Top 10 Most Bizarre Holiday Traditions in America

Ah yes, it’s almost Christmas time again. Almost everyone in the world celebrates Christmas. However there’s some differences in how we celebrate this holiday compared to the rest of the world. Here are a few interesting things we like to do or eat in the US.
The Top Ten
Presidential Turkey Pardon

Thanksgiving is already a bizarre holiday for non-Americans, but the strangest tradition has to be the Presidential Turkey pardon in which every year the President “saves” one bird from being cooked to being sent to a farm instead. It’s been a regular occurrence since 1989, but unofficially started with the Kennedy administration.

Odd tradition the USA has.

Eating Pumpkin Flavored Foods

Nobody eats Pumpkins quite like Americans do. We start the Pumpkin spice craze all the way back in September and it goes through Christmas. Pumpkin Pie is a favorite for many people. To say we like Pumpkin is almost an understatement.

The Elf on the Shelf

This is a relatively recent tradition first coming out in 2005. This tradition involves an elf doll who apparently hides in your home and spies on children and then flies back to the North Pole to give a daily report to Santa. While it appears to be charming, something about it is a little unsettling.

I hate when you get into your shower and it’s there, staring at you. *shudder*

Black Friday Shopping

Because honestly, nothing screams Christmas spirit like punching a stranger over a flat screen TV for 40% off. Yeah, Americans love their shopping and will go through anyone or anything to get it. Other countries think this ritual over-commercializes a religious holiday.

Everyone heard of that. I mean Black Friday shopping can be life-threatening, literally. (By having someone murder someone else just for I.e 8K UHD TVs at 40%)

Got to get the PS5 somehow


Eggnog isn’t hot chocolate or anything, but it is as big of a part of Christmas as Candy Canes and it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it. I LOVE CHRISTMAS 😍

While yes it’s consumed around the world in different forms, it’s inherently an American drink that’s more of a traditional beverage than it is, because it’s actually liked. I don’t know about you, but raw eggs, cream, sugar, and alcohol doesn’t sound that appealing to me.

I’m too young to drink alcohol, but I do sip a tiny bit of eggnog on every Christmas Eve.

Christmas Movies

We consider movies like Home Alone, Elf, and It’s A Wonderful Life as timeless Christmas movie classics. However, outside of the US, these movies don’t have a large audience. I bet they would watch this and assume an American Christmas movie consists of snow, bizarre characters, and fights with family.

Other countries also have such traditions. For example, in Russia we have our own set of traditional New Year's films.


Fruitcakes at first glance aren’t too bad; they contain fruit with nuts, and holiday spices. However, fruitcake in the US is often looked down upon as a thoughtless gift and is a punchline passed throughout generations. Again like eggnog, it’s one of those things that’s more for tradition and not so much because of taste. Meanwhile in Europe, they have fruit pudding which I guess is similar to fruitcake and they love it.

Christmas Ornaments

The idea of decorating a Christmas Tree began in Europe, but Americans do it like no one else. We have religious ornaments and ornaments with memories, but we also go all out with ornaments of pop culture figures, sports teams, and all sorts of weird things. The point is you probably won’t find a Minions ornament on Christmas trees in Europe.

Christmas Pickle

It's a rare but very real custom. As you can guess based on the visual, this involves an ornament shape like a pickle. Whoever finds it gets good fortune or a reward.

I've never heard of it

Letters from Santa Claus
The Contenders
Mall Santas

If you ever went with your mom to the mall, you probably ran into Santa at one point. He has a big chair and a little “North Pole” section. For some reason, we have deemed it socially acceptable to have kids sit on some stranger's lap and tell them what they want for Christmas and then get a picture to document the experience. No wonder so many kids cry for these type of pictures.

Opening Gifts in Front of the Giver
Holiday 5K

Americans love their food, so of course they overeat during the holidays. So naturally we try to combat this with various races. A blend of fun with competition that the rest of the world doesn’t really do.

Bell Ringers
Sending Photos
Opening Presents in Front of Giver
Calling Christmas Jumpers an Ugly Sweater
Playing A Christmas Story 24/7
Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve
Yule Log on Television
Marshmallow and Potato
Cookies and Milk for Santa Claus
Popcorn on the Tree
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