The Best Grinch Holiday Lawn Display!
The Grinch is a holiday classic. The Grinch books and movies remind us that Christmas and the holiday season are never just about presents. While we all get excited about giving and receiving gifts; the heart of Christmas should always be about love. If it isn’t, what is the point? The Grinch learned this powerful lesson in the movie “What if Christmas, perhaps is about something more?”. This Holiday Lawn Display includes The Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, Max, and of course lots of bright and happy lights. See how we made our lawn display to make your own or simply buy pieces to use in your yard.
When I was growing up, there was a family a few streets down that had hand painted cartoon panels that they would set up at Christmas time. Our family always put up lights and we always had tons of presents, but I wanted so badly to have these fun panels up in our yard. One year the family asked me to help sketch out a Beauty and the Beast panel; that nerdy teenager was honored to do so. I knew by then it wasn’t something my family was really into, but I was already planning the ‘tacky’ lawn display of my dreams.
Classic 2D animation captured my heart before I really even knew what it was. Cartoons, animation, even comic strips were my happy place. I thought as soon as I had a house we would be ‘those people’ with the ‘tacky’ front yard lawn display. I married someone with the same love of silly cartoons, and still things didn’t quite work out that way. We had a house with a yard for more than a decade and never put anything more than Christmas lights up. Well, this was the year we really wanted to shine!
Well; I think my phrase for 2020 was “Late to the game, but I am here now”. We spent most of 2020 like a lot of other people, trying to stay out of the way to help slow the spread. We worked through several “Quarantine Projects” from redoing our kitchen after two years of doing no house projects to literally moving (moving during a pandemic is PEAK family challenge you guys), and quarantine continues.
Well, little did we know that we moved to the perfect place to encourage us to finally have that goofy front yard Christmas display we always wanted. We noticed our new little neighborhood goes real big for holidays. Halloween lawn displays were insane and we were told that Christmas is no different so we found our new Quarantine Project! After discussing multiple classic cartoon themes, we committed to making an adorable “Whoville” scene complete with Cindy Lou – Who, Who Citizens, Max, and of course the Grinch himself. We would hand paint panels and also use faux Christmas trees and tons of lights.
If you do NOT want to make your own Grinch lawn designs, there are tons that you can purchase! Listen, our display was a fun quarantine project, we built a lot of memories; but it was probably more expensive to make it than to just buy pieces. Nobody judges you for curating your pieces from Amazon or Etsy.
Shop Grinch Items on Amazon –
An 8 piece Grinch Lawn Display is honestly probably the easiest way to go. If you aren’t interested in projecting and tracing and cutting and painting, this will do just fine.
I tried to convince Harry we needed a blow up tall Grinch in the front, but I was unsuccessful. You could live my dream by putting one in your yard.
We lined the perimeter of our yard with a small ‘fence’ made from an oversized Christmas lights fence. While these certainly do not work as a fence, it has helped by suggesting to people not to cross and it also provides whimsical light!
I will add Etsy options at the beginning of each season as they tend to switch out.
Tips for making a Yard Display
Combine display items! We made several cartoony panels of the Grinch cast, but we also used large artificial trees with real ornaments and lights. We also made a ‘real’ ladder for the Grinch to get to our roof. The Grinch is a panel on our roof, but he is holding real lights. Harry also made tall poles to hang wreaths and lights around the Whoville Tree. Cindy Lou Who is a panel, but she is holding an artificial wreath complete with lights. The variation really kept our yard display interesting.
Add Personal and Modern touches – We wanted our characters to look exactly like the movie, but we also wanted it to be more inclusive. The entire cast of “Whos” that we copied to sing around our tree looked like Caucasian “Whos”. We thought our Whoville should be a little more diverse than the movie from the 1960s written by the brilliant but also hella racists “Dr. Seuss”. Making Whos with several different skin tones was a subtle, but necessary evolution in our minds. Another little nod to show we believe that love is love and Whoville is for all kinds of people, we added rainbow hair to one of our “Whos”. We’ve loved watching people come to check out our display and point out to their kids these little changes.
LED lights! Upgrade your lights to energy efficient lights if you have not already. Replace just a couple strands at a time if you have a lot to replace. We noticed ours paid for themselves in one season.
Shop Second Hand Early. Our trees along with all the ornaments and wreaths were $40 on Craigslist. Many of the extra lights we needed were from a local “Buy Nothing” group. Some of the wood used for panels was left overs we saved from another project.
Trace your designs. Harry and I are both artists who CAN draw all these characters easily, but tracing is easier. We used a projector we have had for years and simply projected a print out of the designs we wanted from the movie. If there is interest, we will provide printables here for what to place in your projector to paint.
Do something good with a ‘call to action’! We wanted to do something good with our display and put a small sign with a bucket out for donations. All monetary donations will be donated at the end of the year to the Los Angeles Food Bank. We also simply added the link so folks could donate directly.
Our Whoville display was simply to bring joy to our neighborhood and there was no pressure to give, but we thought maybe our neighbors would drop pocket change in that would all add up. We have not come to the end of the season yet, but so far we have had just under $50 donated. Considering $1 equals about 4 meals with the Los Angeles Food Bank, this will equal 200 full bellies in the new year. We hope the last week before Christmas will bring in even more.
We are thankful for our visitors that were willing to share! Consider donating to the Los Angeles Food Bank. California, and Los Angeles specifically has become the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. People were already struggling before the pandemic and now it has become dire for so many more. If you are doing OK at the end of 2020, you are fortunate. If you feel led, I encourage you to make a donation to a food bank in your area or to the one we are raising money for. You can donate directly to LAFoodBank.org.