It’s late March, but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — and Halloween and Valentine’s Day.

People are restless while stuck at home and craving some levity as the coronavirus crisis becomes more dire each day. Across the country, people are doing puzzles in record numbers, joining online dance parties — and digging out their holiday lights and inflatables to set them up in an effort to bring merriment to their neighborhoods.

“It’s a tough time we’re going through as a country and the world in general,” said Lane Grindle, who last week put up a string of white LED lights on his home in Menomonee Falls, Wis., to the delight of his four kids, ages 4 to 11.

The idea hit Grindle, 38, the Milwaukee Brewers’ radio announcer, on March 15 while he was playing in his backyard with his kids. He came inside and tweeted:

Within minutes, the tweet took off.

Two days later, House Beautiful ran a story including Grindle’s tweet and several others who had the same idea at the same time of hanging decorations just for the heck of it.

“Folks, people are really doing this!” he tweeted with a link to the story.

Kim Lorich of North Tonawanda, N.Y., north of Buffalo, felt validated when she saw Grindle’s tweet.

“It was easy for me because we still had them up,” said Lorich, 49, whose house now twinkles with strings of colored lights. “All I had to do was plug them in, because we never took them down.”

She’s hunkered down with her husband Steve and her daughter Ashley, who came home from Canisius College to quarantine.

“I mean, everybody is so depressed right now,” Lorich said. “We need a little bit of cheer.”

Amanda Boudreaux, a real estate agent from the Baton Rouge area, read the story about Grindle’s tweet late at night, and felt so fired up that she went right to her garage and pulled out her Christmas lights. She strung them through a myrtle tree in her front yard, added some staked lights in her flower beds, and even put up an inflatable dog.

Boudreaux, of Watson, La., said she has seen many houses in the Baton Rouge area putting up lights.

“It’s become a thing,” said Boudreaux, who shared her decorations on social media.

Her daughters — Autumn, 5, and Charlotte, 3 — get excited when they see the lawn decorations. It helps them cope with a situation they can’t really understand: Why can’t they go and see people?

“Every time we go outside … they get excited all over again, especially when it’s nighttime,” said Boudreaux, 33.

Ginny Dunn of Brookhaven, Ga., was discussing ways to keep the kids occupied in a moms’ Facebook group for her neighborhood, Ashford Park. In a moment of inspiration, she challenged fellow residents to dig out random holiday decorations and display them in their yards and windows, then make a scavenger hunt out of it. The decorations didn’t have to be for Christmas; they could be homemade, or for any holiday, including St. Patrick’s Day.

Dunn’s neighbor inflated a 9-foot Halloween pumpkin in his yard, and she put out 4-foot-tall illuminated candy canes, along with a Valentine heart and shamrocks in the windows. Families who go outside for fresh air could tally up and categorize by holiday the decorations they see. About 30 houses participated.

“We need to have a way to kind of feel connected as a community and be entertained,” said Dunn, 36, who works in public relations. “I’m working from home these days, and we just felt like we had to find some outlet. It gives us a little piece of sanity with everything happening around us.”

Others around the country are also hauling out boxes packed with decorations and costumes. In Milwaukee, a group of people with dinosaur costumes held a dinosaur parade, with social distancing, of course.

Meanwhile, after enjoying the outdoor scavenger hunt, Dunn’s kids — Tillman, 7, and Faith, 5 — are watching their favorite holiday movies, like “The Polar Express,” thanks to the Hallmark Channel, which is airing a Christmas-movie marathon.

“It feels like an opportunity to bring them joy in a situation that may otherwise feel out of control,” Dunn said.

Perhaps nobody is happier to see Christmas trappings in the spring than Santa Claus — the Christmas-loving, white-bearded man who lives on New York’s Long Island and legally changed his name to Santa Claus in 2012.

When the coronavirus outbreak happened, Claus took to Facebook and asked fans to tell their children to send him their questions and fears. The post office in Copiague, N.Y., agreed to collect letters addressed to Claus and pass them on to him. Claus, 61, then answers kids’ questions on Facebook videos, assuring them that Christmas is still coming in December.

Sometimes, offseason thoughts of Christmas can make people groan, because they think about holiday stress and overspending, and they aren’t feeling the spirit, Claus said. But people who put lights on their houses are just doing the best they can.

“They’re the people who are trying to make the miserable people happy,” said Claus, who of course put up lights at his own home in Copiague.

Grindle, whose tweet sparked much holiday cheer in March, said he’s seeing Twitter hashtags #lightsforhope or #lovelights. He likes seeing that trend, and said that it brings together communities in a dark time.

“We’ll get there eventually,” he said. “There’s going to be a day where normalcy returns.”

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