20 Festive Tattoos for Anyone Obsessed With Christmas

Joe Osborne | Dec 16, 2019 Beauty & Style
20 Festive Tattoos for Anyone Obsessed With Christmas

The Sweet Side of Christmas
mstraditionaltattoo / Instagram

Christmas may only last a few days, but its spirit is something that's meant to be kept all year-round. Cliches aside, some folks out there take that sentiment rather seriously, ensuring they never forget with a beautiful piece of ink. The Christmas season means different things to different people, as evidenced by our eclectic list of the most interesting Christmas tattoos. Whether that's through some of the best Christmas films and TV specials of all time, through classical depictions of the holiday or even through the darker side of Christmas, people are keeping the spirit all year with beautiful works of art that aren't going anywhere.

We've collected an incredible list, paying homage to some of the most beloved characters of Christmas such as Chip and Dale, Jack Skellington, Kermit the Frog and more. (We've even found a Bulbasaur-themed Christmas tattoo!) The influence of Christmas has found its way into almost every corner of popular culture -- even Halloween and the counter culture scene. Yes, that means we're about to show off the darker side of Christmas as well, and we're not talking about rampant consumerism. Take a look to find all sorts of inspiration for that next (or first) tattoo to keep the Christmas spirit forever.

  • A Gorgeous, Classic-Style Christmas Scene


    What better way to kick off this list of the top Christmas tattoos with a beautifully American traditionalist piece by artist Shannon Pagliarini of New Jersey? We love how this ink blends the cuddly warmth of the season with the solid colors and lines that make up the identity of American traditionalist tattoos.

  • The Cutest Christmas Mouse Ever


    This here is not only some of the best line and dot work that we've seen, it's also the downright most adorable, cuddly, and squeezable Christmas mouse likely of all time. Inked by artist Valeria Marinaci of Eastbourne, England, it expertly captures the storybook style of the season on an unlikely canvas.

  • Chip and Dale do Christmas


    In a brazen act of nigh-irreversible copyright infringement, we have here a beautifully colored and accurately depicted piece featuring everyone's favorite Disney duo of chipmunks: Chip and Dale. When they're not being "Rescue Rangers," they're ringing in the Christmas season in style, thanks to an artist that goes by Miss Mae LaRoux in California.

  • A Storybook Christmas Tree


    This piece inked by an artist belonging to a studio in Seoul, South Korea, known as STUDIOBYSOL looks as if it wouldn't be possible with ink and a needle. It looks much more like an illustration ripped from an adaptation of The Night Before Christmas, and therefore is an inspirational tattoo to say the least. 

  • The Dark Side of Christmas


    For those who like tattoos that lean the dark side of things -- yes, even for Christmas -- then may we entice with this incredibly gruesome depiction of Krampus, the evil Christmas spirit that comes to children that misbehave during the season. Beautifully rendered by Croatian studio Underground Black Tattoo Studio, it melds Japanese styling with American traditionalism in horrifying fashion. 

  • 'Happy Birthday!'


    Hopefully anyone who's seen the Rankin & Bass Frosty the Snowman animated special immediately gets this one. This gorgeously shaded and colored Frosty tattoo depicts one of the hap-hap-happiest snowmen of all time, expertly inked by artist Jessica Kerr from Scotland.

  • Is That You, Sandy Claws?


    Did anyone really think we'd get far through this list without addressing the second king of Christmas, the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington? Fat chance, and this stunning rendition by an artist known as Ye-Eun in Seoul, South Korea, is a perfect send-up for the character. We just hope whomever received this beauty has a good attorney should they ever step foot in Disneyland.

  • Time to Smooch Under My Elbow -- I Mean, the Mistletoe


    We'd consider this an odd placement for a mistletoe -- or holly -- tattoo, but placing such a tattoo just about anywhere else could have ... problematic implications. Anyway, it's a gorgeous example of color and shading regardless, an excellent piece of ink by Jayce Cogburn of Sherman, Texas.

  • Bulbasaur Makes Any Wreath Merrier


    Look, it just isn't Christmas without some pocket monsters, and tattooist Franky Ballerini of Manchester, England, knows that well. This is one stunning rendition of the Grass-type Pokemon Bulbasaur in the cuddliest ugly Christmas sweater -- or shall we say "jumper"?

  • The Griswold Family Tree Found at Last


    All that's missing from this piece is the divine light cast upon the Griswold family Christmas tree from above when it's finally found in Christmas Vacation. Expertly inked by a Russian artist known as Stefani, this is one of those rare pieces of hyper-realistic ink that should be coveted as inspiration.

  • You're a Mean One...


    We here are, like so many others, mega fans of the original Grinch cartoon, so this piece hits mighty close to home. Inked by French studio Pepperpot Tattoo, this expert example of line work is a beautifully accurate recreation of the Grinch at this naughtiest -- just before his heart grows three sizes.

  • A Fantastically Festive Piece of Ink


    What else can we say? Whomever received this tattoo, by a German artist known only as buybuybirdy on Instagram, undoubtedly adores this holiday. This piece is executed masterfully by its creator, with excellent color and shading throughout, making us just want to curl up beside the fire inside that cute cottage. 

  • A Classic Christmas Wreath


    This wonderful piece by artist Arienette Ashman of Bournemoth, England, brings that classical Christmas feeling like none other we've seen. From the holly in deep green to the citrus fruit, pine cone and tiny, golden Christmas bells, this is peak merry-making.

  • A Watercolor Christmas


    Here's a brilliant watercolor piece by Belgian artist Nat Apple that depicts an abstract Christmas tree illuminated by colorful globes that are, naturally, ball ornaments. It's a beautifully artistic piece of ink that, for lack of a better descriptor, looks simply dreamy. 

  • Kermit the -- I mean -- Bob Cratchit, Here


    We don't think we're making an outlandish statement in saying that A Muppet Christmas Carol is a gosh-darned national treasure. This excellent tattoo by expert US inker Ash Valentine captures the spirit of Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit and his son, Tiny Tim -- all it needs is a rendition of the inimitable Michael Cain as Ebenezer Scrooge to make it a masterclass reference.

  • The Sweet Side of Christmas


    This is a simple but effective homage to the most wonderful time of the year: a candy cane wrapped in a bow and topped with some pine needles. Portuguese artist Mariza Seita masterfully colored and shaded this piece in a brilliant display of Christmas spirit.

  • Charlie Brown Could Make Christmas Work Anywhere


    For anyone out there lacking in Christmas spirit, one look at Charlie Brown's valiant attempts at finding and keeping it should do the trick. This piece is fantastically rendered by Lineanomala Tattoo Piercing in Crevalcore, Italy, with incredibly accurate color and line work that brings us right back to that timeless 1965 television special.

  • It's Just Not Christmas Without Clark Griswold


    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is the greatest Christmas movie of all time -- and, no, we're not here to debate that. Obvious statements aside, this black-and-white piece inked beautifully by Jeremy Hill of Las Vegas pays great reverence to the comedic genius of Chevy Chase.

  • Krampus Returns to Avenge Christmas Spirit


    For those with misbehaving kids during the Christmas season, consider bringing up not-so-good old Krampus, the Christmas demon! The Elf on the Shelf may be watching for Santa, but Krampus is the enforcer of Santa's "Naughty or Nice" list. Unfortunately, we don't know who inked this one, but it's incredible (if dark) inspiration nevertheless. 

  • If Bumble Can Get in the Spirit, We All Can


    One of our absolute favorite Christmas specials ever is Rankin and Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, especially when Rudolph and crew run into the The Abominable Snowmonster of the North, Bumble -- so named by Yukon Cornelius. This masterwork by Erik Sacony of Shwenksville, Pennsylvania, takes us right back to that incredible stop-motion animation special.

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