After a Minnesota nurse who works with patients in a coronavirus ward put up Christmas lights on her home, an anonymous neighbor left her a letter chastising her because the lights represented “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.”
Minnesota woman blasted for 'harmful' Christmas lights is a nurse on a coronavirus ward https://t.co/T7Ey1wl471
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 10, 2020
Kim Hunt, who lives in St. Anthony, Minnesota, received the letter, which stated:
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.
We must do the work of educating ourselves about the harmful impact an outward facing display like yours can have. I challenge you 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; St. Anthony is a community welcoming of all people and we must demand better of ourselves.
Hunt told Fox News that she and her husband were “very surprised, shocked, and saddened by the letter,” adding: “The lights give me joy after coming home from work as a nurse working with COVID,” she said. “I wish we could all celebrate diversity and honor everyone’s traditions.” She asserted that “these times we live in are so divisive” and that it’s “a sad statement that Christmas lights have to be a target.”
Social media harshly criticized the letter-writer — even former Baltimore Ravens quarterback Derek Anderson chimed in, stating: “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.”
College football reporter Lisa Horne tweeted: “Can I send this resident 10,000 BLINKING MUSICAL lights and a Giant sleigh pulled by 8 GIANT reindeer? These people complaining are the same people who preach diversity but don’t want anyone celebrating ANY individuality while they sit at home and get a paid day off.”
Can I send this resident 10,000 BLINKING MUSICAL lights and a Giant sleigh pulled by 8 GIANT reindeer? These people complaining are the same people who preach diversity but don't want anyone celebrating ANY individuality while they sit at home and get a paid day off. https://t.co/NecBaYfzkV
— Lisa Horne (@LisaHorne) December 8, 2020
Writer Michael Quinn Sullivan added: “The correct response is to double the number of twinkling lights.”
The correct response is to double the number of twinkling lights. https://t.co/HJRQ7Vooot
— Michael Quinn Sullivan🇺🇸 (@MQSullivan) December 9, 2020
Radio host Mike Opelka: “And, we have a new nominee for today’s Woke Olympics gold medal.”
And, we have a new nominee for today's Woke Olympics gold medal. https://t.co/lE314vi2lT
— Mike Opelka (@stuntbrain) December 8, 2020
“A GoFundMe has also been set up to supply Christmas lights to homes along the street, while Hunt says a local company has offered to come and install festive decorations for free,” the Daily Mail reported, adding that one Arizona woman responded to the story by writing that she was going to put up extra Christmas lights, and stated:
The letter did make me somewhat upset because it’s not a true representation of what I believe people feel right now. I grew up without a lot of money, yet one of our family traditions was to go out on Christmas Eve after Mass and look at other people’s Christmas lights. I have friends who aren’t religious yet they appreciate the art of Christmas lights as well. I don’t really think it has anything to do with that. The “I can’t have it so you can’t have it” offended-by-everything mentality is so sad and especially in a year where everyone is looking for something uplifting, there’s no reason to shame those who do enjoy this type of thing.