Staying positive during the coronavirus outbreak has been a struggle for many, but some people have found a novel way to spread a little cheer by putting their Christmas lights back up.
With schools now closing, people working from home, social distancing or self-isolating, life as we know it is feeling pretty bleak right now, which is why Twitter users have been calling for people to put their Christmas decorations back-up to offer some much needed light.
Well if we’ve got to be stuck at home, we might as well make it look pretty!
Although it’s unclear exactly where the trend started, people in the US have been heading to Twitter to share pictures and videos of their twinkly houses under the hashtag #lightsforlife and encouraging friends and neighbours to rehang their own Christmas lights.
Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice
What if we all put our Christmas lights back up? Then we could get in the car and drive around and look at them. That seems like a fair social distancing activity.— Lane Grindle (@lanegrindle) March 15, 2020
My mom thinks people should start putting up Christmas lights in their windows to remind each other that there is still life & light while we #StayTheFHome.— Michael 🎧 (@quickbear) March 16, 2020
I think she’s on to something.#DoingMyPartCO #CoronavirusUSA #LightsForLife pic.twitter.com/XHxDyORAcS
A friend just shared that an elderly neighbor came to her house and asked her husband to turn on the Christmas lights because there's so much darkness and scariness now. So, there are bright dancing Christmas lights now on in their neighborhood. #coronakindness— Lisa St. Regis (@LisaStRegis) March 15, 2020
Seems like we just put Christmas lights away but they're out again to brighten the dark times of Covid-19.— Feisty Lib Lady (@FeistyLibLady) March 18, 2020
Lights are up again to show there is light outside even if we are quarantined, social distancing and a little scared.#OneVoice1#LightsForLifehttps://t.co/XMRVkuJjh3
And now it seems the trend is coming to Britain.
Gail Challoner, 47, from Tiverton, Devon, has decided to put her festive lights back on to spread a little joy and show support to the NHS.
The airport worker says it was reading about social isolation on Facebook that sparked the idea to have a second Christmas.
As well as putting her lights back on, Gail says she has gone a stage further by getting her Christmas tree down from the loft and setting it up in the porch.
“I wanted to cheer people up,” she explains.
And it seems to be having the desired effect.
“I see people walking past, smiling and having a laugh,” she says. “If that's what it takes to make people smile in these times then I’m happy to do it.”
“Who knows what's next? If it carries on I might get the Halloween decorations out.”
Over in the US, where the trend has really been gathering traction, Holly Griffin, 41, a family support co-ordinator from Cumberland, Rhode Island, says it was her son who suggested they put their Christmas lights back on.
“My son looked out the window and asked if we could put the lights on so he would have something to look at,” she explains.
“We thought about it and said, ‘why not’? It's a good way to spread some cheer.
Holly says she likes to think the family are helping to spreading joy and hope one light at a time.
‘It’s a good way to spread some cheer’
“I think it's important to look outside of ourselves at the moment, if you just sit and think about everything and watch the news it can put us in a bad place.
“It's important to do whatever we can.
“Hopefully it gives people a smile because as they drive to work or wherever they need to go.
“It shows that we support them, the health workers, and it’s a socially distant way to support them.”
Holly adds that she thinks we need more hope now than we do at Christmas.
Additional reporting SWNS.
One woman from Osler, Saskatchewan, Canada, who asked to be named as just Nadine, says her neighbours putting their Christmas lights back up had given everyone a much-needed lift.
“My husband is a doctor so we know too well what we are about to face in the next coming weeks,” she says.
“This brought a little bit of cheer into our life.”
"I think they did it to cheer people up.”
Nadine says that knowing the tough situations and decisions her husband is going to have to face, and the patients he is going to lose has made it hard for the family to stay positive, but the lights have made them all smile.
“I even contemplated putting up our tree to brighten up the house.”
So if you’re self-isolating, working from home or social distancing and you find yourself stuck for something to do, why not get back up in the loft and dig out your crimbo lights.
Life might feel pretty dark right now, but Christmas lights could offer everyone some much needed sparkle.