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The holidays are upon us, and some like to go all out with decorations, even on their cars. Decking your vehicle for the holidays can be a fun and quirky way to get into the spirit of the season. Just remember, before transforming your ride into a rolling winter wonderland, avoid obstructing outward visibility or otherwise interfering with your car’s safe operation.

1. Christmas lights on your car

A red car decorated with Christmas lights in New York City
A car festooned with Christmas lights in New York City | John Lamparski/Getty Images

Ah, the twinkling allure of Christmas lights. You can find plenty of battery-operated string lights online. Some LED sets come with adhesive, a remote control, and programmable color and pattern settings. But ensure the adhesive is safe for your car’s paint yet strong enough to stay affixed. We suggest driving at lower speeds and avoiding highways.

Also, be sure to check local regulations. Safety is paramount regarding whether or not you can hang lights on your car. Most municipalities don’t have laws directly addressing holiday lights. However, you could get pulled over for them, resulting in a warning or fine.

2. Rudolph’s nose and antlers

The Rudolph-nose-and-antlers combo is a classic. Plenty of retail outlets sell these sets with easy installation instructions. Simply attach the red nose to your car’s grille, and secure a pair of antlers on the roof. Voilà — your vehicle is ready to guide Santa’s sleigh (or at least lead the way to the mall).

3. Santa or elf legs sticking out of your car’s trunk

If you’re feeling mischievous or Scroogelike, stick Santa or an elf in your trunk. Attach a pair of stuffed legs, complete with festive boots, to the trunk of your car, giving the illusion that Santa or his little helper is riding along. It’s a humorous touch that’ll have other motorists grinning at stoplights.

4. Wreaths and garland

Give your car a touch of holiday elegance with wreaths and garland. Hang a wreath on the front grille and drape garland along the sides or on the roof racks. These timeless decorations add a touch of sophistication to your festive ride. However, ensure they’re securely fastened so they don’t become road hazards.

5. Car window paint and decals

Unleash your inner artist with holiday-themed window paint and decals. Transform your car windows into a canvas and create snowy scenes, Santa Claus, or reindeer in flight. Remember to keep the artwork on the windows to avoid damaging your car’s paint. And, again, avoid blocking your view of the road.

6. Themed magnets

Magnetic decorations are a quick and easy way to add a festive touch to your car without the commitment. Find holiday-themed magnets like snowflakes, candy canes, and Christmas trees, and stick them on your car’s body and other metal parts. Car magnets are not only fun but also easily removable.

7. Holiday-themed car seat covers and floor mats

If you’re not ready to commit to exterior decorations, consider outfitting your car’s interior with holiday-themed accessories like seat covers and floor mats. These additions provide comfort and style while you cruise through the winter wonderland of traffic.

8. Holiday air fresheners

OK, air fresheners aren’t decorations per se, but they infuse your car with scents of the season. A holiday-themed air freshener can make every drive feel like a sleigh ride through a forest of Christmas trees or a cozy night by the fireside. However, check your local laws because hanging air fresheners from your rearview mirror might be illegal.

Christmas car decorations can bring holiday cheer

There are plenty of other ways to decorate your car for the holidays, as YouTuber Samantha Jo hilariously shows. But if we haven’t already drilled it into your head, remember to exercise caution and prioritize car safety. Avoid anything that might obstruct your view or create a hazard while driving. After all, you want your car to be a source of joy, not traffic mishaps.