new these neighboring houses illuminate the street with plenty of good cheer.
Also, in the Kelly Ridge neighborhood there are several homes along the Woodman Drive loop decorated making it a fun little tour.
Tucked up on the side of the hill at 5404 Royal Oaks a giant inflatable snowman surrounded by hundreds of lights waves a big greeting to all who drive by.
Plenty of homes in the neighborhood are festively illuminated but at 74 and 80 Hercules Avenue two very different Santas adorn the front lawns. At 74 Santa serves as the first Christmas responder appearing to make deliveries in a giant fire engine filled with toys. Right next door it appears as if the jolly old elf is taking a fishing trip as an animated inflatable Claus in a small boat makes a big catch.
At 2880 Foothill Blvd. the wide, expansive yard is fully populated by 16 inflatables including Santa, Minnie Mouse, a Minion, snowmen and Buddy the Elf and well as other brightly lit delightful decorations and 5,000 lights.
Other homes nominated for the tour of lights in the greater Oroville area include:
1118 18th St.: tons of lights and inflatables including Santa, a nutcracker and a snowman.
1350 Tehama Ave.: every inch of this home including its roof is illuminated.
Dawn Court and Lucy Court: Multiple homes are decorated for the season.
1739 Lincoln Blvd.: a winter wonderland featuring a two-story-tall Santa and enough Minions to make another Disney movie.