Perhaps the best thing about the whole Christmas season is receiving a John Waters Christmas card. Everyone’s favorite (pervy) gay director has been sending out custom Christmas cards for years, and they’re always brilliant. This years’ is no exception.
Here’s the 2017 John Waters Christmas card:
🎄”Have a Cool Yule and a Frantic First!”The 2017 John Waters Christmas Card
The card pictures a heavily tattooed John Waters, wearing a punk sleeveless Santa hoodie. And if you look closer, all his tattoos are Christmas related. His arms read “Season’s Beatings,” “Chimney Invasions” and “Little Bummer Boy.” His face says “Prancer,” “Jingle Balls” and, in a brilliant touch, a prison-teardrop styled snowflake by his eye. And, of course, he’s got Night of the Hunter-style knuckle tattoos — “M-E-RR-Y X-M-A-S.” It’s all summed up by the caption “Have a cool Yule and a frantic First!”
Of course, John Waters has long been open about his love of Christmas. He wrote about it in his book of essays Crackpot. Though, being John Waters, he wasn’t writing about the joys of snuggling in with some cocoa to watch the yearly rerun of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Instead, Waters described Santa as an erotic figure, blaming him for heroin addiction and recommending films like Silent Night, Deadly Night, Black Christmas and Christmas Evil. (While Waters named Christmas Evil as his favorite, we gotta go with the brilliantly bonkers Silent Night, Deadly Night. Just stay away from the awful sequels.)
John Waters Christmas cards embrace that dark and weird side of Christmas, just as you’d expect. A gallery of past cards is available at the Dreamland News fansite — unfortunately, in pretty small images, though they at least get the idea across. For example, 2001’s card compared a photo of Divine in heavy scar makeup with an old LIFE magazine photo of Elizabeth Taylor after brain surgery. Liz showed up before in his ’94 Christmas card, in a still from the film Ash Wednesday.
Sometimes he even experimented with the form. In 2014, he sent out an Advent calendar. With all the doors closed, it’s a lovely scene by illustrator Kagan McLeod showing kids running down the stairs to open their presents on Christmas morning. Each of the presents (as well as some of the paintings on the walls) is a door. When you open them, you find pictures of some of Waters’ favorite media icons and cultural moments. For example, the fireplace opens to reveal the New York Post front cover from 1981 reading “POPE SHOT” in huge, red letters. (You can open each of the doors here.)
We’ve included a gallery of some of our favorite John Waters Christmas cards below. And, for those interested, Dangerous Minds has a selection of NSFW retail cards featuring Dreamland players Edith “The Egg Lady” Massey, Divine and Jean Hill that were available to buy in the 1980s.
See a few of our favorite John Waters Christmas cards below:
Happy holidays, and may you get the cha-cha heels you always wanted!
Featured image by Lloyd Fox from the Baltimore Sun