Amy L. Rawson
Amy L. Rawson

A Cthulhu Christmas

Amy L. Rawson
Amy L. Rawson

Some people like to combine their traditional Christmas holiday decorations and customs with their enjoyment of H.P. Lovecraft’s dreaded elder god Cthulhu. Cthulhu’s appearance is depicted as “part man, part dragon, and part octopus,” and the incongruence of his image in the trappings of a joyous family-centered holiday is too precious to resist. Some refer to these mashups at Cthulmas or Cthulhumas, while others just simply say Cthulhu Christmas.

Santa Cthulhu Greeting Card

Do you have your Christmas cards sent yet? These from Sigh Co. Graphics feature Santa Cthulhu in all his hideousness.

Eldritch Horror doesn't get much more Christmas-y than this! This melding of the entities known as Santa Claus and Cthulhu has untraceable origins, but we suspect a connection between Cthulhu's telepathic powers and Santa's supernatural ability to watch you at all times.

If that isn’t a horrifying thought, I don’t know what is.

Cthulhumas Tree

Photograph by Flickr user (OvO).

Maika Keuben made a Cthulhumas tree with tentacle tree ornaments, googly eyes made for Christmas trees (slightly altered), blue lights, and homemade wings.

Cthulhumas Wreath

Photograph by Flickr user (OvO).

This year, Keuben is busy working on a Cthulhumas wreath. Note the festive tentacles and how they contrast with the red tinsel! You can see the finished wreath here.

Santa Cthulhu

Photograph by Amy L. Rawson.

For several years now, artist Amy L. Rawson has crafted a needle-felted Santa Cthulhu sculpture (often in collaboration with artist Brian East), changing the design each year. Shown here is the 2013 sculpture; you can see more pictures of it here. Previous projects show Santa Cthulhu filling stockings with sea creatures, enjoying a snack with Mrs. Cthulhu, and scaring little children

Cthulhu Ornaments

Photographs by Amy L. Rawson.

If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, there are plenty of Cthulhu tree ornaments you can buy. A Google image search will show you dozens, although you may have to search a while to find some that are in stock and available. Amy Rawson has several at her Etsy store. An Etsy search reveals quite a few more. 

Scary Solstice Carols

The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society produced a couple of albums of holiday music for fans of Cthulhu. A Very Scary Solstice came out in 2003, with songs like "It's the Most Horrible Time of the Year" and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth.” A sequel followed in 2006 called An Even Scarier Solstice.

Festive Cthulhu Sweater

Everyone has an ugly Christmas sweater, but few have a dreadful Cthulhu Christmas sweater. Middle of Beyond sells this Cthulhu Lovecraft Knit Sweater in colors that will fit in with any Christmas party, but may have your family or co-workers scratching their heads and wondering about you. It will be well worth it.

Cthuken Feast

Photograph by Rusty Eulberg.

No proper Christmas celebration is complete without a feast. Your Cthulhu Christmas dinner could well feature a Cthuken. This dish is the brainchild of Rusty Eulberg of Lubbock, Texas.

According to Eulberg, he and wife Jennifer Robledo "wanted to do something unique for Christmas dinner with friends of ours. Jenny is a big fan of Cthulhu so we went and bought some crab legs and some octopus and bacon and cooked them all separate and slapped them together on a plate, and that was it. The next year I made a Cthicken; the same thing using squid instead of octopus and a chicken."

Each part is cooked separately in its normal manner and then assembled on the plate for presentation. Eulberg said it was delicious.

See also: Cute Little Cthulhu.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Want to Recycle Your Christmas Tree? Feed It to an Elephant
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

When the holiday season finally comes to a close, people get creative with the surplus of dead Christmas trees. One San Francisco-based artist transformed brittle shrubs into hanging installation pieces. Others use pine needles for mulch, or repurpose trees into bird sanctuaries. For the average person, sticking it into a wood chipper or "treecycling" it as part of a community program are all eco-friendly ways to say goodbye to this year's Douglas fir. None of these solutions, however, are as cute as the waste-cutting strategy employed by some zoos around the world: giving them to elephants.

Each year, zookeepers at Tierpark Berlin—a facility that bills itself as “Europe’s largest adventure animal park”—feed the elephants unsold pine trees. The plants are reportedly pesticide-free, and they serve as a good (albeit prickly) supplement to the pachyderms' usual winter diets.

A bit closer to home, the residents of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee rely on local residents to take part in their annual Christmas Tree Drive. In addition to being nutrient-rich, the tree's needles are said to help aid in an elephant's digestion. But beyond all that, it's pretty adorable to watch.

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5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree

What’s the environmentally safest way to dispose of your Christmas tree? It’s hard to say. Grown, managed, transported, and recycled efficiently, a real Christmas tree’s environmental impact should be near neutral. Unfortunately, not all Christmas tree plantations are equal in their environmental impact.

The most eco-friendly way is to leave the tree in the ground, where it belongs, so you never have to dispose of it. But then you don't have a Christmas tree in your house to bring festive cheer. One thing you can do is be environmentally smart when it comes to the tree's disposal. After this festive season, why not try one of these eco-friendly methods.


If you’re lucky enough to have access to a big wood-chipper, you may be able to chip the entire tree. Wood-chip is great as a decorative landscaping material. But if you really want to do great things for the environment (and if you have access to a lot of Christmas trees), you could make a bioreactor to denitrify water. Nitrates are put on farms across the world to help increase crop output, but a considerable amount is washed away into lakes and rivers where it’s disastrous for fish and potentially toxic for people. A wood chip bioreactor encourages the growth of bacteria that break down the nitrates in the drainage water, reducing the amount that gets into the water supply. It's not a simple project, however. To make one, you have to dig a big trench, get the water to flow through said trench, and fill it with wood chips. More info can be found here [PDF].



If your tree hasn’t yet let go of its needles—and you haven’t yet let go of Christmas, get crafty with it. Cut off small branches and bind them around a circle of wire to make an attractive wreath. This looks even better if some of the cones are still attached. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could set up an essential oil extractor to get a supercharged Christmas scent. If you are already distilling alcohol, you have everything you need (here's how to do it). With a little less effort and equipment, you can make a weaker liquid called hydrosol, which is a fragrant condensate water containing water-soluble parts of the needles.


Many legumes, such as garden peas, are thigmotropic, meaning that they respond to objects they touch, growing in coils along or up them. Needle-free Christmas tree branches have lots of twigs, texture, and knobby protrusions for peas and beans to get a grip on. This allows them to grow upwards strongly toward light. Simply stick a small tree branch in the soil next to each new shoot for a free, effective legume-climbing frame. Another advantage of this technique is that it makes grazing animals less likely to munch those tender green shoots, as they tend to avoid getting Christmas tree twigs spiked up their noses.


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Come January, it’s cold, the festivities are over, work looms, and you’ve got too much on your mind to be thinking about dead Christmas tree horticulture or crafts. Fortunately, a simple solution is at hand: Most counties and municipalities now provide Christmas tree recycling points where you can take your tree for chipping. Some “TreeCycle” points will even exchange your tree for a bag of wood-chip or chip mulch. OK, this probably means that you’ll have to jam that Christmas tree into your car once more, but as long as you don’t have to drive too many miles out of your way, Christmas tree recycling is a quick and easy environmentally-friendly option.


After you’ve had your Christmas cheer, why shouldn’t fish have some fun? Several communities have programs in place where they’ll take your old Christmas tree, drill a hole in the base, tie a brick to it, and throw it in a lake. When humans create artificial lakes, they tend to be relatively featureless on the bottom for easy dredging. That’s great for us, but it means baby fish have nowhere to escape predators. Christmas trees provide a nice, temporary place for the fish to hide out and explore.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to see your Christmas tree mauled by a pride of lions, that’s OK too! Some zoos around the world take Christmas tree donations (but please remove all the tinsel first) and allow the animals to play with them.


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