CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago couple’s attempt to process their grief about the Sandy Hook school massacre three years ago has become a poignant holiday tradition.

Outside their two-flat in Edgewater, artists Laura Gilmore and Caro D’Offay have erected a giant letter to Santa Claus, complete with an 8-foot-tall pencil, a 5-foot wide plate of cookies, and a huge glass of milk.

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The first built the display in December 2012, not long after a gunman killed 20 students and 6 staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“Pretty depressed about Sandy Hook shooting; we thought it was difficult to celebrate Christmas with the regular Christmas message, so we thought we’d make something that spoke to violence in an uplifting way. I mean, as uplifting as you can be in a situation like that,” D’Offay said.

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Each year since, they’ve conjured a correspondence between Santa and a fictitious boy named Bobby.

D’Offay said the message is one of sympathy and kindness combating the hate and violence in the world.

“We’re trying to create a universal theme of compassion. It’s not religious; it’s not political,” D’Offay said.

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You can click on the image below to read the full letter.

(Credit: Brad Edwards)

(Credit: Brad Edwards)