Roanoke and Salem Christmas lights Facebook page has nearly 13,000 members

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:30 PM EST
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - You never know how many people you can reach with the simplest actions.

“I mean, I figured some people would catch on, but not like it did,” said Janet Chaney, the creator of Neighborhood Christmas Light Displays of Salem & Roanoke Area.

She never thought a Facebook page dedicated solely to Christmas lights would be seen by nearly 13,000 people. The idea began last year, just so people could find her house. Since then, it’s taken off.

“I live off the beaten path in the community, so not a lot of people get to see it, and then I realized, ‘well there’s a lot of people in the area who decorate and I don’t know where they are or how to see them, so it would be great to have a centralized location where everyone can post something, post lights, houses, so people know where to go,’” said Chaney.

Jason Paker quickly joined the effort, contributing a map. From Daleville down to the town of Narrows, houses with light displays are marked. The map has more locations added each day.

“One thing we’ve done is added a layer to the map with events so things like the Salem Christmas Tree lighting and parade or Dickens of a Christmas in Roanoke. All those things are added to the map with a special icon,” said Jason Parker.

The page and the map keep Janet and Jason busy, but they don’t mind.

“Last year I was outside when a car was going by and a child rolled down the window and said ‘thank you for the lights!’ I may or may not have wanted to cry a little bit,” recalled Chaney.

“Everybody who puts lights out, it’s like a gift to everybody who rides by or walks by or happens to see it,” said Parker.

They started as strangers, and now have a year long friendship in the books over their joint love of a holiday, and the cheer that holiday brings.

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