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)

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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)

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

Langford Fire Rescue (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford looks to strike out on its own for emergency fire dispatch services

Mayor Stew Young says the city is large enough to negotiate solo

Sidney Lions Club is currently selling 50/50 raffle tickets for a virtual fundraiser to send kids and adults with disabilities to Easter Seals Camps like the one at Camp Shawnigan. (Easter Seals/Submitted)
Sidney service club raises funds people with disabilities to have some summer fun

Raffle helps fund in-person and online summer camps for adults and children

The Capital Regional District hopes to be a national leader in zero waste and the circular economy, but getting there will take curbing construction waste and addressing challenges brought on by the region’s growth. Pictured is the Hartland landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD aims to be zero waste national leader, reduce enough to curb landfill expansion

Capital Region will have to reduce major waste sources: construction, organics from apartments

Colwood city council voted to give the next council a 7.5 per cent pay increase following the federal government's decision to eliminate the 1/3 tax free allowance normally afforded to councillors. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)
Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read