In my never-ending battle to wipe away all the bad publicity and usually inaccurate roasting of the Garden State, I am often found busy researching things that would shed light on just how awesome New Jersey is, so maybe someday we can stop hearing all the Jersey jokes. And what I uncovered this time doesn't just shed light on New Jersey, it sheds Christmas light.

It turns out the very first Christmas lights ever may have been strung up right here in the Garden State. All of the joy that comes from beautiful Christmas lights around the world might actually have gotten its beginnings in New Jersey.

As the story goes according to ThoughtCo., Thomas Edison was hosting some reporters from New York at his Menlo Park laboratory in December of 1880, just after the whole incandescent light bulb thing, and decided to string lights from the train station to his laboratory to show off his invention.

Thomas Edison
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It wasn't intended to be a Christmas thing, but it apparently was immediately connected with Christmas, so the seed had been planted.

A couple of years later, a partner of Edison's, Edward H. Johnson strung lights directly around the Christmas tree, and one of the greatest traditions the Earth has ever seen had begun.

Of course, at the time, most people didn't trust electricity, so it was decades before the whole tradition caught on in a massive way.

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash
Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash
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So, if you follow the dotted line we have laid out for you, it's easy to see how New Jersey can take credit for the Christmas lights tradition. That's a big one, and in my eyes, it's all ours!

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More details and locations will be added as the holiday season progresses, so please check back often for updates. Malls are listed in alphabetical order.