Grandmother puts up Christmas lights garnering hope during stay-home order

Christmas heart for hope during Coronavirus outbreak
Posted at 10:49 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 02:25:54-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Point Loma grandmother put up Christmas lights to spread cheer during California's stay-home order.

It started when Johnene Smith saw Italians singing in solidarity amid a lock down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. She then heard about people putting up Christmas lights to brighten neighbors spirits and something clicked.

"I'm like I can do that! I don't have to leave my house and people can walk by and see the heart and [spread] just a little joy," Smith said.

So she put up a glowing heart in her living room window. "I went and found a piece of cardboard, made a heart and poked little holes and put the lights in it, so they could see my heart is out there for everyone."

Smith hoped it would bring some much needed joy during the stay-at-home order which is keeping her from her seven grandchildren. "The youngest is going to be a year old in two weeks and we're not going to be able to go to her birthday party," She said sadly.

She took this time to focus instead on what she can control, which is her happiness. Particularly, that means reminiscing about Christmastime, "it was really the last time we had joy before everything started was at Christmastime so why not bring back a little joy in a time where we can't control it."

Her display went up Friday sparking her neighbors to light up their own homes.

Neighbor Jojo Peters was thrilled at the idea. "When Johnene says let's do lights, I said okay! And I went and dug them out as fast as I could and threw them up!"

Both want to spread love and calm.

'I just want them to see the hope that's there, and that we're all there for each other,' she said.

Smith hopes more San Diegans join in spreading cheer in this time of uncertainty.