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Electric trains, candy canes highlight holiday yard displays
By DAN EAKIN, email@example.com
A lot of people in Coppell have decorated their homes and yards in celebration of the season this year, but maybe few as elaborately as have Jeff and Peg Hoogendoorn.
For the past 12 years, the Hoogendoorn home at 641 Coats Street, off of Samuel Boulevard, has attracted visitors every December who want to see up close the elaborate displays in the yard.
“You can’t really see them well from a car,” Jeff Hoogendoorn said. “You need to get out and come and take a close look.”
The displays include four larger-than-normal electric trains, traditional Christmas figurines, a Nativity scene and a display of boxes tagged with words such as “Love, Peace, Forgiveness, Understanding, etc., with a lighted sign in front of them which states, “The True Gifts.”
“We felt that we also should show the spiritual side of Christmas,” Peg Hoogendoorn said.
The displays are surrounded by about 40 large lighted candy canes.
Those who look at the fascinating trains will also see scenery reminiscent of New Orleans, South Dakota and even Dallas.
“We wanted to have a Mardi Gras theme this year,” said Peg Hoogendoorn, who grew up in New Orleans.
They said they welcome people to stop by, get out of their vehicles and come to view the displays close-up. They said they spend about two weeks every year making preparations for the displays.
“We try to have something new every year,” Peg Hoogendoorn said, “because a lot of the same people come by every year, as do a lot of new people.”
Often during December, between 300 and 400 people will come by on any given night.
“Last year on the Friday before Christmas, about 1,500 people came,” Jeff Hoogendoorn said.
He said some of the teenagers who come have been coming every year since they were small children.
Despite the expensive trains and other items on display, the Hoogendoorns said they have never had any problems with theft or vandalism.
“The only damage done this year was by the wind,” Peg Hoogendoorn said. During the night on Dec. 19, strong winds did a number on the displays, but the Hoogendoorns spent the next day getting things back in order.
They expect to continue to have the displays up for viewing at least through New Year’s Eve, and during holiday seasons for years to come.
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