- TikTok is obsessed with the little-red-truck-hauling-a-Christmas-tree decor trend started by @mello_yoshi.
- His entire home is filled with decorations featuring this now iconic image.
- The artwork itself might have been created by Hallmark Card illustrator Geoff Greenleaf, whose work inspired a Hallmark holiday movie.
I start pulling out Christmas decorations the moment Thanksgiving dinner is over. Dessert can wait because it's time to find the weird old mouse calendar that used to belong to my grandmother, but now hangs on my wall so I can mark the days leading up to Christmas. The only Black Friday deals I care about are related to purchasing a Christmas tree. In fact, moving forward I will refer to that day as Black Douglas Firday.
Every single holiday decoration I own used to be in my grandmother's house when she was still alive. Some of them are things my great-grandmother made, while others are probably from the Home Shopping Channel back when using a landline was the only way to make a purchase. All this to say, my decor is best described as kitschy chic. Somehow I have avoided the little-red-truck-hauling-a-Christmas-tree trend that has taken TikTok by storm, though it is omnipresent.
What's the deal with the little-red-truck-hauling-a-Christmas-tree trend on TikTok?
Perhaps there is no bigger accidental fan of the little-red-truck-hauling-a-Christmas-tree artwork than TikTok's @mello_yoshi. I say accidental because apparently Mello's obsession was kicked off by his mom. "Yo, look at these Christmas decorations my mama got me," he says in a festive video. Mello's southern drawl adds to the charming parade of items that all feature, you guessed it, a little red truck hauling a Christmas tree (LRTHACT).
As he sips from a LRTHACT mug, Mello pans around a house that can best be described as a museum to this truck and that tree. We then land on a porcelain LRTHACT that lights up, followed by a welcome mat, and decorative hand towels. "I got whatever this thing is, but it's got a little red truck hauling a Christmas tree," he exclaims. By the way, the thing in question is a spoon rest. Obviously no kitchen decor is complete without an oven mit featuring a little red truck hauling a Christmas tree. You get the picture, literally
As of the time of this writing, the #littleredtruck hashtag has over 43 million views on TikTok. Obviously I haven't looked at every video, but based on a quick scroll, I can see that most of them are related to the LRTHACT. And of those, they are all inspired by Mello. So, where did this all begin? Who is responsible for this Norman Rockwell–style phenomenon?
Where did the little red truck hauling a Christmas tree come from?
While the phrase itself appears to have been coined by Mello, the artwork's origin is a bit more murky. According to carsforsale.com, the older truck is usually one of a few models. The first is a Ford Model 50 design which "first hit the market back in 1935 with an updated design to match cars of the time."
Not to be outdone by Ford, Chevy quickly followed suit with a similar model called the classic Half-Ton. It was designed in 1938, and contained "swept fenders and side headlamps which are iconic design points among many Christmas truck decorations." Clearly Dodge also had to get in on the red truck madness with its own model, the "early Dodge Job-Rated pickups that ran from 1939-1947." From here, various versions of older model Fords, Chevys, and Dodges dominate the LRTHACT decor.
As far as creating the now iconic artwork, the artist responsible might be Hallmark Card illustrator Geoff Greenleaf. His artwork was the inspiration behind their holiday movie Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa, which premiered in November 2018. A little red truck hauling a Christmas tree is front and center in the film and in Geoff's art. He in turn was inspired by his own childhood, in a small town in New England.