'I guess love isn't all around': West Haddon woman 'gutted' after receiving 'nasty' letter about her Christmas decorations

After receiving floods of praise from West Haddon residents, Katie and Gary were aghast to receive one very unpleasant letter from an unknown disgruntled neighbour

By Megan Hillery
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 9:22 am
Updated Thursday, 9th December 2021, 11:04 am

A West Haddon woman speaks of her dismay at a 'nasty' letter that was posted to her home anonymously to complain about her Christmas decorations.

Katie Coleman, 37,shared the letter on social media on Monday (December 6).

The anonymous note, typed out in giant bold letters, reads: "Well done for ramming your eye-sore 'Chris Biggins Panto' decorations on residence in this beautiful village."

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Katie and Gary Coleman with the festive decorations outside their home in West Haddon. Photo by Kirsty Edmonds.

Despite the letter being typed out on a computer, the address on the envelope was handwritten and no name was signed on the anonymous complaint.

The decor in question consists of a festive archway of garlands over Katie's cottage porch comprised of baubles, lights, stars, candy canes, gingerbread men and sweets - all in vibrant reds, glittery silver and gold. It is accompanied by a matching handmade Christmas bauble wreath on her front door and a small tree adorned with lights.

The display took over three days for Katie and her husband, Gary Coleman, to put together and residents in the village responded by sending letters of praise about how much they admired the decor - although, unfortunately, not all of them were pleasant.

Katie said: "We have had so many lovely comments from little kids in the village so we were absolutely gutted when a miserable grinch came along and left us that nasty note.

Katie and Gary Coleman were 'gutted' to receive this anonymous angry letter.

"It's so hard because we don't know who sent it. Do we walk past them every day in the street? Is it a neighbour? It is someone who we drink with at the pub? We don't know.

"We were trying to bring some joy to the village and they're not getting in on that and it's a shame but I am not going to let the views of one person overshadow all the lovely messages we got from others."

Thankfully, there was just the one negative response.

Another letter from a nine-year-old boy said: "To the Colemans, thank you for bringing joy to the village with your wonderful decorations. I love walking past your home."

The Colemans raised just under £2,000 for the NHS last summer when they decorated their home with rainbow colours.

A letter written in rainbow colours, signed by the name of Emily, reads: "Hello! I just wanted to drop a note to say the bright colours of your house always make me smile. Thank you for bringing such joy during such a strange time."

Katie and her husband put a rainbow on the front of their cottage last summer and raised a jaw-dropping amount of just under £2,000 within West Haddon for the NHS. They were selling NHS stickers for recycle bins at the time so that residents could publicly show their support for NHS staff so they initially used the display to draw attention to their good cause.

Talking about the response to the colourful rainbow display, Katie said: "People just loved it. It was just a way of giving something back when there was nothing to do and bring the village together. People loved that it was just a talking point.

"We received such lovely feedback and although our Christmas decorations aren’t for charity this time, we decided to try and bring some cheer again."

The Christmas wreath was handmade by Katie Coleman. Photo by Kirsty Edmonds

Katie used to own a beauty salon in Daventry, which she ran for more than 10 years. She, however, decided to let the salon go shortly after the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020 as she saw it as a 'good time for a change.'

She created a Christmas wreath for her front door and a passer-by, who admired it, then asked Katie if she could make one for her too. This is how Katie's door decorating business 'UnBeWreathAble' was born.

Katie, on her new business, said: "It gave me a focus. I decorate for other people and make Christmas wreaths for them; I've sold so many in the village."

The Chronicle & Echo asked Katie what message she would give to the anonymous letter sender complaining about her 'Chris Biggins Panto Decorations'. She replied: "Christmas may not be all around but, if you look, it might be behind you."

She added jokingly: "Hashtag Chris Biggins to Katie's!"

The festively decorated cottage in West Haddon attracted a lot of attention from residents. Photo by Kirsty Edmonds.
The festively decorated cottage in West Haddon attracted a lot of attention from residents. Photo by Kirsty Edmonds.