Note: This is an archive of "Papa" Ted Althof's online tribute to cardboard Christmas "putz" houses and their history. At Ted's request, this archive was established in early 2012. Except for critical updates and announcements, it will remain exactly as Ted left it in October, 2012.
For more information, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

House of the Month 2009 snow scene snowy scene
*House of the Month*
- 2010 -


Christmas holly bad graphic



Continuing from December, 2009 with another of what some refer to as the "Boulder Houses," the second of three such known. Another fine piece from the Barb Kuz Collection.
Japanese dimestore Christmas house
Japanese dimestore Christmas house
Japanese dimestore Christmas house
Japanese dimestore Christmas house
I'll be back with the dimensions as soon as I can get them, but I think it's a little smaller than the December HOM.
Here is the third known example of one of these "Boulder" houses.
antique Christmas house
This picture was recovered from the internet, so the color may not be exact. The painted stone detail is not as good. I'm sure that sprig of lycopodeum is not original and half the fence is missing.
Christmas holly graphic

Lavender Giant

From Tom Hull - a recent super-find!
large Japanese Christmas house
You just don't find them like THIS every day.
large Japanese Christmas house
large Japanese Christmas house
(Ted, here - The oddest feature of this house to me is this strange truncation of this one rear corner. The house itself is not really forced-perspective except back here.
One ponders the "why" of it ...)
large Japanese Christmas house
Tom's own words -
"The paint on this Santa is perfect. He glued down with a slight lean and will leave him that way. Will take a post from the rear and put it up front and make a replacement for the back one. Also have some cellophane that needs to be addressed and hope to do that soon.
This is in outstanding condition - have never found the coconut this pristene. I have already re-glued the Santa figure back in place.
large Japanese Christmas house
Close up view of the porch. This is about the right tint for the lavender. Notice the slight whitish appearance to the stone or sand that has been sprinkled over the lavender paint. I have noticed this for some time and am not sure how they achieved this look. Anybody have a guess as to what it is? It almost seems to have "drunk up" some of the paint and turned lavender while some of it stays white. Whatever the reason it is a very charming building.
large Japanese Christmas house
Notice the aluminum foil on the roof. First Giant house to sport this feature.
large Japanese Christmas house
The dimensions on this house are 9" by 5" base and overall height is 7 1/4".
Christmas house original box Christmas house original box

On the left is the end panel. Though the numbers look like they are hand lettered I believe they are an odd printers type face. Notice the (1) which indicates the quantity.
Notice the cloth texture to this cardboard which the white paper covering did not hide. I believe this is a fairly home made type of pasteboard that was rolled out using a roller press and rolled onto a type of sailcloth to make it easier to handle and to dry. Likely made from rice straw as that would have been far more available than say wood pulp. Further the breaking down of the cellulose fibers in straw is far easier than breaking down wood pulp and more do-able on a small scale workshop basis.
- Tom Hull"
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Lovely Loggie

Tom Hull also contributed this beauty.

Tom writes:
"This front view of this rare loggie shows us several rare features that we may wish to take note of. The door is a likely hand cut mullioned one - (how would you like to cut that one out?), additional interesting points are the rarely seen raised brick featured on the chimney and the little (original) "hedge".

One of our fellow collectors Robby noted that the champhered ends of the gables reminded him of chalet construction that helps repel the show and lighten the load on the ridgepole. He is from Montana and has seen this feature in some buildings in the mountains there. So this one must be a Mountain Cabin! It is an unusual feature. This one is a close relative of the APRIL HOM 2007 bright loggie that I own only in that the colors are bright and intense. Here the colors are far more subdued (No not faded.)

I also wanted to discuss the little Stanley Steamer Model that is prominently featured in the photos. It is somewhat unusual as it was made in Russia. The attraction for me is that it is a "Runabout" style body which I have not seen in these models. Quite rare and made a few years ago it is about the right size for this larger Mountain Cabin putz house.

The subtleties of texture and color remind one of Karl Fey's great loggies that are so lovingly and beautifully finished. The yard has a sort of gritty green material that has been over-painted for snow. All in all a fascinating house of larger proportions with substantially more architectural interest. The dimensions are; 8" X 5 1/4" base, 5" height."

Well, "Papa" Ted has no argument with anything Tom has said about this one-in-a-million Loggie, - but wonders what on Earth prompted the Russians to be making tiny Stanley Steamers so long after they have faded from this world. Go figure!

And by the way - it turns out that Tom is a March Hare! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM!

Christmas holly graphic


"Firecracker" Loggie

Tom Hull came up with this very unusual Loggie in which the individual logs are separate and discreet "firecracker" tubes formed of rolled newspaper- just the way Chinese firecrackers are made. I think Tom correctly points out that this technique did not last more than one attempt because it would just have been too labor-intensive to make the meagerest of profits.

That chenille "pipe-cleaner" tree is just as singular as the rest of it. That's the first one of that kind I have seen.

While by no means the largest nor most elaborate of houses, it's featured here in April because it's the only example I know of such novel construction.

Christmas holly graphic

May, June, July,
August, September, October:


Disaster struck in early May in the form of a complete computer crash. I had no way of editing the website for six months, having to depend on a friend to somehow recontruct a machine with the special set of interconnected apps it takes to do the website work. I have no mind for this sort of thing at all. It's not Natural knowledge and makes no sense to me at all. So while I'm sorry this happened, that's not an apology. This was not my fault at all and my friend is a very busy guy. So, all I can do is pick up from here and carry on in the hope that everyone has not forgotten "Papa Ted's Place."

Is it not frightening by what a slender, fragile thread of inscrutible technology our very existences depend? Even before The Crash, Houses of the Month were coming in less reliably, so I hope you'll help me keep this effort going with submissions of houses we haven't seen, old Christmas photos and the like. I also depend on all of you!
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The Big House

Robby Lucke submitted this. It's a bit deceptive. It looks rather simple and that makes it seem medium-sized in the pictures, but in reality it's huge!

It's 9" wide X 5.5" deep X 9" high at the chimney, a top-condition "coconut" of lavish proportions. Robbie says a tree is missing on the right and the one on the left has been rejuvenated via Tom Hull's methods. The hand-painted boy figure is original. The snowman is an add-on made by Tom Hull.

Here's a dead-on view from the right end. That lovely early coconut curved fence ...

Interesting little roof dormer with it's prange paper mullioning gives a hint of bigger things to come.
A closer view of the hand-detailed boy-figure. That, also, places it in the first wave of coconuts. Nice view of the whole front approach.

Here's what I meant by "bigger things to come." That living room bay window mullioning to match the dormer: - I've not seen that large-window pattern before, have you? I think it may be made of three of the same panels as was used in the dormer, but I'm not sure.Also of note, Robby points out that the garage or "dog house" is completely free-standing from the house. Unusual! They have been attached - sharing a wall with the house in every other case I've seen. And the house has an unusually high corrugated foundation bordering that adds a note of distinction.

Inside they are wishing you all a fine Thanksgiving. Outside, the boy may be looking for his dog - perhaps wondering "Where did this snowman come from?"

Christmas holly graphic


"Lucke Loggie"

Robbie Lucke sent in this one, too.
Christmas Log Cabin
It's an unusual, "loggie" - that's for sure. And large!
Christmas Log Cabin
The base is 8.5" X 5.5". It's 5.5" high. The house itself is 6" X 2.25".
Christmas Log Cabin
Christmas Log Cabin
Christmas Log Cabin
The captivating feature is, of course, that porch. And with the corrugated floor! Same as the roof. Take your high-heels off before attempting to come up on this one, ladies!

Christmas holly graphic

I don't know what to say this year. There was a big hole in the "House of the Month" and a big hole in America as well. Maybe it's just me. Even numbered years have always been unlucky, and this one in particular. But it's almost past and moving on and if past patterns hold, 2011 ought to be in equal measure super! We should remember that these little houses - the very best of them - came out of The Great Depression and they're still around. And so are we.

So, Merry Christmas to you all. Yes, make it so.

Christmas holly graphic


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Copyright 2000-2012 Theodore H. Althof,Jr.Except where noted, the contents of this website and all it's pages and submissions therein contained are the intellectual property of Theodore H.Althof,Jr. All rights are reserved. (Background musical selections are,of course, excepted.)

Note: This archive was set up at Ted's request in early 2012, and, except for critical updates and
announcements, will remain exactly as Ted left it in October, 2012.
The archive is kept online with the help of volunteers from:

Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site for Christmas music, stories, craft resources and much more.
Visit the OldChristmasTreeLights site for the history of Christmas tree lighting, including Bubble Lights and more.
Visit our collection of resources for collecting, restoring, and making your own cardboard Christmas houses.
Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions.
Check out  a very active, quality craft and collectibles blog (with local news of Croton NY).
Resources for making seasonal villages and model railroads for O, S, and On30 model railroading