House with Christmas lights shamed for ‘systemic biases’ toward others who can’t afford to decorate
In St. Anthony, Minnesota, a COVID nurse named Kim Hunt received an anonymous letter from one of her neighbors on Monday attempting to shame her and her husband for putting up a basic Christmas light display. The lights cheer the nurse up when she comes home after dealing with the pandemic all day long and they reaffirm her Christian faith. But someone has chosen to be offended. The Grinch-like move has infuriated those who cherish the season and their lights.
“I couldn’t help but notice your Christmas light display. During these unprecedented times, we have all experienced challenges which casual words just don’t describe what we’re feeling. The idea of twinkling, colorful lights are a reminder of divisions that continue to run through our society, a reminder of systemic biases against our neighbors who don’t celebrate Christmas or who can’t afford to put up lights of their own,” the letter, shared by Crime Watch Minneapolis, reads. “We must do the work of educating ourselves about the harmful impact an outward facing display like yours can have.”
The letter then calls upon the resident to “respect the dignity of all people, while striving to learn from differences, ideas, and opinions of our neighbors.”
“We must come together collectively and challenge these institutional inequities,” the letter concludes. “St. Anthony is a community welcoming of all people and we must demand better for ourselves.”
Hunt and her husband were very surprised, shocked, and saddened by the letter. It was delivered less than two weeks before Christmas.
“The lights give me joy after coming home from work as a nurse working with COVID,” she stated. “I wish we could all celebrate diversity and honor everyone’s traditions.”
Hunt noted that “these times we live in are so divisive” and that it’s “a sad statement that Christmas lights have to be a target.”
St. Anthony resident receives anonymous letter chastising them for their Christmas light display and calls it a reminder of "systemic biases against our neighbors who don't celebrate Christmas or can't afford to put up lights of their own."
It further calls the lights "harmful." pic.twitter.com/Xh11jbnswz
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) December 7, 2020
“We need to be inclusive of everyone, and let’s face it, a lot of people put up holiday lights or decorate their homes for other occasions to bring beauty and happiness to what can be a very ugly world,” she added.
Hunt is not alone… three other households have received the same letter, though it was not immediately clear if anyone knows the identity of the letter writer.
There was massive pushback on social media. Even Baltimore Ravens quarterback Derek Anderson chimed in: “Saw this coming a long time ago. ‘If I can’t have it nobody can’ or ‘if they have it we all deserve it’ that’s not life.”
Saw this coming a long time ago. “If I can’t have it nobody can” or “ if they have it we all deserve it” that’s not life.
— Derek Anderson (@DAnderson314) December 7, 2020
Another pointed out the irony that the letter writer is “doing exactly what they accuse the homeowner of doing- not being accepting of others.”
“I would redouble my lights,” they added, echoing others on Twitter.
One even made a reference to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, stating they would gladly help Hunt ‘Clark Griswold’ her home. The sentiment is widespread.
If this guy wants to Clark Griswold his house this weekend, I’ll lend him a hand.
— KKdecorates (@kkdecorates) December 7, 2020