'Old fashioned Christmas' wins contest
Simplicity is beauty.
That's what Larry Untiet thinks. Apparently, musician and television host John Tesh agreed.
Untiet's Spencer home, located at 402 W. Third St., built in 1899, was among three winners chosen in a holiday display contest conducted on Tesh's Facebook page.
"I was on Facebook last week and I noticed they were having some kind of contest," Untiet said. "They were offering $100 each to the best three entries in the nation.
"What I was thinking in the back of my mind was, 'most of these entries will probably be glitzy light displays set to music.' What struck my mind was maybe a 100-year old Victorian and an old fashioned Christmas would be different."
Three days later, Untiet was contacted by a student congratulating him on being one of three winners in the Tesh contest.
The home features 52 windows, each with lighting shining through. Exterior decor is limited to a lighted wreath on the house, and small wreaths and greenery lining the wrap-around porch. Untiet said the design is consistent with what he's done in past years, simple by today's standards.
"I really think that's what it was," Untiet said. "You always hear talk of an old-fashioned Christmas. That's kind of what it looks like."
Indoors, however, Untiet is a little less reserved.
"Inside I have 17 Christmas trees, one in every room, decorated in different themes," Untiet said. "I go all out at Christmas time. I have to start in October working on the inside."
Celebrating what he says is his favorite holiday, Untiet enjoys sharing his Christmas spirit with those around him.
"It's kind of fun. I like to entertain during the holidays. I host a party for the theater students and one for faculty and friends.
"What made it (winning the contest) more special, I was hosting the Untiet family Christmas with 32 people in the house. It was kind of exciting to be celebrating that in one of John Tesh's winning homes."