Yes, there were strands of Christmas Lights at the turn of the last century. These aren't that kind, though, I think it would probably be a fire hazard, and we wouldn't want the Stork house to burn down. Plus, if we had light strands that old, they would be an artifact on display in the house. And that would be cool (Yeah, there's the history nerd in me).
Take a look at that beautiful fireplace. We couldn't have a real fire, so a volunteer wrapped logs in orange Christmas lights. The glow looks nice in the photos and even reflects on the wood flooring in a warm way.
You can check out the whole set of Victorian Christmas Tea 2009 photos on Flickr, including some black and white photography. Of course.