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

 

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

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read