DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - While Thanksgiving is just a few days away, many residents throughout the Grand Strand and Pee Dee are putting up their Christmas decorations a bit early, apparently to the dismay of others.
WMBF News viewer Candace Anderson lives along Beth Drive in Darlington and decided she would add a little Christmas cheer to her home prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Several other neighbors along the same street also put up a few decorations in an effort get into the holiday spirit.
"I don't have anything against Thanksgiving," Anderson said. "I don't want to skip it. I just threw a few decorations out for my kids, and I got a nasty note."
On Monday she and some of her neighbors found letters in their mailboxes, in which an anonymous letter writer expressed his or her anger that people had even thought about adding a string of lights or a single Christmas tree their porches before Santa was seen at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"I am very happy that you are merry and in the Christmas spirit," the letter reads. "There is nothing better than the birth of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. However, I think we should first give thanks."
Another part of the letter reads, "We need to take time out of our busy schedules to give thanks for the smaller things in life, and obviously you have time since you are decorating for Christmas at the beginning of November."
Anderson said she thought it was rude for someone to assume there is no good reason for decorating early.
"There are families who may have a member who won't make it through Christmas," Anderson explained. "So they want to celebrate early... or loved ones home from military service."
Anderson posted her opinion on the WMBF News Facebook page also.
"How would you feel if you had a brother, sister, mother, father who was only able to come home from Afghanistan in November?" she wrote.
She also was offended by other parts of the letter.
"How would you feel if someone skipped your birthday and instead of buying you a present on your birthday, they gave it to your best friend whose birthday was the next month?" the letter continued.
It also read, "Do not leave anyone out including Thanksgiving. Buy one of those inflatable turkeys and leave Frosty in the closet until December."
The anonymous Grinch or Scrooge, signed the letter "Sincerely, Your favorite November holiday, Thanksgiving."
With her bare bones decorations that are barely visible during the daylight hours, Anderson felt the author of the letter put more effort into their rant than she did on her decorating.
"I do not know if you make it a hobby of riding through town and forcing your opinion on to others or if you have some strange pleasure in making others feel guilty about celebrating a holiday that means so much to so many," she said to 'Thanksgiving' in her letter on Facebook. "I find it ironic that a holiday to celebrate the Lord's love would warrant such rudeness."
Anderson said she feels terrible for her neighbors who might have other, more important reasons for putting out their Christmas decorations early, and added that she had been waiting until next weekend to really go crazy with more holiday decor.
"Seems kind of silly to waste so much time looking for negativity," she wrote.
Sandy Schultz who lives just a few doors down on Beth Drive did not get a letter, but she still found the idea offensive. Her outdoor Christmas decorations are not out yet, but she said she feels it is each homeowner's right to decorate however and whenever he or she wants.
She said she and Anderson understand the frustration some people have about stores starting Christmas early. However, she said that is no reason to take it out on homeowners.
"As far as carrying it into the residences and our cul-de-sac, I don't agree with that," Schultz said. "if it was that important they should have signed it, instead of leaving a generic letter in the mailbox."
A spokesperson for the US Postal Service said it is a violation of postal regulations to put unstamped mail in a mailbox. So whoever is responsible could be asked to pay the cost of postage or more severe penalties. However, without a name there was no way to attempt to figure out just who "Thanksgiving" is.
In the meantime, neighbors are on the lookout for "Thanksgiving" should he or she put any more letters into mailboxes.