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B.C. woman receives encouragement from around the world after Christmas display criticized by 'Grinch' letter

Sooke, B.C. -

After three weeks of working long days to decorate her house for the holidays, Cheryl Dinse was looking forward to inspiring an abundance of Christmas cheer in her neighbourhood.

“It’s such a warm and fuzzy feeling,” Cheryl smiles, looking at the reindeer on her roof, the red bow on her gate, and the Christmas tree along the driveway.

But then Cheryl felt the opposite, after opening her mailbox the other day to find an envelope addressed to "Occupant."

“I opened it and was just stunned at what I read,” Cheryl says. “I was shocked.”

The anonymous letter writer called Cheryl’s house “the joke of the neighbourhood."

"It looks more like Santa’s whorehouse or a Christmas abortion," the letter continued. "Tone it down a bit.”

Cheryl said the letter made her feel afraid: “Who’s out there that could be this angry?”

Although Cheryl suspects she’ll never know who wrote the letter, she had no doubt why she spent so much time decorating this year.

Cheryl’s son died a couple months ago, and working to display all this light during such a dark time is like therapy.

“It really helps me get through,” she says, fighting back tears.

It also helped after a friend posted the letter on a local online community group.

“It’s amazing,” Cheryl says. “It’s hundreds and hundreds of responses.”

Which inspired thousands and thousands of words of encouragement from as far away as Ireland and New Zealand.

“It‘s been wonderful reading it all,” Cheryl smiles.

But nothing could prepare Cheryl for the following days, when she found her mailbox overflowing with dozens and dozens of actual letters from strangers across the country complimenting her decorations.

“It brought tears to my eyes,” Cheryl says.

Then her tears turned to laughter, after someone who lives hours away gifted her a giant Grinch to add to the display.

After Cheryl set-it up in her front yard, she made a merry modification, and attached a replica of the letter to the character. .

“Perhaps that person will walk by and see the exact letter in the Grinch’s hand,” Cheryl laughs.

And perhaps they’ll also be reminded about the true meaning of Christmas. Perhaps — like the Grinch — they’ll feel their heart grow three sizes that day. Top Stories

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