For the Kooiman family, “Christmastime is Here” when they bedeck their Eagle Hills neighborhood home with 11,000 lights synchronized to ’70s and ’80s rock songs.
For 16 consecutive years, Brea resident Mark Kooiman produces a popular Christmas light show on the Kooiman family house that draws visitors from across Orange Country to the light-festooned Brea community.
Kooiman, a Tool Engineer for Boeing, codes every individual light on his computer. A single minute of the 90-minute show can take up to 10 hours of coding. He plans the “hand-built” light show throughout the year, adding details, little by little, to make sure the intricate show is ready for the holidays. The thousands of individual lights display over two million unique colors and dance to patterns that change with the rock hits playing on classic rock radio station 106.9 FM.
The Kooiman family created the holiday-themed spectacle to bring joy to the Brea community while doing what the family loves most: celebrating Christmas.
“We have always loved lights and decorations, but I think seeing the happiness and positive reactions out of families when they see the show is the reason why we keep the tradition going each year. It helps keep something positive in the community,” Krista Kooiman, Mark’s daughter, said.
But the light show is more than just a visual spectacle: the Kooiman family also collects donations for Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and the Wounded Warriors Project. Last year, the family raised over $1500 to the causes, and “are hoping to double, if not triple, that this year,” Krista said. The family donates to these organizations because they have multiple friends whose children have received treatments through CHOC.
Usually, the Kooiman house is a part of the annual Brea Trolly Tour, a 45-minute trip through the Eagle Hills and downtown areas, but due to the pandemic, this year’s tour has been canceled. However, the Eagle Hills homes are still accessible for drive-by viewing, and the family still looks forward to “hearing kids cheer, laugh, and dance along to the music,” Krista said.
“We love the support of our community and will continue [the show] as long as everybody keeps coming back to enjoy,” Krista said.
Brea’s Eagle Hills neighborhood is located on Primrose Ave.