Certain decorations are associated with secular Christmas displays. These include, but are not limited to, depictions of Santa Claus, reindeer (especially with red noses), elves, snowmen, wrapped boxes, Christmas trees, penguins (in a Christmas context), and the like. Justin of our fictional Justin and Justina dialogue duo, which consists of two similarly-named and unusual Brooklyn friends, wondered what it takes to turn a non-Christmas decoration into a Christmas decoration. Below, I present a dialogue between Justin and Justina wherein Justin wrestles with this important question and finds his answer: Just put a Santa hat on it.

(Justin and Justina are a fictional New Leaf Journal dialogue duo created by New Leaf Journal editor Nicholas A. Ferrell. Their dialogues cover their strange, sometimes random conversations (usually) in Brooklyn, New York. If you enjoy this dialogue, you can find many (over 50) more in our Justin and Justina Collection hub.)

Dialogue Introduction

We begin our dialogue with Justin and Justina taking a walk through the Brooklyn neighborhood of Boerum Hill. Justin has a thought as they turn a corner. Note that the conversation occurs as Justin and Justina are walking down the block in such a way that one is led to suspect that Justin set Justina up for this conversation.

The Dialogue

Justin: Remember a few years ago when you were hacking me about what I wanted for Christmas?
Justina: Unfortunately, yes. You never told me, by the way.
Justin: I agreed to coal. Anyway, remember the dinosaur with a Santa hat?
Justina: No.
Justin: So here it is…

Three inflatable figures in front of a Brooklyn home. From left to right, a green dinosaur with a wrapped present box in its mouth and a Santa hat, a penguin, and a very round Santa Claus.
Note: The Santa is back out this year in 2023 but his friends are not with him. I originally took this photo with my former BlackBerry Classic in 2020 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, some 20-25 minutes away from the three below photos.

Justin: Which one of these is not ordinarily Christmas?
Justina: What do you mean? They all look Christmas.
Justin: Imagine you took away everything they were holding?
Justina: The dragon thing?
Justin: It’s a dinosaur! Yeesh! You need to learn your dinosaurs.
Justina: Yeah yeah whatever.
Justin: Yeah, fair enough. I also mistook it for a dragon until we found a real Christmas dragon. But anyway, why is it Christmas? I thought about why I automatically associated it with Christmas. Then it occurred to me. Eureka!
Justina: The hat?
Justin: That’s exactly it. Just like how putting a witch’s hat on a green vehicle turns it into Halloween, putting a Santa hat on a dinosaur turns it into Christmas. It is even simpler than coming up with a double-duty Halloween-Thanksgiving scarecrow.
Justina: That’s obvious… well I don’t know about the scarecrow thing…
Justin: But could you make a flamingo into Christmas?
Justina: Why would you try?
Justin: Ask them! [Justin points at a home they are approaching]

A white angel decoration next to a stuffed flamingo lawn ornament with a Santa hat in front of a brownstone in Brooklyn.
Someone turned a flamingo lawn ornament into Christmas.

Justina: Santa hat on a flamingo…
Justin: You see?
Justina: That’s a good Christmas decoration. At first I thought you were full of it but turning a flamingo into Christmas with a Santa hat is pretty good.
Justin: Now see what we have in store next…

A cardinal decoration on a stake in the ground. The red cardinal is wearing a Santa hat.
Christmas cardinal.

Justina: Look at the inflatable Santa!
Justin: Shh! That is being covered in a different article!
Justina: What are you talking about?
Justin: We’re focusing on the cardinal.
Justina: I do like the cardinal with a Christmas hat but a cardinal for Christmas is less of a stretch than a dinosaur or a flamingo.
Justin: That’s fair, but I personally associate cardinals with spring and summer. But fair enough, got the colors, the name, maybe the cardinal doesn’t need the Santa hat.
Justina: It looks good in it though.
Justin: “He.”
Justina: How do you know!?
Justin: Only the males are red.
Justina: Hmph.
Justin: Now I have one that is going to blow you away. Look here.

A metal penguin with a Santa hat in front of a terracotta soldier bust with a Santa hat in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
Not Tux but…

Justina: A penguin? What’s so special about that? A penguin thing in December doesn’t need a Santa hat to be identified with Christmas.
Justin: There’s plenty special about Tux.
Justina: Who is Tux!?
Justin: But anyway, look behind Tux the penguin. To his right.
Justina: …The Chinese guy has a Santa hat.
Justin: He’s a terracotta soldier. You don’t normally associate them with Christmas!
Justina: That’s true.
Justin: But is he Christmas now?
Justina: …He does appear to be Christmas.
Justin: Why?
Justina: Santa hat… wait why am I answering your questions?
Justin: Because the terracotta Christmas soldier just blew your mind.
Justina: Hey do you think my guinea pig pumptake would become Christmas with a Santa hat?
Justin: I think so. I found a stock image of three guinea pigs in Santa hats.
Justina: OMG! They are Christmas!
Justin: How about reindeer antlers?
Justina: Too many bad associations. Go with the Santa hats.