TUSTIN (CBSLA) — It is a Christmas wonderland in one Tustin man’s garage.
As KCAL9/CBS2’s Stacey Butler reports, every Christmas for 35 years retired machinist Dominic Masdea has set up a Christmas village like no other in his Orange County home.
“I look forward every Christmas,” said Masdea.
“It used to be inside but my mom basically kicked him out of the house and said he had to bring it outside,” said daughter Liliana Dawson.
Masdea used to build miniature villages on his kitchen table in Italy as a young boy. Today in his Tustin garage he built a breathtaking scene that draws thousands every night from December 1 to January 6,
“Amazing. We’ve been coming for years and it’s what Christmas is about,” said one women.
“This is my third time this week,” said another fan. “People have to see this.”
“Families used to tell us we should charge money. That’s not why he did it. That’s when we decided to start the canned food donations,” said Dawson.
“It’s not just to bring people joy, he actually brings Christmas,” said the fan who has been to the show three times just this week.
For Masdea Christmas means one thing — “the birth of Jesus.” he says.
Every Christmas Eve at midnight he unveils the baby Jesus for waiting crowds.
“We can all go shopping and buy gifts but to bring this into people’s homes and to remember what the true meaning of Christmas is. I think that’s what people remember,” said Masdea.
“When I do this I forget everything else what I went through,” said Masdea.
Masdea has survived stage four neck cancer — twice.
This year, he says, may be the last for the Christmas village.
“To hear him say that he doesn’t know if he can keep doing it…that’s hard,” said his daughter.
Until then, this daughter knows, her dad will keep the Christmas spirit alive.
Masdea’s address is 2351 Caper Tree Drive. Admission is free. The village is open until at least 10:30 p.m. Masdea requests that visitors bring canned food as a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank.