Family replaces decorations destroyed by vandals

Chase Thomas restores the holiday decorations vandals tore down.
Chase Thomas restores the holiday decorations vandals tore down.
Chase and his kids rebuild their holiday display.
Chase and his kids rebuild their holiday display.

SPRINGFIELD TWP, OH (FOX19) - The lights and tinsel are back on at a home in Springfield Township where vandals earlier this week destroyed the outdoor holiday decorations.

Having a Christmas light display is important Chase Thomas and his family and even his neighbors, but when someone vandalized his decorations Thomas says his initial reaction was to get even. "At first sure I wanted to. All I could see was red."

Neighbors Velma Lehmann says she wasn't happy either. "To think that kids don't have anything better to do than to trash somebody else's Christmas just made me sick."

However, Chase says his 5 year-old son, Kaleb,  said something that instantly calmed him down. "Hearing my son say, you know, we forgive just all went away, the anger went away, the frustration. That's when the true meaning of Christmas just came back."

Chase says he even put some yard signs to let tell vandals 'no hard feelings.' "We have no resentment. This is Christmas....merry Christmas we forgive you."

Chase says the ordeal has made him take a hard look at himself. "I'm easy to get angry especially when someone does something like this, you know, this is what my kids enjoy, this is what we all enjoy. My son taught me a valuable lesson.  He taught me to forgive."

Velma Lehman says its an example of good family values. "It just shows me that they've raised their kids in the right way to forgive and forget which is a hard thing to do when your whole Christmas has been trashed that you've put into for your kids."

Chase says his family loves their holiday displays so much they went out and got more decorations. "I love Christmas. Growing up as a kid I loved the Christmas lights, Christmas trees. I continue to do it and I have plans to continue doing it and, again, its something the kids love and its something that I love."

Velma Lehman says she's glad to see the decorations back on the Thomas's lawn. "I think this is great that he got all the decorations and it looks really neat."

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