By any name, Owen Brown reindeer is holiday showstopper

by Judy Stringer

One of the most anticipated rituals of the holiday season for my family is a trip down Owen Brown to see the stunning, 13-foot reindeer that we affectionally call “Chandeliereindeer.”

Taking in this majestic white creature – whose outstretched golden antlers double as a candelabra dripping with crystal swags and glass ornaments – is such a meaningful and joyful tradition, in fact, my husband has penned a tune he belts out on such occasions.

Of course, we are not alone. 

“That’s the first I’ve heard of a song,” Matt Greene laughed. “But, yes, even when we are putting it up, people will stop and say, ‘That’s really cool’ and ‘We thank you and really appreciate seeing it every year.’ I’ve probably heard, ‘It’s absolutely beautiful,’ 100 times.”

Lisa Greene stands in front of “Halle,” a fiberglass reindeer that stands at 10 feet without its expansive candelabra antlers, the day she was delivered to the Greene’s Owen Brown home. Photo by Matt Greene.

“When I tell people where I live,” added Matt’s wife, Lisa, “they almost always say, ‘You live in the reindeer house’ and ‘We love the reindeer.’”

The Greenes have named their reindeer “Halle,” after the department store where she was supposed to make her debut. Legend goes that Halle was one of a pair of Christmastime reindeer decorations that were commissioned to flank the entryway of the former Halle Brothers store in downtown Cleveland, but deemed a safety hazard by public officials.

So, according to the Greenes, an employee in the art department bought one of the reindeer and placed it in the woods behind his Valley View home every holiday season for 60-some years. That’s where Lisa fell in love with Halle. She dropped a note in the man’s mailbox one day saying if he ever wanted to sell the reindeer, she would buy it.

“He honored that note about 10 years ago, when his wife passed and he was moving into assisted living,” Matt said.

Lisa originally wanted to put the reindeer in a wooded area of the Owen Brown couple’s back yard, emulating the majestic scene on Valley View. However, because of a renovation project, Halle was erected on the front lawn “just for the first year,” Lisa said.

There was no turning back.

“We looked out the front window, and there would be four or five cars parked out front. Families would drive up with their kids and get out and take photos in front of it, which we love,” she said. “We are happy for people to come close and see her because she is so beautiful.”

Lisa said Halle is showing her age and invites anyone with artistic expertise to help refurbish the reindeer.  

And lest you consider dropping a note in the Greene’s mailbox requesting to be Halle’s (or Chandeliereindeer’s) next keeper, Matt wants you to know it’s a commitment. At their house, he said, the reindeer takes up a full garage space during the eight months it’s in storage and putting her up every year “is a three-man job.”

Featured Photo: A Halle visit is a holiday tradition for many in Hudson and beyond.