Skip to main content

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. 


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. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.


Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.


Mill City Museum in the running to be named best history museum in the U.S.

The museum offers scenic views of the Mississippi River.


Man charged with attempted murder of White Bear Lake police officer

Daniel Holmgren Jr., 33, was being served an arrest warrant at the time of the incident.


Gallery: 1,000-acre Wisconsin resort listed for nearly $4.3M

The lush landscape features a creek and private lake.

school bus

Alert after Woodbury students approached by strangers asking if they want candy

Valley Crossing Elementary School urged parents to go over safety information with their children in response to the incident.

basketball unsplash stock

North St. Paul basketball cancels Eden Prairie game after opposing coach's reinstatement

Head Coach Cornelius Gilleylen said he let his players decide amongst themselves.



Asian supermarket, food hall planned for Burnsville Center faces delay

City officials hope the plans will spark further revitalization at the aging mall.


Brewery planned for vacant space in Burnsville's Aurora Village

The vacant space has been operated seasonally as Halloween Express since 2018.


Asian supermarket, food hall planned for Burnsville Center

The Asian shopping and dining hub could open as soon as Lunar New Year.


Massive Burnsville landfill expansion nears final approvals

The City of Burnsville and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are accepting public feedback on the proposal.


Canton Restaurant closes after nearly 40 years in Burnsville

It's the end of an era in the Twin Cities restaurant world.


Burnsville approves measure that will make its landfill much taller

The expansion will increase the landfill's allowable height by an additional 268 feet.