It’s the second time Oak Bay’s holiday Peanuts characters have vanished in thin air and mysteriously re-appeared, but their co-creator Tim Roberts said it’s served to show the community’s heartwarming Christmas spirit.
The magic started about 18 years ago when the Roberts family went all out every Christmas to bring some seasonal spirit to their front yard. A friend of daughter Meghan sketched Charlie Brown, sister Sally, beagle Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and Linus on plywood for her and father Tim, which they carved out together and added to their December decorations for several years.
“We had quite a Christmas display at our house,” Tim said, adding they used to make their Charlie Brown Christmas tree from scratch every year to replicate the iconic Peanuts scene and even accommodated a small ice rink.
Because they lived on a cul-de-sac, their decorations eventually began to interfere with other people in their community and became too much work to keep up at full throttle. It was time for Charlie Brown and the gang to go, so the Roberts donated them to the parks department.
While various Christmas characters appear annually around the district, such as Santa and his reindeer at the Oak Bay Fire Hall, Tim explained “these ones have had a special place in Entrance Park” for roughly a decade. But the characters going missing last November wasn’t a first for the Roberts, leading Tim to recall a briefer yet similar disappearance four years earlier.
“We got a phone call from someone at the University of Victoria that they were up at UVic,” he said, adding that it turned out a grad party had brought the Peanuts gang on an unexpected journey.
“What really impressed us this time was the community outcry.”
Tim described the public disappointment as heartwarming and precisely the reaction he and Meghan wanted, as it showed how valuable the characters had become to the Oak Bay community over time. It was an extra special surprise for Meghan, who was off on her honeymoon when she learned the Peanuts gang had returned.
“She’s going, ‘It’s a wedding miracle and it’s a Christmas miracle’ or something,” Tim recollected.
He figured whoever took the characters this time had no pure malicious intent and may have simply been a kid or two having some fun until their mother discovered the captive Peanuts gang. Regardless, he noted the characters fittingly re-appeared almost exactly six months ahead of next Christmas.
“It’s neat that Oak Bay still keeps a bit of charm with these handmade decorations.”
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