ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A lot of Albuquerque residents are going all out to decorate their homes for the holidays this year. For most, it’s a way to bring joy to others during the pandemic with events like River of Lights and the Twinkle Light Parade canceled. Now, a Facebook group is making it easy for you to find out where the best decorations are.

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“For a number of years, I had been wanting something that would show us all these great displays throughout the city,” said Melissa Rex, one of the group’s admins and creators. “All we wanted to do is spread some more cheer and it just warms our hearts to be able to do that for other people.”

They’ve created a Facebook group called the Albuquerque Area Holiday Lights Tour. It maps out close to 200 homes around the metro.

“Each neighborhood is sectioned by either light displays, music displays, there’s neighborhoods that have little gingerbread houses,” said Jared Trujillo, one of the other admins and creators. “We put the map together and if you want to get your house on the map, you just have to message us on the page and we add your house to the map.”

Created just after Thanksgiving, the group is up to almost 9,000 members. It’s filled with posts like suggested routes and even videos of elaborate displays.

“The page really just took off. I don’t even know what happened, but we really just wanted to be able to share some things,” said Rex. “The last several days we’re probably getting a thousand new members a day. We still can’t believe it.”

Organizers of the group say it shows just how much people need a little extra Christmas cheer in 2020. They hope this will encourage families to start new traditions.

“Now they can kind of create their own parade and drive through the neighborhoods. We get a 100 cars a night coming down here, taking pictures, sharing letters,” said Trujillo, whose light display went viral last month. “We go hunting every year for Christmas lights and this year’s been something else and we’ve been able to take our kids to see houses we never knew about.”

Trujillo says they’re also looking to give back to the community during the holiday lights tour. His display, Trujillo’s Winter Wonderland on Waterford Place, is accepting canned good donations for the Storehouse through Jan. 3. They’ve also got a mailbox for kids to drop off their letters to Santa through Dec. 19, and will mail letters back to the kids from “the North Pole.”

The Facebook group is also sponsoring a few giveaways this week. They’re working with the Rio Rancho Events Center to give tickets to A Magical Mesa XMAS to members of the group.

In addition to the Facebook group, Trujillo and Rex have also made a Google map filled with the map of homes, as well as addresses to find them at. A second Facebook group is also up now, highlighting holiday displays in the Santa Fe area.

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