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)
Bad Video Embed Code

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

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre has reopened with 45 shelter spots for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. (Courtesy of Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre)
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre shelter in Victoria reopens with spots for 45 people

Arena is an interim step until long-term housing is found

(Black Press Media file photo)
Suspect arrested after items stolen from parked vehicles in Saanich

Saanich police located the suspect thanks to a very detailed witness description

Maureen Garry is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Educator of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Former teacher at David Cameron Elementary a tireless advocate for musical education

Maureen Garry is West Shore’s 2021 Educator of the Year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

This poster, spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, has been popping up in communities across Vancouver Island.
UPDATED: Poster popping up in Island communities falsely claiming COVID restrictions are over

Unattributed poster claims COVID restrictions ended March 1; Island Health responds

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Time to check the mail: Every household to receive a Canada Post postcard this spring

Postcard can be mailed for free to any address in Canada

Most Read