Updated: 11:02 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 | Posted: 11:01 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009

Grinch enlivens home’s elaborate decorations

Lebanon couple creates own Whoville — a two-story facade of Seuss classic.


Grinch enlivens home’s elaborate decorations photo
Grinch enlivens home’s elaborate decorations

By Justin McClelland

Staff Writer

LEBANON — Dan and Donna Behymer love the Christmas season. Each year, their home is decorated in dazzling colored lights and amazing hand-built displays. So what better way to celebrate Christmas, the Behymers decided, than to invite a Grinch into their home?

As the pièce de resistance for their annual Christmas decorations, the Behymers built a “Whoville” house — a two-story facade designed to replicate the homes of the Christmas-loving village in the Dr. Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

“We try to do something unique every year,” Dan said. “We thought up the Whoville house while camping at the end of August. We weren’t sure if we could make it in time for Christmas.”

The Behymers have been adding increasingly elaborate decorations since they moved to their current home in 2001. Although they are originally from the area, the couple had been living in California, where Dan said elaborate house decorations are everywhere. They built their first decoration — a plywood, free-standing Charlie Brown and Snoopy — in 1998. Every year since they have added something to the display, from a sled that can seat a large family to nutcrackers that guard their garage.

“We were having a hard time getting the entire family together for Thanksgiving, so we created our own holiday,” Dan said. “The Saturday after Thanksgiving has become the Grand Holiday Lighting Day and all the family comes for it.”

The Whoville House is made of a two-story wooden frame that connects to the front of the Behymer home. Attached to this frame are removable fiberglass panels that Donna painted in a “grinchy green,” designed to replicate the oddly shaped homes that Seuss drew in his book.

“Our grandchildren love us,” Donna said. “They think it’s like a big playground.”

After the construction phase, Dan and Donna begin setting up decorations around Halloween. The hardest part is stringing lights around the 24-foot tall (and growing) evergreen trees on the side of their house.

The Behymers’ next decoration may be the most elaborate yet. Dan’s 4-year-old granddaughter has requested a flying reindeer above the 24-foot trees that have already provided such challenges to decorate.

“We’re already trying to come up with a way to do it,” Donna said. “She wants flying reindeer.”

Who has the best decorations?

The Lebanon Council of Garden Clubs recognized the best of Lebanon business Christmas displays this week.

The council has been honoring both business and resident displays annually since 1972, judging displays on creativity, workmanship, beauty and distinction. LCNB National Bank provided ribbons for the event.

Business winners are:

Downtown Lebanon Large Display:

First place: Garden Gate, 36 S. Broadway

Second place: William and Mary, 23 S. Broadway

Third place: Open Window Designs, 107 E. Mulberry

Honorable mention: Aretz Designs, 40 W. Mulberry and LCNB, 2 N. Broadway

Downtown Lebanon Small Display

First place: Oh Susannah, 16 S. Broadway

Second place: Beneath the Tree, 9 S. Broadway

Third place: Open Hearth, 27 N. Broadway

Honorable mention: Enchanted Village, 3 S. Sycamore St. and Gabriele Insurance, 3 N. Broadway

Outlying areas:

First place: Silver High Manor B&B, 22 N. High St.

Second place: Stine and Kilburn Funeral Home, 801 Monroe Road

Third place: The One, 205 N. Broadway

Honorable mentions: Shaker Inn, 600 Cincinnati Ave. and Landmark, 220 S. Sycamore St.

Judging for residential homes will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17.

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