The Grinch often makes an appearance at Leo and Karyn Cooper’s home on Girou Road in Colwood. The Coopers currently have close to 100 inflatable characters that will be up on display until the first week of January for residents to enjoy. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Christmas decorations a labour of love for Colwood residents

Home has close to 100 inflatables on display until January

For the past several weeks, dozens of strangers have been traipsing through Leo and Karyn Cooper’s property. And it’s not hard to see why.

The Colwood residents have transformed their yard home on Girou Road into a Christmas lover’s paradise with close to 100 Christmas-themed inflatables, wooden decorations, 20 to 30 tinsel figures, and lights that can be seen from blocks away.

“It’s definitely hard to see how much there is unless you actually come,” said Karyn, an education assistant at Wishart Elementary school.

From Mickey and Minnie Mouse to Frozen characters, Star Wars and Sesame Street characters, to the classic Santa Claus and reindeer, there are a number of decorations for people of all ages to enjoy.

It’s a project that’s been a decade in the making for the Coopers. They installed their first inflatable Grinch, Santa Claus, snowman and a few lights on the lawn of their home to impress Leo’s parents who were visiting from Newfoundland and rarely saw outdoor decorations due to snow.

Then year after year, the couple slowly added more decorations – a dinosaurs here, a minion or two there. Now, 10 years later the tradition has not only continued, it’s exploded, with decorations spilling over onto their neighbour’s lawn across the street as well.

To say it’s a labour of love is an understatement. Leo usually starts putting up lights at the end of September and after Halloween goes into full decorating mode. Each holiday season, he spends hundreds of hours making sure every decoration is in the right place. The family’s hydro bill usually soars to about $600 for the month of December.

Despite the countless hours put into the display over the months, it’s the reaction from people who drive by and stop that Leo and Karyn enjoy.

“The kids really love it and they scream and run to the characters they like. But I’m surprised by the amount of adults and even teenagers who leave with a smile on their face. They always find something out there that they can relate to,” said Leo, noting they see about 30 to 40 cars a night, but that usually jumps to about 100 a night in the week leading up to Christmas. Many families come every year as well.

“That’s the goal, to spread the cheer.”

This year, the family, whose sons go to Royal Bay Secondary, is accepting non-perishable food items for the school’s 10,000 Tonight food drive, which takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Monetary donations are also accepted and will be given to the South Island Foster Parent Association.

The display will be up until the first week of January, when Leo will begin the roughly tw0-month-long process of taking down and cleaning the decorations, before they are put back into storage until next year.

The lights are on Monday to Thursday until about 10:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday until about midnight. Residents are encouraged to walk around the path to see the decorations.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Leo and Karyn Cooper’s home on Girou Road in Colwood has been taken over by Christmas decorations. The decorations, which include close to 100 inflatable characters, will be up on display until the first week of January for residents to enjoy. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Just Posted

Iconic Victoria rock music archivist ready to pass the torch

Royal City Music Project co-founder Glenn Parfitt wants valuable cultural material preserved

Editorial: when are Vancouver Island communities going to say no to increased taxes?

Local governments are finding it too easy to continually say “just a little more”

Big Lonely Doug protected along with 53 of his closest friends

Classic Vancouver Island tree among B.C’s largest old-growth trees now on protection list

Chinook retention begins on Vancouver Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

VIDEO: Sparrows raise their chicks in Cadboro Bay deck planter

Jill Yoneda captured 11 days up close with tiny Junco sparrows

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

‘Charismatic violent offender’ to be sentenced in Nanaimo drug debt tasering

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make public transit announcement in Victoria on Thursday

Trudeau is speaking at a campaign countdown event in downtown Victoria

Victoria car show’s ferry event a highlight for arriving hot-rodders

Thursday’s grand opening event one of several planned for Northwest Deuce Days

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Victoria Police make contact with cyclist seen clipped in dashcam video

The cyclist reached out to VicPD after the video was shared online

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Most Read