How a Delaware couple’s Grinch display is stealing the holiday spirit

For more than three decades, Rich and Linda Faucher have been the talk of the town.

Each year come Thanksgiving, hundreds of thousands of lights illuminate their Red Lion home. By the time the holiday display is lit in late November, Rich Faucher has devoted countless hours and several months to the light show.

Over the decades, thousands of visitors have stopped by Delaware’s Christmas House, located at 1054 Red Lion Road. In the 1980s or ’90s, New Castle County Council renamed the Fauchers’ driveway Santa Claus Lane, and Google Maps has a special locator for the home.

Nino Mallari and Gloria Rivera decided to jazz up their their holiday display with Grinch decorations.

But while the Fauchers’ house has remained one of Delaware’s premiere Christmas displays since they moved there in 1988, this year, another local couple is trying to steal the limelight – and maybe even Christmas, too.

Just down the street from the Fauchers, at 1031 Red Lion Road, Nino Mallari and Gloria Rivera are embracing the Grinch.

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In the couple’s yard, foot-high, red and green letters spell out “A Grinch lives here.” On the roof of their home sits the grumpy green recluse dressed in Santa garb.

The long-suffering Max is among the decorations dedicated to his master, the Grinch, at the Red Lion Road home of Nino Mallari and Gloria Rivera, just up the road from the 'Christmas House' holiday light display.

The Grinch theme is intentional, the couple told Delaware Online/The News Journal this week.

Last Christmas, the first year Mallari and Rivera owned their home, they put up traditional lights. On the roof was an inflatable reindeer, and the décor was “pretty regular,” Mallari said.

This year, the two “figured it would be fun for people in the community to say, ‘Let’s go see the Santa house,’ and then, ‘Oh, the Grinch house is right next door,’” Mallari said.

“Plus, Gloria always calls me the Grinch, so that played (into it) too,” he added.

The Grinch peers at admirers from a sign proclaiming "A Grinch Lives Here"  at the Red Lion Road home of Nino Mallari and Gloria Rivera, just up the road from the Fauchers' over-the-top holiday light display.

It’s not exactly clear where Rivera’s nickname for her boyfriend comes from – after all, Mallari loves Christmas.

Growing up in the Philippines, a country that’s more than 80% Catholic, Mallari’s family always began their Christmas countdown in September. They decorated with lights and other holiday displays, a tradition they continued in the U.S.

When they moved to a home by Texas Roadhouse in Bear, they learned of the Christmas House. Mallari’s family would take him to see the lights when he was younger, at which he marveled.

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