The first outdoor Christmas decorations were a way to add color and warmth to homes in Southern California in the 1920s. Then, in the 1930s, community trees appeared and were often decorated outdoors. The first Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was lit in 1931 as a civic celebration. Later, Christmas decorations evolved from tinsel to glass blown ornaments and plastic stars. But for today’s outdoor Christmas lights, the tradition of decorating outdoors with holiday lights is as popular as ever.