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Christmas Lights In Short Supply, Popularity Surge Partly Due To Pandemic

Posted at 6:09 AM, Dec 17, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Having trouble finding Christmas lights this year? Turns out, you're not alone. Sales are skyrocketing and part of the reason has to do with COVID. Chris Conte shines a light on what's happening.

If Santa were to find his way to Baltimore, Maryland. 34th street might be the perfect place to land. Had to have a little joy so we put the lights up and Bob Hoshier might be the perfect person to welcome him to the neighborhood.

One city block, that for a month a year, everyone comes out and makes this. This, is a sight to behold. 1981 was the first time Bob Hoshier strung up a strand of Christmas lights. It’s been a terrible year, and this year, more than ever, he knew his gift to the world had to shine.

With the amount of people out of work, the kids that aren’t gonna have a great Christmas this is free, isn’t going to cost them anything. "Candy canes!! No amount of social distancing, can dim this display."

Turns out though, Bob Hoshier isn't alone in his love for light. Sales of Christmas lights are up some 20% in 2020. With the way everyone is hunkered down in their houses, put a little joy on kids faces, you only have to put one string of lights up you don’t have to go crazy as we do.

But the holidays aside there might be something much deeper at play when it comes to Americans new found fascination with Christmas lights this year. It’s far easier to understand anything when you can turn the light on.

In a year defined by darkness, Psychology Professor Krystine Batcho sees a reason behind those sky rocketing light sales. Holidays themselves are wonderful social or community markers for time, it reminds us that there’s a cycle to nature, the seasons cycle with so many of our routines upended.

Putting up lights, can be a marker in time. A way for our subconscious to reset. None of us can stop time or reverse it, but when you put up those lights you’re saying I’m going to tell the world it’s time to take a break.

One other thing Bob Hoshier learned long ago, looking at lights, is like standing in a museum and analyzing a piece of art. "Pretty humbling the amount of people come by and see this, believe me."

It’s an act of hope, and we all are anticipating the end of the pandemic so this takes on more meaning, more purpose in a year that has seen its fair share of darkness.

Perhaps these tiny little bulbs are lighting the way forward. But a little bit of light just shines that much brighter.

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