Grieving family shamed for not putting up holiday decorations

VACAVILLE, Calif.  -- A California family received a letter from an anonymous neighbor calling them Scrooges for not decorating their home in a neighborhood known for its elaborate displays.

Lyndia Ives Zarra told KTXL she actually loves to decorate. Her mom, Cheri, hand-painted many decorations over the years, which are usually proudly displayed in the family's yard this time of year.

But Cheri passed away from cancer very recently. Due to grief over the loss of her mother, Lyndia refrained from decorating this year.

The author of the letter writes it is "completely unacceptable to not decorate a house for Christmas if you live on Candy Cane or Lollipop Lane." The letter calls them disrespectful, rude and selfish because they didn't decorate.

"When you get a letter like that, it's heartbreaking," Lyndia said Wednesday. "Because it's not like I was trying to make the street ugly or whatever. I just had to deal with my family and I."

Lyndia said she just needed space to grieve this year.

"I didn't need somebody telling me how bad I was doing," she said.

Lyndia shared the nasty letter on the Solano County Community Awareness Facebook page and has received hundreds of messages of support.

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5 comments

  • paul

    this is the world we live in now..(the facebook world) where your business, is EVERYONES business how shamefull.. yet im sure they feel none

  • Elizabeth Mason

    It is very hard to lose someone you love so close to the holidays. Maybe this person should have asked if there was any way to help or put some up for her. This woman did nothing wrong. She focused on her family and herself like she should have. Shame on the person who wrote the letter!

  • Patti

    Poor surburbian neighbor was suffering and in pain with the loss of her mother. Instead of compassion or kindness, the neighborhood shamed and shunned her. The Twilight Zone (American TV series from 1960s) was a useful social commentary on suburbia — see the episode The Monsters are Due on Maple Street – all about neighbors who KNOW NOTHING but assume everything an disaster ensues.