When Jim Jordan suffered through a foreclosure, it wasn’t just about the family house. The Costa Mesa, Calif. ranch house that he grew up in (but no longer lived in) was host to a gigantic Christmas display. Sure, there was Santa on the roof with reindeer — but there was also an array of Charles Schultz “Peanuts” characters that drew some 80,000 visitors annually. Now, the city of Costa Mesa is moving the entire 200-foot display — including Peppermint Patty playing hockey with a Christmas present instead of a puck — to outside City Hall.
According to a story by the Associated Press, the lights we set to go on last night. A city spokesman was quoted as saying that more than $1,000 in donations had come in to help defray the estimated $1,800 electric bill.
The move is part of a neighborhood campaign to save the display, which Jordan, 59, has been working on since he was a teenager. It features all the classic Peanuts characters — such as Schroeder banging away on his toy piano — in a holiday setting of tinsel, candy canes, and of course lights, lights, lights. (Snoopy, wearing a festive red hat, stands beneath a Christmas tree).
As to the ranch house itself, it’s the victim of a failed loan modification attempt. Jordan, a contractor whose business suffered in the Great Recession, quit making payments in order to better negotiate for a modification with his lender — but the effort did not work out. As a result, the home was foreclosed upon a little more than a year ago, with the lender, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, waiting to take possession until the tenants’ lease ran out.
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Jordan has filed a legal action to attempt to get his house back, according to the AP. But in the meantime, at least Santa — and Charlie Brown and Linus and Woodstock — is safe for the season.