Minnesota couple says anonymous note from 'Grinch' stole their holiday spirit

We know there’s a Grinch in Whoville, but there might also be one in Burnsville.

A couple in Burnsville were extremely hurt to have someone criticize their holiday decorations in an anonymous letter.

After dark, Adam Duncan's yard inflates to life. He once won a Burnsville yard decorating contest and has even inspired some of his neighbors to decorate over the seasons. And when his Burnsville townhome glows, his personality does, too.

"It's something I can do to brighten people's lives and spirit," Duncan said. "I'm a pretty quiet person, and this is my only way to shine."

However, someone tried to dim his light last week. In a red envelope resembling a holiday card, someone mailed an anonymous letter, writing "your yard decorations (if you call it that) are very much an eyesore for the neighborhood."

"We received the letter, and (Adam) was just crushed. He was teary-eyed. He's like, ‘What do I do? Do I take it down?’" said his wife, Brandi Joy.

Understandably angry herself, she put a spotlight on the person in multiple Facebook groups, calling them a "Grinch." Through thousands of positive Facebook comments, the couple found some of the holiday spirit they had lost.

"I've had people reach out from Australia, England, all over the United States, all over Minnesota, asking if they can send us Christmas cards, if they can donate anything, telling me their stories of how Christmas really helped," she said.

Speaking of how Christmas has helped, Duncan spent three weeks putting together the holiday display. For him, it’s become an outlet to help continue his sobriety.

"We all have our story. My story is recovery. This person might have their story," Duncan said.

The couple now says maybe the person responsible isn't a green grump trying to steal Christmas after all but rather, someone in need.

"We understand that not everybody enjoys the holiday season. Maybe you have a loved one that you lost during this time, and it's really hard. Maybe it's your first holiday season without them," Joy said.

They hope to spread that compassion through Burnsville the way it was done for the Grinch in Whoville.

Duncan and Joy said they really appreciate people offering decorations or money, but instead, they ask that people donate to their favorite charities or do something nice for their neighbors.