Chris Kennedy from North Little Rock, Arkansas, just like many of us, loves putting up the decorations to get into the Christmas spirit. And one of his yearly festive traditions is a joyful inflatable figure of black Santa Claus. Chris told Today that “after three years of having no problems from anyone with our decorations,” this year, things went very differently.

The family of three, along with his wife Iddy and their 4-year-old daughter, were left in utter shock after one day, they received a hateful note left in their mail. Signed by “Santa Claus,” the typed letter featured extreme racist text and urged the family to “move to a neighborhood out east with the rest of their kind.”

First Chris read the note out loud on Facebook live, and later, shared it with a couple of news outlets. It soon blew up on social media, and many people stepped in to show Chris and his family their love and support. He said he’s been trying hard to stay positive and felt humbled by his neighbors coming together to have his back.

And as for the black Santa, there no plans to take it down. “The children love it and that’s what Christmas is about,” Kennedy told the press.

Chris from Arkansas made it a yearly festive tradition to put up a joyful figure of Black Santa on his lawn

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

But this year, he found a disgusting hate note left in his mail

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

The letter also had this picture of white Santa showing the thumbs-down

Image credits: THV11

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

The letter went viral after Chris Kennedy posted it on Facebook and shared the copy with the TV station KLRT. It’s not entirely clear who sent the envelope, but it had the return address of the Lakewood Property Owner’s Association.

After CNN contacted LPOA’s executive director Evan Blake, he stated that the Association had nothing to do with it. Blake also said he paid a visit to the Kennedy family and gave them a free membership to the LPOA. “We have never had anyone attack anyone based on their race. Racism is something that we do discriminate against and we will not stand for it,” Blake told CNN.

The Kennedy family have been living in the area for three years and have never had problems with their decorations

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

But neighbors stepped in to show their love and support for the Kennedys

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

Chris felt grateful for the overwhelming support he received and assured the black Santa will stay to fill hearts with joy

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

Meanwhile, Chris has his own suspicions of who could have sent him a hateful letter. “I feel like it’s a combination of politics and actual racism. I am not sure that it was solely about just the Black Santa display as much as it was legitimately just racism, in general.”

But for Chris, putting up a Black Santa figure every year has very personal significance. According to CNN, it brings back fond childhood memories of looking at elaborate light displays with his father, who died over 15 years ago on Thanksgiving Day. “Putting up Christmas displays reminds me of him,” Kennedy said of his father.

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

Image credits: Chris Kennedy

And this is what people had to comment about it