HALIFAX -- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – in March. Many homes across the Maritimes are donning their holiday décor in an effort keep spirits bright during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert Richardson reached out to his community through social media Wednesday, asking the people of Elmsdale, N.S. to break out their Christmas lights, even if it’s almost spring.

“Everything is all coronavirus,” he says. “I just want people to be out and look at the lights and feel so cheerful.”

Robert says he and his wife Tammie want everyone to simply enjoy the beauty of the lights – a welcomed distraction as COVID-19 continues to evolve globally.

“I wanted to do this for the kids,” he adds. “To get the kids involved more, because they all have to stay at home.”

Maritimers answered Robert’s call in large numbers.

From every corner of the region, families decked the halls and trimmed the trees, both inside and outside of their homes.

Christmas lights

Tammie Richardson says her husband has a big heart.

“I’m very proud that he could come up with an idea like that to keep the community happy,” she says.

The pair hopes their holiday spirit is enough to encourage others to share their feeling of comfort.

Christmas lights

“Tammie and I don’t do much for Christmas for each other but our Christmas is all year round,” Robert explains. “We do things for each other all year and that’s the way it should be in the world.”

The Richardsons have heard from Canadians from coast-to-coast who say they’ll put their lights up because the spirit of Christmas can live in our hearts whether it’s December, or March.