Life

Coronavirus: people are putting their Christmas lights back up, and we’re here for it

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Kayleigh Dray
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#ChristmasInMarch is trending as people do their best to spread cheer amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s a scientifically-proven mood-booster.

#ChristmasInMarch is trending as people do their best to spread cheer amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s a scientifically proven mood-booster. 

The coronavirus headlines feel relentlessly awful, and it can be rare to find a story amid all those Covid-19 updates that genuinely makes you smile. Which is why, when this writer spotted that #ChristmasInMarch was trending, she became incredibly excited.

All over Instagram and Twitter, people are sharing photos of their houses decked with fairy-lights, just as if we were in the run-up to Christmas again. 

Why? Well, in a bid to bring a little light back into the world, of course.

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“There is a lovely idea spreading around on social media to put your Christmas lights back out to spread cheer, and love, and hope in our community during this strange and dark time,” one fan of the trend explained via her own social media account. “Let your lights shine!”

Another added: “I’m putting up my Christmas lights as a reminder to everyone that there is always light in the darkness. And that, even though everything is so sad and scary right now, there is still plenty of good.”

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Still one more, who fashioned her own fairy-lights into the shape of a heart, wrote: “There are dark times ahead, but I can still put love and light out into the world.‬

“‪Some folks have mentioned putting up Christmas lights to cheer up people in quarantine or in isolation… here’s my contribution.‬”

It’s a beautiful idea. And, as anyone who’s read my ode to the psychological power of Christmas lights will know already, these people are definitely onto something. 

That’s right: festive decorations – particularly fairy-lights – genuinely do have the power to boost our moods.

How about that, eh?

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“We like to think we’re so different from animals, but we are actually very responsive to our senses,” Dr Sally Augustin previously revealed.

“Developing on the savanna, where our current sensory systems developed, when we would see warm light, it was often a campfire at the end of the day, signalling cooking and positive experiences.”

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As a result, the environmental and design psychologist argues that we’ve evolved so that “our eyes and neural networks developed in tandem in a way that creates positive associations with warmer light” – which, in turn, creates a better and more relaxed mood.

“When we experience warmer coloured lights, candlelight or light from warmer bulbs, it puts us in a more positive mood, which is great for getting along with others,” she adds.

With that in mind, perhaps it’s time to jump on the social media trend and make-believe it’s #ChristmasInMarch – or, at the very least, simply share our own #LightsForLife contributions.

If you’re interested, look this way for a little inspiration…

  • Coronakindness

    “I’m putting up my Christmas lights as a reminder to everyone that there is always light in the darkness. And that, even though everything is so sad and scary right now, there is still plenty of good.”

  • Sparkle and shine

    “There is a lovely idea spreading around on social media to put your Christmas lights back out to spread cheer, and love, and hope in our community during this strange and dark time. Let your lights shine!”

  • Look for the helpers

    “Flatten the curve.”

  • Do your part

    “Christmas lights back up and unity candle lit.”

  • Christmas in March

    “Christmas in March! Why not? People are putting up Christmas decoration to spread cheer from their home during self-isolation. So here is mine.”

  • Not ‘me’, but ‘us’

    “Kids and I took a few minutes tonight to put out some lights. Our way of saying to our quiet neighborhood, ‘we are in here thinking about you out there… here is to hope and riding this out together’.”

  • Keep it light

    “That’s all I got. In this current world we are doing our best to keep it LIGHT!”

  • We can do this

    “A beacon of light. We can do this, folks!”

Essentially, the world seems to feel like a better place when it’s all lit up. So ignore your mum’s superstition that fairy-lights after Christmas is bad luck (we’ve had all the bad luck we’re owed already, I reckon) and, if you fancy it, deck the boughs with armfuls and armfuls of fairy-lights.

And look for my light in the window, too. Because it will be there.

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Main image: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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