A family in Newton, Mass., received an anonymous letter, reportedly from their neighbors, calling their home's Christmas decorations "tacky and kitschy" and demanding that they take the decorations indoors because "not everybody in the neighborhood is Christian."
Kelly Hunter and her family have been putting up a vibrant and elaborate Christmas display on the outside of their home in Newton for nearly 40 years as a part of a holiday tradition started by Kelly's father, William Hunter, a local firefighter who is now deceased. The decorations include several lights adorning the home, a baby Jesus in a nativity, Santa, snowmen, toy soldiers and other classic Christmas characters dotting the home's front yard and roof.
Recently, the Hunter family received a letter telling the family that their spirited display was "cheap, tacky and kitschy."
"Not everybody in the neighborhood is Christian and many people do not wish to see such a flagrant display of your beliefs," the letter states. "You are of course free worship as you believe, celebrate as you please, and free to have bad taste, but please have the good sense to do these things in the privacy of your own home."
The letter adds that the "tacky" decorations are a "terrible eye-sore on the neighborhood … All religious matters aside, your decorations themselves are beyond tasteless."
The letter was signed by "your neighbors," although Kelly Hunter says she's suspicious that the letter is from her actual neighbors because most of the neighbors have expressed their enjoyment of the Hunter home decorations, and the letter is postmarked as coming from Boston, about 11 miles from Newton. It is not unrealistic that someone outside Newton would know of the Hunters' display, as it has previously been featured during the holidays by the Boston Globe and the Newton Tab.
In spite of the letter's hurtful comments, the Hunters have said they won't let one scrooge or Grinch spoil the true meaning of Christmas. "It's Christmas. You can't take Christ out of Christmas," Kelly told Fox 25.
"We're not anti-anything. We are Christian, we are celebrating our faith. People are free to do that," another family member, Kristin, added to the local WHDH-TV.
Kelly added that the Hunter family remains ultimately unscathed by the nasty letter, telling WCVB-TV that they have received a lot of support from neighbors who have said they appreciate the flamboyant decorations. "We are proud of what we do and we have had so many people stop by and thank us."
Some neighbors even gathered in front of the home this past Saturday to sing carols as a show of solidarity with the Hunter family.
"Love it, we love it," said neighbor Rick Arnold. "Actually, I don't have to do my house because everybody looks at their house."