One simple gesture by a neighbor has turned a whole neighborhood into a heart-warming Christmas light display.

According to KTVU Fox 2, Matt Riggs, a resident of Towson, Maryland, heard that his neighbor was having a tough time in life. It was November of last year (2020), and the coronavirus pandemic had many of us in a state of, well, not normal.

Distance learning, grocery delivery, mask mandates, uncertainty, telecommuting, zoom everything - life, as we knew it, was turned upside down.

Riggs and his wife, in an effort of being good neighbors, delivered cookies to Kim Morton to let her know that she is not alone in the isolation. According to the story, Riggs also wanted to show Morton that we are all "connected" through the pandemic, so he hung a string of Christmas lights from his family's home to Morton's home. That gesture caught on and sparked the whole neighborhood to act.

Just to put the proper image in your brain, Kim Morton and her kids live across the street from the Riggs.

It would have been one thing to string lights to a neighbor's home right next door, but to take the effort to hang a string of lights spanning the street? That really shows that you care.

Not long after the Riggs strung their lights, neighbors up and down Dunkirk Road began to follow suit. Before long, the whole block was lit up with lights crossing the street, a glowing sign of neighbors supporting each other.

KTVU reports that one of the residents of Dunkirk Road put nearly 10 hours into making a coat hanger and light display that, when lit, reads, "Love Lives Here" - a sign that really captures the essence of the neighborhood.

Fast forward to 2021. The light display is back, but this year it didn't tiptoe into the neighborhood: it roared in like a lion!

Residents "closed off streets" for 2 days this year to take time to recreate the light display, with neighbors helping each other while Christmas music filled the air. More lights were purchased, sturdier materials were used, and more inspirational signs (reading "Believe" and "Dream") were illuminated along the street.

When asked what he thought about this year's display, Riggs told KTVU that it had grown far beyond what he expected. "I didn't expect anything, really" Riggs said, adding that the lights have brought everyone together.

We've been inside, we've been isolated and alone, and this brought everybody out and together, in a time of year when it’s cold. Normally we don’t see each other in the winter months - Matt Riggs, KTVU

Riggs is getting lots of attention for his little act of kindness which, by all indications, will now become an annual event.

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