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Burnsville couple Adam Duncan and Brandi Joy assumed they'd received a holiday card in the mail Friday when a red envelope pasted with "happy holidays" stickers appeared in the mailbox. 

The anonymous letter sent to their Itokah Valley townhome turned out to be far from the season's greetings they'd expected. 

"Your yard decorations (if you call it that) are very much an eye sore for the neighborhood," the letter, signed "Riverwood Drive resident", reads. "Please stop or at least tame it down." 

Courtesy of Brandi Joy. 

Courtesy of Brandi Joy. 

"When we received that letter, we were really crushed," Joy said in an interview Sunday. 

She explained that the holiday lights are something her husband, who is five years sober, looks forward to each year. 

"He found an outlet — an activity to keep him busy in the winter," she said. 

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Outpouring of support 

"We have a grinch that lives in Burnsville," Joy shared alongside a photo of the letter in a local Facebook group Saturday. 

The post, and another made in the Christmas Decorating Outdoors group, sparked an outpouring of support from the local community and from across the globe. 

"I've had people from Australia, England, all over the United States reach out and ask to send us Christmas cards," Joy said. 

In one message, a nursing home employee recalled taking residents one-by-one to see holiday lights during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

"They talked about how it literally saved their lives because they couldn't handle the isolation," Joy said. 

Joy, who works in social services, said she herself struggles with seasonal affective disorder and understands how difficult the winter months can be for many. 

"A lot of our clients could use that extra boost of brightness in their life, especially during the holidays," she said. 

While she doesn't know who left the letter, Joy said it seems they didn't have the courage to speak face-to-face. 

"Come talk to us and see what it's about," she urged. 

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