By WCBS Staff | February 4, 2021 at 4:12 AM EST – Updated February 4 at 7:05 AM
LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (WCBS) – A family in New York still had their Christmas decorations up in February, apparently angering at least one neighbor, but they say they had more important things to worry about as they grieved family lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Christmas decorations at Sara Pascucci’s home in Bethpage, New York, were put up by her recently deceased father, so she says you’ll forgive the family if they haven’t been taken down yet.
“He was always into Christmas, and those are our fond memories that we have of him, just always decorating and doing a lot of stuff during Christmas,” Pascucci said.
On Christmas Eve, Pascucci says everyone became sick with COVID-19. Her 61-year-old father and 70-year-old aunt eventually died from it.
“My father ended up going to the hospital because he couldn’t breathe. They ended up having to put him on a ventilator, and he passed on January 15th,” Pascucci said.
In the midst of the family’s grief, an anonymous letter arrived Tuesday demanding the decorations be taken down: “Take your Christmas lights down. It’s Valentine’s Day.” It was postmarked Jan. 30 and had no return address.
“We opened it and were a little taken aback because we’ve been through a lot lately,” Pascucci said.
The Pascucci family isn’t the only house that received a letter. Their neighbors down the block, including Lori Kelly, received one, too. Her house also had Valentine’s Day decorations.
“I thought it was really rude, especially now with COVID and everything going on,” Kelly said. “Mind your own business. This is my property, so if I want to leave my Christmas lights on all year long, I will.”
No one knows who sent the letters, but neighbors have a message for them, saying the spirit of Christmas shouldn’t end on Dec. 26.
“I would just like them to remember to be kind, especially during a pandemic. You don’t really know what anybody’s going through,” Pascucci said.
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