12 funny, unique and creative holiday decorations from readers’ houses 2012

“Santa the Damned?” … and more

Imperial-Arctic-Star-Aluminum-tree-by-Tomar-of-Chicago-co.After nearly an hour of sifting through each and every one of the newly uploaded holiday decorations photos from our recent uploader — 700+ reader photos of their holiday decorations — it is quite obvious that all of you absolutely love to decorate for the holidays. I was super impressed by the wide range of vintage holiday decor — and the extent to which some of you collect Christmas decorations. Time and time again there were photos showing hundreds of shiny brites, vintage santas, snowmen and even trees — like this gorgeous seven foot Imperial Arctic Star aluminum tree from the Tomar company out of Chicago. Mystery reader, your tree is a thing of beauty — I could spend hours just admiring it. Read on to see the rest of my top 12 reader holiday decor picks — our 2012 “Hall of Fame”.

Simple and sweet holiday decorations

reindeer-couple-1950s-YasmineReader Yasmine’s adorable 1950’s reindeer couple — seen here giving each other the doe eyes under a strategically placed mistletoe wreath — is just too sweet. Yes, this is what the holiday season is all about: love.

christmas-tiki-larserikAnother simple, yet eye catching holiday decoration is this tiki statue from reader LarsErik. He’s probably a year round piece of decor that just got dressed up for the holidays with the clever addition of a santa hat — and of course the festive green glow that radiates from behind him. Well done.

Clever and creative holiday decor

choir-kids-in-vintage-tvThis reader from Iowa gets extra points for being super creative. They’ve tucked a small ceramic tree and two choir children into a retro TV box that apparently becomes a ventless fireplace on cold winter nights. Sure beats the heck out of those fireplace dvds that make your TV look like a lit fireplace…

1960s-christmas-vegomaticReader Veg-O-Matic had a brilliant idea — underneath the 1960s aluminum tree — display that collection of NIB 1960s toys. This set up reminds me of the scene on Christmas morning — after all the presents had been unwrapped and since they hadn’t yet found homes in our toy chest, were proudly displayed under the tree.

Crazy Christmas collections

Santa-collection-on-heywood-wakefield-divider-rebecca-madisonReader Rebecca from Madison’s house is decorated chock-a-block with holiday cheer. What I found most impressive was her collection of vintage ceramic Santas — taking up residence on her Heywood Wakefield room divider. Now that’s a collection.

michaels-rec-room-with-six-aluminum-treesReader Michael also has quite the collection. Above is a shot of his rec room — which he has decorated with six aluminum trees this year (though not all of them are seen in this shot)(and, is that a small Arctic Star in the window???). I’m not only impressed with Michael’s collection of vintage aluminum trees, but also the cozy holiday atmosphere he’s managed to create in his rec room — which is probably why he says it is his favorite place to hang out during the holidays.

mica-houses-putz-housesThis mystery reader has quite the village under their Christmas tree — an impressive collection of vintage putz, or mica houses as they call them.

Jeremy-vintage-christmasThe holiday uploader is filled with photos from reader Jeremy — who may have the largest amount of Christmas decorations per foot of anyone yet. His living room is packed with every sort of holiday decoration you can imagine — from shelves full of ceramic figurines to a clothesline with ornaments hanging down the middle of his house. Holy holly, Jeremy — how long does it take you to set all of this up?

Funny and freaky Santas and elves

elf-on-toiletI’m not sure what the stats are on how many people decorate the bathroom for Christmas, but this toilet top arrangement made me giggle. Our mystery reader says, “Before Hallmark and everyone had this Elf on the Shelf story, my family had an Elf in a Centerpiece. I’ve loved this little decoration since I was tiny. My older sisters always laugh when they see it and can’t believe I still have it.” This elf made me laugh too. Methinks he is working for Santa as part of the “he knows if you’ve been bad or good” team — Santa has eyes everywhere…

Diane-in-Co-santa-the-damned-2-1950sSpeaking of Santa’s eyes — holy moly did I laugh when I saw this Santa from reader Diane. It is her mom’s 1950s, still working, Santa who rings his bell, moves back and forth and has flashing eyes. Even though her kids always called him” Santa the Damned” and her dogs bark like crazy whenever he is on, this Santa is — and will always be — one of Diane’s most prized possessions.

Wendy-W-1950s-live-size-animatronic-santaLast but not least is reader Wendy’s six foot tall Harold Gale 1950s animatronic store display Santa. Words cannot express how much this both terrifies and astounds me. If this guy were in my house, I’d surely keep the lights on all night long so he wouldn’t startle me. From the smug grin on his face, it seems he’s done his fair share of pranking over the years.

There you have it — my top 12 reader holiday decorations of 2012. Even after making this list and checking it twice, you know I just had to get all random brutal to narrow it down. So, if you have some time and haven’t done it already — I highly recommend checking out the nearly 800 photos of readers’ retro holiday decorations for yourself.

Thanks once again readers for once again making this one of the coolest yulests ever on Retro Renovation. Happy holidays!

  1. Jacki Anderson says:

    I wasn’t even sure if any of the photos I downloaded made it to the page of vintage decorations, so imagine my surprise when my sweet little (bathroom) elf made your Top 12 List! I just showed my 19 year old daughter and she was as excited as I !! Thank you.

  2. Jeremy says:

    My Christmas collection takes about 3 weeks to set up i have about 20 totes full and i dont put it all out either, now just wait till Halloween

  3. What great stuff! I’d love to have that giant Santa and am all about it! I did a post last Christmas on a glowing eyed Santa very much like Diane’s. Creepy but great!

    That tree with the Putz house village underneath belongs to Rob and Monica from West Babylon, New York. I remember seeing it on Monica’s Flickr stream.

  4. Jay says:

    Pam, you make me laugh with your comments. Pam, Kate and all the RR faithful: Merry Christmas! and a Happy Retro New Year.

  5. Wendy W says:

    My husband hates my Santa. He’s walked into the living room many a time ready to beat someone down only to realize it’s just Santa. When it’s not Christmas he goes in the garage and I pull my car in every night to his menacing grin. I love it! I bought him for $30 bucks at a yard sale he was missing his beard. So I made him one out of faux fur. You should have seen the looks I was getting from everyone driving around with him in my 2 door sports car trying to get him home. I still don’t know how I ever got him to fit. It must have been some Christmas magic.

  6. tammyCA says:

    So many types of decoration…funny, sweet, cute, nostalgic and, scary even (still funny)…but, so neat to see it all here. My favorite would have to be the vintage t.v. with the cute vignette inside…so clever and nostalgic for those of us who remember having a t.v. like that.
    Wishing everyone, everywhere, love, peace and kindness.

  7. Laurie V says:

    I want to become Michael’s BFF and hang out in his rec room all the time! That is one marvelous room. Makes me want to drink Singapore Slings and play Bridge, or have a Fondue party. And it shows that you can never have to many aluminum trees. Well done Sir.

    1. Kate says:

      I agree Laurie V! As soon as I saw that rec room I thought — wow, what a great place to hang out and watch movies or have a party!

      Well done Michael!

  8. Annie B. says:

    Joy to the Blog!

    Mystery Reader, please come out from behind that glorious Arctic Star and tell me if that china cabinet to the left of it is a 1959 Drexel Declaration? I have one like it (without the glass, sadly)

    I think these are the best decorations yet..

  9. Jana (Berniecat) says:

    Love “Santa the Damned” ! He not only looks like he would leave naughty children a lump of coal, but would throw it at them too! Great way to start my morning off with a laugh!

    1. Diane in CO says:

      Ho ho, Pam — glad bell-ringing Santa made you laugh. What our kids actually referred to him as was Santa OF The Damned…… as in Children of The Damned, that movie where all the kids’ eyes were creepily lit up.

      Hope you all have a wonderful.vintage Christmas!

  10. Chris says:

    Well, I’ve officially decided now. My two favorites topics on this site are Christmas and kitchens.

    All these holiday articles are soooooo much fun! Thank you!

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