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When it comes to decorating for any holiday, there are various levels of commitment. Chances are, you can find it in yourself to put up a Christmas tree or at least some lights. If you’re a little more ambitious, maybe you put something on a mantle or hang garland. The especially industrious might look to festoon their outdoor spaces with decorations.
For a select few among us, however, spreading holiday joy isn’t limited to the space in which they live. Not content to simply let other motorists enjoy their decorations as they pass by their home, some intrepid Christmas fans bring the decorating party to their vehicle.
Decorating your car for Christmas is next-level stuff. Even if you only do something small, you’re spreading cheer wherever you go. Mall parking lots during last-minute shopping, the freeway, work or school. Nowhere is off-limits to your festive nature. It’s great for people with very long commutes or for people who can’t decorate their home for one reason or another. The car is a canvas — paint some Christmas on it.
In order to bring the holiday spirit everywhere you go, consider these top ten best Christmas car decorations.
1. Holiday Wonderland’s 300-Count Mini Multi Color Christmas Light Set
Let’s get this one out of the way first thing. For one thing, decorating your car with Christmas lights is a bit of an undertaking. There are a bunch of YouTube videos that will give you a rough idea of how to route the wiring, which is helpful. You’ll probably need a power inverter, like this Duracell DRINV400, and at least one extension cord. For another, adding lights of any kind to your car is illegal in many jurisdictions. This restriction could be at the state or even the municipal level, so it bears checking in with both before you go to the trouble. If it’s legal where you are, this is an obvious and excellent choice. Alternatively, you might be able to get away with these Christmas light bulb magnets.
Buy the Holiday Wonderland’s 300-Count Mini Multi Color Christmas Light Set here.
2. Mystic Industries Original Reindeer Vehicle Costume
Pretty much everyone will be familiar with this pick. They’ve become a classic of the car decoration game. As Christmas nears, you’ll start seeing these multiple times a day. Certainly, the reindeer costume is by far the most popular, which comes with the red nose and is available in both lighted and non-lighted versions. Other variations include snowman, Santa, and Christmas tree.
Buy the Mystic Industries Original Reindeer Vehicle Costume here.
3. Northlight 12 Inch Mini Canadian Pine Artificial Christmas Wreath
Here’s a nicely understated option. Attaching a simple, unlit wreath to the grille or to an exterior spare tire brings just a touch of the season to your car. If you go the light route, you can run a string around this as you go, or get a battery powered string just for that.
Buy the Northlight 12 Inch Mini Canadian Pine Artificial Christmas Wreath here.
4. Magnet America Merry Christmas Red Wreath Magnet
While the car magnet craze has probably seen its peak long before now, the concept applies well to temporary holiday elements. They’re super easy to install and allow you to either augment other decorations or just acknowledge the season. You could also opt for any of these other designs: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year Santa, Happy Holidays Santa, Merry Christmas Ball, or Snowmen.
Buy the Magnet America Merry Christmas Red Wreath Magnet here.
5. Mornbaby Solar Powered Dancing Christmas Toy
Decorating for Christmas isn’t just for the outside of your car. You can delight passengers with interior decorations, too. You’ve likely seen the dancing flower solar toys. These seven figures — three reindeer, two snowmen, and a Santa — will do the dancing duties during the holiday season. Stick it on your dashboard and enjoy a little whimsy.
Buy the Mornbaby Solar Powered Dancing Christmas Toy here.
6. Mini-Factory Air Vent Christmas Decorations
By now you’ve seen the air vent car fresheners. Every Lyft driver worth their salt has at least four of them jammed into their vents because they’re pretty convenient. They’ve applied the same concept to decorations with these air vent decorations. This is a four pack that includes a snowman, candy cane, tree, and holly. You can go a little more bling with it if you get this snowflake instead.
Buy the Mini-Factory Air Vent Christmas Decorations here.
7. USB Powered Miniature Christmas Tree
Increasingly, cars are being built with USB ports in them to better charge our various devices. Take advantage with this adorable light-up Christmas tree for your dashboard. I have one of these for my desk and love the soothing glow. snowman figures are also available. If your car doesn’t have a USB port already, add one with this Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger.
Buy the USB Powered Miniature Christmas Tree here.
8. Beistle Santa Backseat Driver Car Cling
If you want to play like you’re riding around with the jolly man himself, toss this window cling on one of your back windows. It won’t fool anyone on close inspection, but as you speed by on the highway, you might get a double-take or two. As with most of the items on this list, a snowman version is also available. You could also go for the elf legs gag, though these are magnets, not clings.
Price: $1.89 (68 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Beistle Santa Backseat Driver Car Cling here.
9. GSF Frames Merry Christmas License Plate Frame
Since we use them the rest of the year to display various messages, the license plate frame is a perfect spot to work in a little more Christmas magic. This ABS plastic option is as straightforward as it gets, with a simple, festive message. For something more involved, try this Olens Technology LumiSign frame, which is battery operated and automatically lights up. If you happen to live in a state where only one plate is required, you could also deck out your spare space with a decorative aluminum plate. Everything from Christmas trees to snowmen are available.
Buy the GSF Frames Merry Christmas License Plate Frame here.
10. Rocky Mountain Goods Large Wired Red Bow
Similar to the wreath above, affixing a simple red bow to your car is also a viable option. This is the velvet style that includes an attachment tie for being fastened to your grille. This is but one category of big bows for cars. If you need something for Christmas morning because you actually managed to do what all those car commercials advertise in buying someone a car, you’re probably looking for something like this Ella Celebration magnetic bow. Those won’t work when your car is moving, but if you’re gifting a car, you should definitely get one of these.
Buy the Rocky Mountain Goods Large Wired Red Bow here.
Need more Christmas ideas, from gifts to decorations? Browse our Christmas category for more posts from our whole team.