Giant reindeer turn heads in Homewood neighborhood

  Ray and Deb Majewski have 
  livened up the holiday 
  scenery in the Olive Road 
  neighborhood with their 
  giant reindeer.
(Photos by 
  Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

It might be common to see decorative rangifer tarandus (reindeer) in lawns this time of year, but it's rare to spot examples of rangifer giganteus (great big giant reindeer).

Two specimens can be found on Olive Road in Homewood, towering over the lawn of Ray and Deb Majewski. The glittering reindeer look like they could pull a dozen sleighs full of toys all by themselves — except they are made of wood.

Neighbors report seeing cars driving by slowly to get photos of the giant reindeer, Deb said.

The unusual holiday lawn ornaments were Deb's idea, inspired by similar decorations that she  and Ray saw at Brookfield Zoo a few years ago. 

"I thought, 'Now, that's cool,'" she said. "I remember saying to Ray, 'That's something we could do.'"

Deb took photos of the Brookfield Zoo decorations to use as examples. Ray acquired the lumber and put the parts together on the couple's front lawn in the 1300 block of Olive Road. The legs are each 10 feet high, and the bodies are 12 feet long.

  The Majewskis' reindeer, 
  all lit up.

Ray, Deb and a neighbor then walked the pieces upright so they could be attached to each other, creating giant reindeer shapes. They added antlers and holiday light strings to the figures, including a red light for the male reindeer's nose, a nod to the familiar story, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Ray acknowledges the proportions of the reindeer are not quite to scale.

"It's odd looking, but that adds to the charm of it," he said. 

The couple is known in the Olive Road neighborhood for their creative lawn creations. They started decorating soon after moving to town more than a decade ago when they learned about the popular yard card program, which helps local people create large holiday greeting cards for their lawns. 

Deb created a design of her own, which is also on display in front of their home, though she admitted it doesn't get noticed much with competition from the imposing new additions.

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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.


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