Morgans share the Christmas spirit in huge Cowichan holiday display

Christmas carols wafted out of the garage over a loud speaker on a sunny Sunday morning as Norm and Mary Morgan and their helpers worked to get their house at 2390 Trillium Terrace ready for their annual Christmas light up.

It’s a labour of love for the family.

"We started four years ago to put some decorations and lights up and then all of a sudden we’ve got cars stopping by the house. At first we had two or three, but now they’re lined up," Norm said.

"We had neighbours come down last year. A lady stopped. She had a big box about two and a half feet long and my wife wondered what it could be. It turned out to be a big box of chocolates and it was from neighbours up the street because they wanted to thank us."

But that was not all, he said. "All of their grandkids would come over and say, ‘We have to go down and see that house now, Grandma.’

"We’ve already had people walking by the house asking, ‘When are you going to turn them on?’ My grandson’s here today. We’d have to turn them on for him, even if it was daylight outside."

Mary agreed.

"I think here it was a case of the more the people enjoyed it, the more drive-bys we got, then we were motivated and started adding more and getting crazy," she said.

"We can see people really appreciate it. They come and thank us. Even yesterday we had some people by here asking about it."

Both Morgans enjoy driving around looking at holiday decorations.

"We like to see houses decorated up for Christmas. And when we went out, we didn’t know where to go. We wish there was more here. In Victoria they always used to have a list on the front page of the paper about areas like Candy Cane Lane. People would drive around to see them all," Norm said.

Back in the ’50s and ’60s, whole subdivisions used to light up their houses, drawing big crowds "but, now when we go out here, it’s just hit and miss," he said. "You drive into a subdivision and hope somebody’s got some lights on."

What Norm is hoping is that people will write or email in with their addresses so a list could be published in some way, just so Valley folks could enjoy a colourful drive to see them all.

On Trillium Terrace, the Morgans try to add something new each year to the display.

"We look around and say, we need to do a bit more to that. This year we’ve got some new murals that are pretty nice that are going on the garage doors. One shows Santa with his sack and another shows a nativity scene," he said.

Near the house Sunday, Janna Little and Lisa Adamschek were putting the finishing touches on a gingerbread house they had built to add to the display.

Mary is delighted. "Last year they built the candy canes. It was their first project. They took a long time. They’re beautiful. Then we added ribbon to them this year."

They search for new ideas everywhere.

"We get almost all our stuff online. We’ve got an electric Santa that Richard Mann is going to come and put up on the roof for us. It was from Christmas Done Bright," Mary said.

"You know we get everything on sale. Even then it’s expensive. We go and bargain with the stores. We drive them nuts. But we don’t travel very far on holidays. This is Norm’s thing."

Irene Barker and husband Doug were famed for their display, too.

Their house on Cairnsmore Street in Duncan was always a must-see. Barker used to laughingly say she, too, drove the stores crazy with requests for Christmas items.

It turns out the Morgans know all about that house.

"Norm did her place last year. This year she’s taking a break, but she’s loaned us her beloved Buck. She’s a big part of our life. And we will do her place again next year," Mary said.

Although it goes up fairly slowly, Norm said it doesn’t take long to put everything away.

"I can do it in a day," he said. Mary knows the reason. "He was a mover for 25 years," she said. "He’s very organized. In fact, we would have had this all done before this if not for the snow that fell last weekend."

They’ve been storing it all in their garage but are thinking about renting a storage locker because the gingerbread house can’t be disassembled.

"Then, everything will be safe, too. I keep thinking of those people who lost that Christmas house in Lake Cowichan that was destroyed by fire. It’s all stuff you can’t replace," she said.

Just Posted

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

Cute but fierce! Timber moonlights as an attack kitty. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Beware of Mr. Bite, the midnight attacker

Last week, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by… Continue reading

The province has come through with funding for Duncan Manor’s renewal project. (File photo)
Funding comes through for Duncan Manor’s renewal project

Money will come from the province’s Community Housing Fund

The former St. Joseph’s School site will remain an art studio at least into early next year. It will take some time before being converted to an addictions recovery community. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Addiction recovery facility will be all about building community together

Society on a clear path with members’ experiences to provide valuable help

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Most Read