The trend, which started on Twitter, is often accompanied by hashtags like #LightsForLife and #CoronaKindess
If you notice your neighbors turning on their Christmas lights tonight, don’t worry — you haven’t lost all track of time while social distancing. Many people have been putting their Christmas lights back up in March to spread some cheer amid the fear and uncertainty that has accompanied the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S.
Although it’s unclear who first came up with the idea, the trend has since taken off on Twitter, with users sharing photos of their homes lit up with hashtags like #LightsForLife and #CoronaKindess.
“Today a few of my neighbors decided we needed a bit more light in this dark time and decided to turn their Christmas lights back on. I hope it brings a smile to your face like it did mine,” wrote one Twitter user, sharing photos of a few unseasonably decorated houses on her street.
“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. I think she’s on to something,” wrote another.
While some say they’re using the lights as an easy way to brighten up the block, others say the light displays may also serve as a good form of entertainment people can enjoy safely from their cars.
“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,” suggested Twitter user Lane Grindle, a Milwaukee-based broadcaster.
Some users even noted how lucky they are that they procrastinated on taking down their seasonal decor — meaning they just need to switch their lights rather than hang them all back up!
“World getting you down? We are so lazy that we never took down our Christmas lights. So, we turned them back on! #behappy #COVID19,” joked one user.
The movement appears to have spread outside the U.S. as well, with photos being shared from Canada, Belgium and beyond.
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Looking for something to pass the time at home while practicing social distancing? Check out PEOPLE’s list of world-famous sites you can visit virtually from the couch for free — from touring Buckingham Palace to swimming through the Great Barrier Reef.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.