Directed by Becky Read, ”Twas the Fight Before Christmas’ is an Apple original documentary that delves into the baffling tale of Jeremy R. Morris, whose quest to spread true joy during the holiday season soon turned into unprecedented legal battles. From neighbors’ grievances to allegations of discrimination to purported threats, it is a rollercoaster ride that includes more than we could have ever imagined. So now, if you’re curious to know all the details of Jeremy’s Christmas aspirations and ambitions, along with its extraordinary judicial aftermath, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Jeremy Morris?
As a devout Christian whose very first memory is crawling on the floor as his father fixes Christmas bulbs, Jeremy R. Morris has always enjoyed the holiday for everything it signifies. Hence, in 2014, after he had graduated from the Liberty University School of Law in Virginia and started a family with his wife, Kristy Morris, he decided to go all out. By that point, he had been collecting lights and over-the-top displays for over five years, so he chose to have a light show to raise money for local organizations helping little children deal with tough times and ailments like cancer.
The response Jeremy received before the bash even took place led him to rent a real-life camel, hire local kids to sing carols, and openly ask people to volunteer for safety reasons. The festivities lasted a total of eight days and raised thousands, making him believe that it was a clear sign for him to continue. Therefore, the North Idaho attorney and his family elected to relocate to West Hayden Estates, where he didn’t have to worry about city permits for such shows. Yet, things started to turn ugly when he gave the homeowner’s association (HOA) a heads-up about his plans before even moving in.
In January 2015, Jeremy received a letter on area rules regarding lighting, sound, traffic, and property uses, which basically said that he couldn’t do his light shows if he lived there. But what bothered him more was the fact that they’d specifically cited religion and the chance of the neighborhood filling up with “undesirables.” The HOA probably just aimed to convey that the locality had people from all backgrounds who might not like the noise or clutter, but it came out as biased for Jeremy. The case further spiraled when their subsequent talks didn’t help, and neighbors also got involved.
After all, Jeremy moved into a West Hayden Estates home anyway to take a stand against what he believed to be wrong, yet it allegedly only led to threats on his life and negativity from all sides. From neighbors apparently telling him they’d “take care of him” to anonymous messages asking him to watch his and his family’s backs on social media, a lot transpired in the following two years. However, the attorney kept up his light shows to help others and spread merriment. Bully was the word both parties often used for one another, so in 2017, Jeremy sued the HOA over their dispute.
Where is Jeremy Morris Now?
Before the statute of limitations for the HOA’s letter and the later locality quarrels expired, Jeremy Morris filed a lawsuit demanding damages for the shock, public humiliation, inconvenience, and economic loss he and his family endured. In court, he pinpointed several instances to back his claims while also admitting that 200,000 light bulbs and over-the-top decorations decked his home each season, driving the jury to rule in his favor. He and his wife were awarded $75,000 in 2018, but upon appeal by the HOA, an Idaho District Court judge overturned the ruling in 2019.
In response, Jeremy appealed the 2019 verdict, meaning that the case is now at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals from what we can tell, awaiting another ruling. Coming to other aspects of his life, he is a happily married father who still lives in Hayden, Idaho. Owing to the ongoing legal process, Jeremy is banned from decorating for the holiday season. But he does have a YouTube channel named The Christmas Lawyer, which is a haven for any Christmas lover. From what we can tell, he hopes to post daily videos on there for as long as possible and maybe even do free legal work for subscribers.
Read More: Best Christmas Movies on Netflix