Christmas lights have become a huge part of holiday traditions, with families taking tours of the brightest homes on the block.
Some homes, however, have chosen to decorate their homes and give back to the community at the same time.
In Southington, 16-year-old Andrew Gallagher turned a holiday light display, at his home on Plum Orchard Road, into a small hobby, and this year it got even bigger.
“Usually we have a lot of people that come through, but I remember there was one night the whole street was packed,” Gallagher said.
He set up a magical display all by himself, and set the lights to music, and there is a small spot on the front lawn dedicated to collecting canned food donations.
“100 percent of the proceeds goes to Southington Community Services which goes to people who really need the food the most,” Gallagher said.
A string of homes in Middletown is doing the same. The Sand Hill Road Holiday of Lights collects food for local shelters and the humane society.
“It's just beautiful; gets you in the Christmas spirit,” said Karen Craig.
Families have traveled from out of town to experience the magic and do their part.
“We came with non-perishables, soups, some different sauces. Very happy to be giving, this is such a giving time of year,” David Craig said.
The Plum Orchard Road family in Southington collected four big boxes of canned food last year, and Gallagher said he hopes to double that in 2016.
“This is kind of my gift back to the community for all the stuff that they've done for me,” he said.
The lights on Plum Orchard Road are on from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. until Jan. 1.
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