If this were any other year, putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving might earn you a few side glances from the neighbors. But it's 2020, and most of us have been not-so-secretly waiting to get into the holiday spirit for months. So, when Chris Kennedy started decorating his front yard in early November, he did so with zero shame. Along with his 4-year-old daughter, the North Little Rock, Arkansas, dad hung twinkly lights, blew up an inflatable Christmas tree, and set up a giant Santa figure next to a light-up sign that read "Joy." Little did he know that just days later, the family would receive an anonymous racist letter complaining that their Santa was Black.
The Kennedy family loves decorating their home for Christmas.
Kennedy told the Washington Post that he does it early every year and has never received any complaints before.
And this year, the word "JOY" is literally lit up in bright, Christmasy colors. (Who can complain about that?!)
After all, why should he? The light-hearted holiday display is literally designed to make passersby smile.
Plus, Kennedy said that he's pretty much put up the same display every holiday season for the last few years.
And yet, someone seems to have suddenly taken issue with it.
The shocking letter arrived in his mailbox November 23.
When the 33-year-old dad opened the envelope, his jaw nearly dropped to the floor as he read it.
"You should try not to deceive children into believing that I am negro," it continued. "I am a caucasian (white man, to you) and have been for the past 600 years. Your being jealous of my race is no excuse for your dishonesty."
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After the story began to spread, the mom's faith in humanity was restored.
For starters, their neighborhood homeowner's association condemned the letter and confirmed that it was not sent on its behalf. Meanwhile, friends, family, and even strangers began overwhelming the couple with support in response to Chris' Facebook Live video.
According to Chris Kennedy, that's all he's trying to accomplish by sharing his story. He also hopes that his story serves as a reminder that there's still a lot more good in this world than bad.
"At the end of the day, what was meant for evil was flipped for good," he noted. "We are showing that we are truly better together and united as one."