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. veg-o-matic says:

    Hi, Pam!
    So pleased and flattered that my aluminum tree and 1964 toys made it to your Top 12 List!
    I could probably do a completely different display for each year from 1960-1970 but I’m just too goshdarn lazy.
    Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013!

  2. Trisha- IA says:

    Wow- I was catching up on things here and there is our TV. We are so honored and feel blessed! Have to admit the family thought I was crazy when I hauled the broken and beaten up thing home. I still have the glass front for it and in the summer I cute it up inside and leave it until it gets time to decorate for Halloween and Christmas. I really love it, but my tree and choir children will need to be packed away soon as it is getting mighty cold here in Des Moines and I plan to cuddle up with the hubby next to the fire to kick off the New Year! Thank You Pam for all the love and support you have given to those of us over the years- without you my home would not be as funky and fun as it-
    Happy New Year to all!

  3. Nathan says:

    Oh my! I’m the mystery reader with the aluminum tree! I did not intend for my submission to be anonymous, so something must have gone awry during the upload.

    The china cabinet is Drexel Declaration (to answer the previous poster’s question) pulled from a junk shop for $40! Wish they would have had the rest of the dining group!

    Shortly after posting my tree photo, I snagged another aluminum tree at a great price, so we are certainly enjoying the Season’s Gleamings this year!

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