Lethbridge residents decking the halls a little earlier in 2020
Garfield Bland in Lethbridge, Alta. goes all out with his Christmas light display each year and he's started decorating even earlier because of the pandemic.
LETHBRIDGE -- Christmas is over a month away but that’s not stopping some people from getting into the spirit.
“I really felt that people need something to kind of cheer them and this is, this is good it’s outside,” said project addict Garfield Bland. “It’s something to do, with the family and this kind of thing.”
For more than 30 years, Bland has set up his Christmas light display outside his home. He’s hoping to fight the virus in the air by pumping a little Christmas cheer into the community.
Visitors wanting to stop by his home on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 13th Street North won’t be allowed inside, but Bland is still finding a way to make them feel welcome.
“We usually let people in the yard and I think we’ll still do that,” said Bland.
He isn’t the only one getting into the holiday spirit early. Green Haven Garden Centre is already seeing people shopping for the season.
“We’re having earlier shoppers and people are wanting to feel that Christmas feel,” said spokesperson Gail Smith. “There is still a little bit of concern and fear about COVID and (we’re) not sure if we are going to get shut down again. They just feel if they are going to be doing something they want to get it done.”
According to psychologist Dr. Ganz Ferrance, embracing the season this early can be of benefit.
"It's a good way to adjust and help kind of balance things out for everything we've been dealing with. It gives us back a sense of we're in charge of our lives and our experience a little bit, which is also a very good coping mechanism.”
He says people also need to start thinking creatively about how they'll connect with family if gatherings are not allowed.
"It is going to be different this year," he said. "Start to make peace with that."
A new Christmas normal resonates with Bland.
“I don’t know how much family stuff, get together stuff is going on. I guess we’ll all just do what we need to do, and hope for next year.”