Spending Way Too Much on Gifts
If you end every holiday season in a debtor's prison, you're spending too much on Christmas gifts. We're not sure why everyone feels compelled to spend outrageously on presents. Most of your friends and family probably don't care about the price tag on their gifts, and for the ones that do--just come to terms with the fact that you're never going to satisfy a person like that.
Have you ever given someone a small gift that's very thoughtful? They absolutely love it. It goes to show that you don't have to spend hundreds on something they'll probably only use once or twice anyway. If it's that expensive, they probably want something very specific anyway. Don't get someone a laptop or phone unless you know exactly which one they want.
Tinsel isn’t horrible by itself. It only gets really bad when it’s literally everywhere. It’s on the tree, it’s on the fireplace mantel, and it’s eventually all over the floor. We don’t need to treat tinsel like fake Easter grass. While we're on the subject, let's ditch that, too. It's just the same.
Another thing? Tinsel trees are horrible. Maybe once upon a time, they weren't so bad, but now they're the epitome of tacky. Let's go back to the natural-looking Christmas with dried oranges, cranberries, and popcorn. Nowadays, natural stuff is cheaper than anything artificial anyway. It also isn't the equivalent of Christmas glitter.
Mandatory Family Activities
Let me break the bad news to you--you may think you're a Clark Griswold, but you're absolutely not. Forcing your family members to do "fun" Christmas activities like you're the Waltons is just gonna ensure that you have no family to force activities on next year.
For most of us, it's one of the few times we get off work during the year. The last thing any of us want to do is put on a happy mask and participate in dumb games. If people want to join? Cool. If they don't, then let it slide and put on a movie. Need a suggestion? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Non-Stop Holiday Music
It's finally time to put Mariah Carey and "All I Want for Christmas Is You" out to pasture at the North Pole. This year it even started in early, early November! We didn't even have time to put away our Halloween pumpkins before she started shrieking at the top of her lungs.
Being in the Christmas spirit doesn't mean blasting Christmas music 24/7 until everyone's ears bleed. Since it's also one of the biggest shopping times of the year, retail workers are looking for this tradition to die a cold death. Playing upbeat music has the same effect.
Christmas Family Newsletter
No one on either side of the Christmas newsletter equation wants this. Your family doesn't want you airing all their business to the world in print form, and the people you're sending them to probably don't care as much about what's going on as you do.
The family members that want this information will gather it as it happens. Nothing says "I love you!" like forcing everyone to look at pictures of your Las Vegas vacation from July. Your mom already saw the photos, and that's the only person that really wants to see them to begin with.
We really don’t want strangers knocking on our door to sing. Actually, most of us don't want anyone knocking on the door during the holiday season unless it's someone delivering packages or family. Christmas caroling is a little creepy when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it all.
That doesn't even touch on the fact that it’s pretty cold outside. Joyous doesn’t come to mind when it comes to listening to people (sometimes badly) singing while forcing us to stand in the freezing weather. Sure, some of them sing great, but we don't want to hear it while standing at our front door.
Getting Dressed Up for Dinner
The best thing about Christmas is that you don’t have to get dressed up, but some people still force their families to dress to the nines for dinner. These people clearly don't respect the unwritten rule that you don't have to bring your A-game for family members.
Your family members have seen you at your worst. That's the joys about families, isn't it? You don't have to put on a mask, and you can be yourself. Some of the best Christmas days are spent in your PJs. If you haven't tried it, give it a shot, and you won't regret it.
Extended Black Friday Sales
If you’re like us, you’ve gotten email after email after email of sales. Now, we're even getting push notifications on our phones! There's no getting away from this shopping season. Then, there's the worst: Black Friday is extended! We get it—things are on sale. Those things probably aren't going anywhere.
No one wants to be assaulted day after day with sales ads. One will suffice; not one a day. That doesn't mean one email, one push notification, one commercial, and one ad in the mail, by the way. It means pick one and roll with it.
Ah, year after year, this one sticks around and most of us are tired of them. Inflatable yard decorations are just tacky. We haven’t seen one that actually looks good. It’s an easy, quick way to decorate your yard, but they cost a pretty penny to buy. That money could be spent better elsewhere.
Also, let’s be honest, it doesn’t look good compared to the neighbor that has a house decked out in lights and reindeer props. All it does is make the inflatables look even worse. Ditch the inflatables. Throwing some lights over your bushes and wrapped around your porch is just as easy and looks much, much better.
Despite what you might think, fruitcake is not some sick Christmas joke. But just because it's a legitimate Christmas staple doesn't mean you have to incorporate these bland, dry bricks into your celebration. There are tons of other delicious pastries and cakes you could put on your table that people will literally fight over.
Pretty much anything with apples is delicious, so go for an apple pie. That's an American tradition that is literally the tops. If you want to just grab something from the store that is just for one special occasion, go with some Panettone. It comes in a range of flavors so everyone will love it.
Wishing for a White Christmas
Snow is pretty. We firmly agree that it puts a special je ne sais quoi on the day. Kids also love it, but we have to be honest with ourselves right now. It’s also a huge freaking pain. Unless you live in a state that regularly gets the white stuff, no one is prepared for it.
Whoever wishes for a white Christmas isn’t the one that’s going to shovel themselves out of their home the following day. That doesn't even go into the fact that our power grid can't handle it anymore. The day can be cold -- with a roaring fire if that's what you want -- without inches of snow.
Family Christmas Cards Sent to Non-Family Members
Sending a family photo as a card is great for other family members, but non-family members? It’s just weird. If they aren't your family, they're going to get them in the mail and frown, "Who are these people?" It feels a little too personal unless they are super good friends. Even then, be cautious since they may not think the friendship is as close as you think.
While we’re at it, we’re going to need family businesses to stop sending their customers pictures of their families. You work at the bank that technically owns my house--we're not friends. I don't want to see your kids in their Christmas best, okay? We haven't talked in a year, so what's the point?
Mistletoe is just creepy, alright? The whole idea of this tradition sends shivers down our spines. We see touching moments on television where two people are romantically brought together thanks to this plant. If that were the only way it was used, then sure. Let's keep it, but it isn't how things play out.
In reality, creepy men and women use it as an opportunity to make out with someone that would rather not. It's like a physical form of "Baby It's Cold Outside" mixed with a little "Blurred Lines." Yep, we went there, and no one else should have to deal with that during the holidays.
Fake TV Fireplaces
Everyone should aspire to have a fireplace, especially at Christmas. Pretending that your TV is one is just...sad. Just turn the TV off for once. Sit face to face and have a conversation without a screen going. Personally, give me the real thing or nothing at all.
The only caveat is if you can't have a fireplace and need some heat in your home. Modern fireplaces let out quite a bit of heat and look pretty nice. It makes the room nice and toasty, too. Alternatively, you could get a firepit if it isn't snowy where you live. There are tons of options, none of which include Netflix's Fireplace TV.
Animals as Christmas Gifts
Giving an animal on Christmas is just irresponsible. Children (and some adults) need to understand that an animal is a responsibility, whether it’s a dog, cat, snake, or lizard. It’s not a decision to make on the fly unless you understand that you’ll have to take care of the pet if it’s abandoned after the holidays.
Every year, the Humane Society and other animal shelters see a massive uptick in animals as people return the cute little pet that parents got their kids. Know that as a parent, you'll probably take care of that animal until your kid is old enough to do so. If your kid is four? That's your pet -- not theirs.
Waiting Until Christmas Eve to Decorate
There's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying Christmas decorations all month long! Anyone that hangs them knows that it’s a bit of a hassle hanging all the lights, fluffing the tree, and festive-izing to the max. Put up the decorations on December 1st so they can be admired all throughout the month.
Notice how we said December 1st? We didn't say October 25th, contrary to what the retail stores will tell you. Let's not forget about the other holidays at the end of the year. Halloween is pretty awesome (and some think it's a lot better than Christmas). There's nothing wrong with waiting until December.
Elf on the Shelf
Most Americans fight for their privacy, but there’s a tradition that teaches our children that it’s alright to have an all-seeing eye watch over you. The Elf on the Shelf may not be real to adults, but children really believe Santa is watching, which is kinda creepy if you really think about it.
We get the whole "Santa is watching" thing is important for some people, but if it takes creepily watching kids to keep them good -- something is up. It's easy to do the whole Santa thing without having a little elf watching your every move. Way to introduce kids to CCTV early.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Most holiday songs are bright and merry, but not all of them. We can’t deny that the lyrics of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” are a little…offensive. The woman in the song says no several times in different ways, but the guy keeps pushing. Buddy. Take no for a freaking answer.
Chalk this one up to none of us really listening to the lyrics in depth. Nothing says the holidays like making one of your holiday guests (or even a total stranger) extremely uncomfortable. Be a good guy. Give her a coat. If it's a stranger, she has to return it eventually. Boom, second date potential. If she says no, move on, my dude.
Christmas Light Projectors
I'm sorry, but you don't get the glory of having a house decked out in Christmas lights without having to put in the hard work. Projections make a mockery of the sacred tradition of one-upping your neighbor's Christmas display. We all know that you can get one for like $20 or $40 at Walmart.
Christmas projections go along the same line as inflatables. It's all too tacky and looks a little ridiculous next to your neighbor's decked-out home with wreaths, lights, and big ol' red bows. If you don't want to decorate, then just don't do it. No one said you had to.
The Same Christmas Movie Every Year
There are other movies out there. It may be tradition, but National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation loses its touch when you watch it every year for 10 years. Other Christmas movies are just as funny and heartwarming, so it’s time to expand. Maybe watch one traditional movie per year and then throw in some new ones.
That's right - we said new ones! Believe it or not, Christmas is a huge time of year for movies and TV alike. Pretty much every studio comes out with some kind of Christmas special whether it's a full-length film or a quick little 30-minute episode. Heck, even a Hallmark movie is better than Santa Clause for the sixth time.
Holiday Airline Travel
We think everyone can agree that the airport sucks during the holidays, and it's only getting worse as time goes on. The airport is always crowded, everyone is in a hurry, most people are stressed, and it’s an overall bad experience. Nothing says “ho-ho-ho” like standing in line to take your shoes off.
If a family doesn't want to fly to Grandma's house, don't guilt them into doing it. Now, people may not even feel comfortable flying during the holidays, either. If you don't want to fly, however, there are now other options depending on where you live. Consider swapping up travel options.
If you’re going to get someone a gift, don’t only get them something they need. As an adult, we can appreciate getting socks and underwear as a gift, but we could get something like that ourselves. Plus, these things are highly personal, and some of us like choosing a specific brand.
Those garbage Hanes? They're going to stick in the bottom of the closet until I remember to take them to Goodwill. Plus, the size is usually wrong, so what the person gets for Christmas is the opportunity to stand in the customer service line for an hour. At that point, you're gifting a task.
Coal in Stockings
Is this tradition still alive? We get that some people still do it as a joke, but it really has to stop at this point. Christmas isn’t about telling someone they’ve been bad all year, even if they were a total piece of crap. Plus, coal gets freaking everywhere.
It's great spending Christmas morning cleaning up coal pieces that fell from the stocking! There's no leaving it because then you'll get footprints or shoe prints everywhere. The only acceptable coal is chocolate-shaped coal. That's funny, and you get a delicious treat afterward. Coal chocolate is a win all around.
Forcing People to Be with Their Family
Some people don’t like their families. It’s sad, but it’s a fact. If someone doesn’t want to spend time with their families, don’t ask why and don’t guilt-trip them into it. They’re already aware of everything you could say. Instead, cheer them up and maybe invite them to spend the holidays with you.
The fact of the matter is that you don't know that person's family and what they've been through. The holidays aren't just about family, and for some people, their friends are more of a family than their parents or siblings will ever be. Let's just be kind all around this year, yeah?
Fighting About “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays”
Ah, yes. This is exactly what the holidays are about. Nothing says love and giving like...fighting over a phrase? It’s like being upset over a Starbucks holiday cup—there’s no point. Say “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” and move on with your life. Just be festive with everyone else because it’s a great time of year.
People aren't all the same, and we all celebrate differently. Forcing someone to say "Merry Christmas" is like forcing everyone to put a roaring fire in their living room. Spoiler alert: some places aren't cold on Christmas morning! There's no reason to start a fire when it's 50 degrees outside just because of tradition.