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Christmas Tree Snark Turns into Community Ceremony

When residents saw the Christmas tree unveiled in downtown Newport, Washington, some of them were less than impressed. Fritz Turner said, “It wasn’t really great. Kinda poorly decorated. It’s almost like they didn’t have the time for it this year. They were just kinda like ‘throw the lights up, get it done.’”

When Turner saw what he felt was such a pitiful display, he got an idea. “I wanted to make a joke of it really, so I made a GoFundMe.” On the listing, he promised to take the money to purchase and decorate a better-looking Christmas tree, but he also dropped in a few barbs. “Even Charlie Brown's Christmas tree looked better than this sad spruce. When they put these lights up, the value of our homes dropped.”

Clearly Turner was not the only one feeling that way, because the post collected more than $2,700 from over 60 donors in a matter of days. Additionally, there were people who donated directly to the city of Newport, earmarking their funds specifically for the Christmas tree.

All the commotion got the attention of Jason Totland, president of the Newport Chamber of Commerce. Totland quickly mobilized 30 or so volunteers to stage a tree-lighting ceremony, complete with hot chocolate, an appearance from Santa Claus, and giveaways for kids.

Turner said, “I’m really inspired by how quick the community gathered to put on this event. It’s really cool that something that started out as a joke became something so big, and I’m just inspired to do more work for the community.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Good natured humorous “snarking” can serve as an opportunity to call attention to something that needs correction and seek the good of the community. When done correctly, criticism can result in positive action.

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