Christmas has always been a festive time of year for the residents of Lake Ridge Commons, a senior-living community in Wilmington, North Carolina.
"We had door-decorating contests, wrapping-paper covered doors, festive wreaths," resident Leigh Bowser told television station WECT.
But this year, there will be no door-decorating contests or doors covered in wrapping paper or even Christmas wreaths.
"Now, Christmas is illegal," Bowser said. "Any display of Christmas is banned."
For the record, residents are more than welcome to haul out the holly and hang the tinsel inside their homes—but outside is strictly forbidden.
"During 2017, offensive postings were placed on some doors which were offensive to other resident [sic] and other visitors and not of an acceptable nature and some resident's [sic] items were removed," Excel Property Management president Ann Hanson wrote in a letter to residents.
She acknowledged that in previous years, the apartment complex had permitted folks to deck the halls with boughs of holly—but in July, they advised tenants of a provision in their lease that prohibits placing items outside their apartments in public view.
"Most residents have complied as requested—however, recently a season wreath was placed on a door," Hanson wrote (And by "season" wreath, I assume she's referring to a Christmas wreath).
Last month, residents organized and sent a letter to the management company urging them to reconsider, the television station reported. But the management company doubled down.
"Moving forward, we have been advised by our legal counsel to adhere to our lease to the fullest," the management company informed the senior citizens.
Hanson wrote in her letter to residents that they were welcome to help decorate common areas of the complex "where we can more easily supervise that."
Heaven forbid one of the Golden Girls tries to sneak in Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus.
"That policy is not intended to hurt the Holiday Season, but to preserve it," Hanson wrote.
Ah yes—out of sight, out of mind.
"I think it's a shame, because it's holiday time," resident Ann Taylor told the television station. "People are paying their rent. They own that door. To be told we can't put wreaths up is really horrible, and a lot of people are upset."
Technically, residents do not own the doors. They rent the doors. And this is a good lesson for renters: Be sure to read the lease before you sign the lease.
Excel Property Management has every right to require residents to follow the terms of their lease. If the management company wants to turn Lake Ridge Commons into a modern-day version of Potterville—that is their prerogative.
But just because Excel Property Management has a legal right to be cold-hearted and cruel and Grinch-like—doesn't mean they should.
Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.
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