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The Daily Dish How to Holiday

We're Obsessed with Patricia Altschul’s "Super Campy" Holiday Decor

The Southern Charm matriarch showed off her unexpected Christmas pieces, like a dancing flamingo and a singing iguana.

By Joshua Espinoza
Patricia Altschul Finally Gives a Full Tour of Her Breathtaking Charleston House

Patricia Altschul’s holiday decor is everything you’d expect: a combination of vintage maximalism, English country style, and a hefty dose of kitsch.

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The Southern Charm matriarch showed off her bold decorations in a series of December 22 Instagram posts, just days after her holiday reunion with her former butler, Michael Kelcourse. Patricia began by highlighting an object that has become quite familiar among Bravo fans: the Santa hat-clad iguana that sings “Feliz Navidad” when its front claw is pushed.

“It’s that time of year when I bring out all my Christmas animals,” she captioned a video of the amusing knick-knack.

Patricia went on to share a clip of her festive flamingo that danced to the holiday classic “Jingle Bells.” “It wouldn’t be Christmas without my dancing flamingo!” she wrote, followed by the “super campy Christmas" hashtag.

The Florida-born, Virginia-raised mom also shared footage of her adorable Pomeranian, Roy, sniffing around a faux poinsettia that bopped to "Rockin' Around the Christmas".

"Wait… there’s more," she captioned the December 23 post before dropping an interesting tidbit. "Roy wasn’t impressed. Did you all know that the Pointsettia was named for Joel Poinsett ….a botanist from Charleston, SC?"

Patricia Altschul's "Old-Fashioned" Christmas Tree

Patricia then gave fans a thorough look at the massive Christmas tree placed at the bottom of her staircase. The piece was adorned with strings of colorful bulbs and candlelights, as well as an eclectic mix of ornaments, like lions, fireflies, elephants, pineapples, woven mittens, and a few Santa Clauses.

The tree was also surrounded by red gift boxes wrapped in gold ribbon, as well as dozens of collectibles from the storied toy company Steiff. The collection of stuffed animals included everything from a tiger and a camel to an alligator and a giraffe. 

“This is not a ‘decorator’ tree,” Patricia captioned the video. “It’s really old fashioned with ornaments that came from my grandparents, parents and ones that Whitney made as a child. It looks the same every year with old Steiff animals from my childhood (the giraffe) and his.”

Patricia Altschul's Historic Charleston Home

Patricia Altschul Wallpaper House Home

The socialite and former art dealer purchased the famed Isaac Jenkins Mikell House in 2008, nearly 160 years after it was built. Patricia decorated the home with the help of the late Mario Buatta, a world-renowned interior decorator who was nicknamed the “Prince of Chintz.”

The historic home has been heavily featured on Southern Charm, thanks to Patricia’s affinity for hosting. Fans got another look at the house in Season 9 Episode 10, when Patricia threw a dinner party inspired by the British Royal family.

“You know I do the guys’ dinner every year,” she told Shep Rose and her son, Whitney Sudler-Smith. “So I’m thinking maybe we should try to elevate it. I’m going to get a chef who can cook menus from royal castles.” 

Patricia shed more light on the theme in an episode interview, where she explained her overall goal for the dinner: “I thought the aspect of royalty [would] make them feel like British aristocrats and might inspire them to behave themselves.”

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