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Downtown Vancouver neighbours aim to spread cheer with Christmas light display

(iStock Photo)

Jay Anderson's neighbour is hoping other people will rise to the occasion and spread some holiday kindness

Anderson's spotted his neighbour putting up Christmas lights on some city trees

Since the lights went up, people have been stopping to take pictures, Anderson says it's brought some cheer to the area

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130)  – It’s a small gesture one neighbour believes will have a big impact on the community.

Jay Anderson lives along Homer Street, between Drake and Davie streets. He says he spotted his neighbour putting up some battery-powered Christmas lights on some city trees.

“I said, ‘you’re just doing this on your own?’ And she goes, ‘Yeah, I live across the road and I live on that side of the street.’ And she goes, I just wanted to make it a little nicer.'”

After speaking to her for a few minutes more, Anderson says he was inspired by her kindness, and he wanted to give back to the neighbourhood too.

“I had to leave, but I said, ‘I’ll tell you what: I’ll pick up some. I’ll do the few trees that are in front of our building; we have a fairly small building.’ When I got home later that afternoon to do my trees, I noticed she’d done all the way up the block on the west side and the four trees that were on her side of the block on the east side. So the whole block, all the trees on the curbside of the block have lights wrapped around them.”

Talking to his neighbour, they both thought the area felt it could use a little happiness.

RELATED: Lights out: District of North Vancouver proposal would dim Christmas displays at night

“Vancouver’s got a little bit of a stigma for not being overly friendly, and overly neighbourly, and we talked about that a little bit, just how people live here, but the community is not always as tight as it could be.”

It’s why Anderson wanted to share his neighbour’s holiday hopes of getting the cheer to catch on.

“It’s only us, and it’s mostly her. I don’t want to take any credit for this. She was the one that had the idea, and I just jumped on. But she was really hoping that maybe some other blocks or some other streets jumped on board and got on with it. Maybe we can see some people stepping up, and upping the ante a bit, and maybe we’ll have to step up our game a little bit on our block.”

In the meantime, Anderson has noticed the decor has made a difference.

“People [have been] walking by, and smiling and taking pictures. So, you know, it’s having a small ripple effect just in our little block.”

If you’re feeling like you want to share a little cheer with your neighbours, Anderson says you should.

“Just do it. Jump in both feet. I think everybody this year, it’s been a really tough year for a lot of people. Whether you’re somebody in the medical field who was employed or somebody in most other fields that weren’t employed for a bulk of the time, there’s been different stresses for everybody. Whether they’re Christmas lights or just lights, it just makes the neighbourhood look good.”

For more Christmas lights and events around the Lower Mainland, click here.