The Real Christmas Debate: White Or Multi-Colored Lights?

This holiday season's decorating debate starts with choosing between white or multi-colored Christmas lights.

Multi Color Light and White Light Christmas Tree
Photo: Robert Breitpaul and American Images Inc / Getty Images

After mailing letters to Santa, sending Christmas party invitations, and hanging the stockings by the chimney with care, the real holiday debate begins. Should you use white or multi-colored lights to decorate for the holidays?

While seemingly just a matter of personal preference, it's a question that has caused strife between family members since the invention of multi-colored lights in 1882. The holidays are full of wonder and joy, with endless to-do lists, jam-packed calendars, and visiting family who expect a Christmas to remember. The last thing anyone needs is a family fight over the color of Christmas lights, causing extra friction in an already stressful time of the year.

While the debate over multi-colored or white lights may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, fights pop up yearly as this argument causes people to defend their visions, frequently drawing from their childhood memories. Mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children weigh in on what color lights they want to illuminate their Christmas. It's a debate waged for years, with no end in sight (and USA Today has the tweets to prove it).

Close up multicolor Christmas string lights on floor
Hero Images / Getty

White vs Multi-Colored Lights

To help settle some disputes, here are some of the pros of white lights and multi-colored lights:

White Christmas Lights

White lights provide a blank canvas. They complement any decor, create a unified look, and are perfect for highlighting greenery or ornaments and letting the more colorful decorations take center stage. They also add a sophisticated ambiance to a room, setting it aglow in a cool, peaceful light.

Multi-Colored Christmas Lights

As for multi-colored lights, the sparkling, fun scenery invites visions of the holidays and instantly transforms a room from ordinary into a festive holiday environment. Colored lights are so vibrant that they could decorate a tree independently. No ornaments are required—although who would want that?

Debate Answer: Follow Your Heart

As for which is more popular? Georgia's Christmas Lights Etc reported to The New York Times that 70 percent of the lights they sell are white. That doesn't mean it's the majority, though. When it comes to Christmas, follow your heart. If your family disagrees with your vision, consider alternating between colored and white lights each year.

Now that you've settled the question of the lights, you can start arguing about the eggnog recipe.

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