Christmas lights and the merriment they bring seem like distant memories these days as fear and isolation dominate the community and the nation.
And that’s why Jeremiah Green of Ahwatukee is stringing up the Christmas lights at local businesses.
Green’s company, Holiday Lights Phoenix, an Ahwatukee based holiday decorating company, has begun to reinstall lighting, supporting the #lightsforlife movement that is trying to spread cheer during this difficult time.
The movement started only a week ago on Twitter, catching on and spreading across the nation almost at the same speed as COVID-19.
Fueled further by spots on several national television networks, Green and his partner, Keith Call, started last Friday, picking Zzeeks Pizza & Wings in the Ahwatukee Palms Shopping Plaza for starters.
“There was a huge response of love from the community on Facebook,” said Green, who also owns South Mountain Window Cleaning with Call.
“We have a huge stockpile of lights in our storage and are installing them strategically around town in high traffic areas so a lot of people can enjoy them,” he added.
For Jody Pectol, who owns Zzeeks with her husband Mark, the lights were a blessing at a time when the world is all too bleak and small businesses are staring into a void as the result of state-mandated closures and an overall collapse of their customer base fed by self-imposed quarantines.
“We felt like it was Christmas,” Jody said. “It gives us hope.”
“Everyone is really enjoying the lights,” she added. “It’s nice to see something fun, reminds them of a happier time.”
And so it is with the rest of the nation that has embraced #lightforlife.
Scores of photos have been posted, some from other parts of the world.
“I think everyone should do this,” said one commenter on Twitter. “It doesn’t have to be a huge display. All it takes is one light to spread joy and happiness around in the communities.”
While many homeowners in other parts of the country have virtually doused their homes in lights with the same displays that burned bright only three months ago, Green said he’s putting them up at businesses because, ironically, most homeowner associations here restrict light displays to the holiday season and threaten residents with fines if lights aren’t removed not long after New Year’s Day.
But Green isn’t letting that get him down any more than he’s letting COVID-19 get him down.
“We know that this is a difficult time for our community so we want to do our part in spreading some cheer,” he said. “We have the equipment and training, so it just seemed like the right thing to do.” said Green.