With all the stress that the holidays cause, you need to have some type of levity, right? Here at TheTravel, it's our job to not only provide you with fun and educational content but to also lift your spirits around the holidays. If we can write a piece that will make you laugh a bit, then it will have all been worth it -- such as this one! For some reason, the US as a whole will dive into crazy mode when it comes to the holidays. Lately, people don't even wait until December 1st and are already stringing their lights by Thanksgiving. When it comes to Christmas, it's like the US is in competition with the rest of the world to be the best at the holidays... Which is funny, because no one is actually in competition with them.
With all of this craziness come peculiar antics and traditions that don't necessarily scream "Christmas" as much as they scream "insanity". Anything from blinding lawn lights to personal gift-wrapping services was fair game and boy oh boy, did we deliver. Keep in mind that this article is just for fun because most of us (myself included) have found ourselves wrapped up in a Hallmark movie marathon with a cup of cocoa at some point or another during the holiday season. We wouldn't even judge you if you went a step further and played hooky from work in order to have a holiday movie marathon. So take a load off and experience what the most extreme Christmas-lovers do during the holidays, and maybe you won't feel so bad about your electricity bill next month.
22 Ugly Christmas Sweaters Are Just The Beginning
It's Thanksgiving Eve everyone, time to dig out your worst sweater! The US has a strange obsession with ugly sweaters and to them, the more gaudy, bright, neon, or bold, the better. Entire parties are situated around the design of these crazy shirts and sometimes you'll even be awarded a prize for having the more "interesting" outfit in the room. Anything goes from sweaters that light up all the way to sweaters that are covered in pom poms... Or kittens and mittens, apparently.
21 Avant-Garde Tree Toppers
What happened to the days of a classic star or traditional angel sitting atop the tree? Now, we get to deal with replicated action movie scenes such as this one. No more are the days of a pretty and eye-catching topper, and in are the days where a gorilla atop your tree is normal. As cool as Godzilla is, there's literally nothing Christmas-y about him or his plane other than the tiny, sad Santa hat that he's wearing. Yet somehow, it's so far overdone.
20 In Case You Get Lost
The only reason we can think of to have a sweater that lights up is in the event that you're hiking through the woods and need to illuminate the way. Or perhaps you're biking on Christmas Eve and want to practice proper road rule safety. Either way, there's no reason for a sweater to have a battery pack unless it's capable of rocketing you to the moon, where your light-up sweater will be much more welcomed. Distracting and... Well, bright.
19 Christmas Lights And Then Some
Leave some electricity for the rest of the town, would you? While Christmas lights offer a stunning array of lights and scenery during the holiday season, they can sometimes be a bit too much. In an eco-conscious world, a house that's lit up by three million tiny lights isn't exactly conservative. Anything that hurts your eyes to look at isn't exactly "pretty", either, so may we recommend sunglasses before visiting a house such as this one? Or a lampshade, perhaps?
18 Hallmark Is Life
Candace Cameron Bure is the Christmas queen when it comes to the holidays and the movies that follow. Hallmark has been putting on their Christmas marathons for years, and I will sadly raise my hand and admit that this channel is constantly on in my home well into New Year's. However, I am part of the massive population of people who obsess over movie lists, times, and DVR recordings. Trust me, we've all canceled plans at least once to watch Holiday Mix Up.
17 Even The Gingerbread Men Are Tired Of It
What comes with the holidays? Baking, and plenty of it. Stores will see shelves that have been wiped clean of flour and sugar because everyone has a need to show off their domestic side and attempt one of 80 saved Pinterest recipes for Christmas. The more impressive the cookie, the more leverage you have on your co-workers, after all. These cute little cookies have turned into a brutal American holiday competition, and now it's even televised on TV. If you haven't yet seen The Holiday Baking Challenge, then you probably should.
16 The Lights Are Responsible For Everyone's Arguments
It happens every single year. Inevitably, I'll be helping my mom with her Christmas tree and as soon as half the lights are up, the first strand will stop working for an unknown reason. This is after we've already spent a solid hour untangling everything that we were too lazy to untangle the year prior. This is common in every household and usually results in one person stomping out to the tune of "Jingle Bells", while the other person manages to tangle their foot, an arm, and at least one finger in the said light bundle.
15 Is This A Gift Or A Joke?
Tic Tacs: Great for solving bad breath, horrible and misleading Christmas gift. The holidays are full of gifts such as these which are meant to be creative and fun but just come off as weird and questionable. Even more so, who is really going to want to pop a mint in their mouth after it's been renamed, "snowman poop"? That's just asking for a lifetime of horrible inside jokes and nickname that will cause you to hide your face out of shame.
14 Strange Costumes And Loud Singing
When my sister was younger, my mom made all of our costumes, one of which included an adorable Christmas tree. Her face was painted and she was cute as a button, but she wasn't forced to sing or play an instrument while walking around in it. Caroling is very much a thing of the past and with all the Christmas music that plays in every store from November 1st on, chances are, people aren't really into hearing each one of those songs performed live.
13 Costumes For Everything
Speaking of costumes, Christmas isn't Halloween! There's no need for bottle cozy costumes or dog suspenders or mini scarves for your cat unless they are legitimately cold when they wander outdoors. And there is certainly no need to keep your wine bottle warm unless you plan on drinking room-temperature libations for the holidays. This is a headache in one picture and is definitely over the top. It looks like Santa's wardrobe threw up on this shelf.
12 Garland, Antlers, And Santa, Oh My!
Getting back to those ugly sweaters... Sometimes, they're just a no-go. There are just some faces that shouldn't be worn on the front of a sweater, and Santa's is one of them. Additionally, gold garland should never be used to outline a portrait of a slightly scary man, especially when you're wearing some type of antlers to add to the overall look. We vote winners of an ugly sweater contest, forever, no competition or recounts. Hats off to these party-goers who have done the seemingly impossible.
11 We Hear Christmas Eyebrows Are In Now
One word: Nope. In fact, a big "hella nope" to these creepy-looking brows. It's one thing to fill them in, add shape, get them waxed or tweezed, what have you; it's another thing entirely to unnaturally split hairs (pun absolutely intended) to create a slightly scary Christmas decoration. While these brows are definitely something, spreading holiday cheer is something they are not doing. Wouldn't you also be afraid of a faux gem falling into your eyeball? Yikes.
10 The Elf On The Shelf
I shouldn't even get started on this because in all likelihood, with my luck, I'll end up in a Chucky-like situation with the thing chasing me out a window. This tiny, innocent-looking elf always seems like he's up to no good, no matter how inconspicuous you try and make him. He could be sitting on top of a batch of perfect chocolate chip cookies and would still look as though he's thinking of ways to end the world. Yet every year, families spend hours setting him up and creating cute scenarios to scar their kids by the time morning comes.
9 Buried Under Piles Of Wrapping Paper
This poor cat is thinking what we all are about halfway through unwrapping presents, "when does it stop?" At this point, you've likely been boinked in the head several times by a ball of wrapping paper thrown by an overexcited kid and have fallen victim to the quicksand of wrapping paper covering the floor. America: Recycle your paper. Buy upcycled wrapping paper. Make sure you know where your pets are before forcing them to swim through piles of shred and bows.
8 Hats To Match
I might be revoking my earlier statement about the winners of the ugly sweater party. Each year, there's a "Biggest Ugly Sweater Party" held in America, during which everyone tries their best to be, well, ugly. It's still unclear where this unusual tradition came from or why you can only wear an "ugly sweater" during the holiday season. If these sweaters aren't hurting your eyes by now, then maybe you've just gouged them out to avoid looking at the rest of these extreme holiday photos.
7 Enough With The Christmas Music
It doesn't matter what new songs come out or which bands attempt to cover the classics, Micahel Buble passing wind on a Christmas gift will always be at the top of the charts. All joking aside, I love this album as much as the next Christmas-lover. However, when it's playing in every single store, on repeat, every single day... Well, let's just say I won't deny tuning into a heavy metal station by the time I run back to my car. Poor Buble, all he did was release a perfect album.
6 When Hair Is Taller Than The Tree
This is no joke, "Christmas hair" is the next big trend. You know that every year, there's always something that goes around Instagram and makes a splash in the trend headlines, and this is one of them. The thing to do is wrap your hair around an empty water bottle, trim it with garland and ornaments, and stick a star on top. Some people have even dyed their hair green temporarily for the sake of holiday spirit. Voila, you've now become an instant Christmas tree.
5 Why Give A Gift When You Can Give A Prank
So rather than giving someone a gift that's thoughtful, it's popular in the US to play pranks instead. Often times, these are accompanied by real gifts, but sometimes... Well, a prank is a prank, I suppose. For those who love Christmas and gift-giving, this can be hilarious or it can be terribly awkward if you've happened to get someone a legitimate gift. It's crazy and extreme and totally takes the meaning out of knowing the "spirit of Christmas". Plus, it's just plain rude.
4 Get Me Out Of Here
It starts on Black Friday and goes all the way through January... The store lines. If you're not waiting in line at midnight on Thanksgiving, then are you really American? These crazy waits are just the start to what's known as the "holiday craze", where people who aren't shopping online take to the stores to fight their way to the best gift. Not only does this shake the true meaning of Christmas a bit, but it's also nerve-wracking and slightly unpleasant. Pro tip: Shop small!
3 Personalized Gift Wrapping Done By Someone Else
It's personalized, but it's not you who is actually doing the personalizing. If you wrap a gift badly then at least it comes with a type of sentimental flaw that's unique to you. It also provides you with an instantly a funny story to tell when you give it to your loved one. If you pay someone to wrap gifts, which is often the case in the US, it's perfect and neat-looking, but totally impersonal and purchased. Understandably, some of us don't have time to wrap tons of gifts... But isn't that also the point of the holiday season?