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
1 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 and sends it to a farm instead.

It's been a regular occurrence since 1989 but unofficially started with the Kennedy administration.

2 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.

3 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, 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*

4 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 has heard of that. I mean, Black Friday shopping can be life-threatening, literally, with people hurting each other just for, say, 8K UHD TVs at 40% off.

5 Eggnog

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 don't sound that appealing to me.

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

6 Christmas Movies

We consider movies like Home Alone, Elf, and It's a Wonderful Life as timeless Christmas classics. However, outside of the US, these movies don't have a large audience.

I bet they would watch these 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.

7 Fruitcake

Fruitcakes at first glance aren't too bad. They contain fruit, nuts, and holiday spices. However, fruitcake in the US is often looked down upon as a thoughtless gift and is a punchline passed through generations. Like eggnog, it's one of those things that's more for tradition than taste.

Meanwhile, in Europe, they have fruit pudding, which I guess is similar to fruitcake, and they love it.

8 Christmas Pickle

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

9 Letters from Santa Claus
10 Opening Gifts in Front of the Giver
The Contenders
11 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.

12 Mall Santas

If you ever went with your mom to the mall, you probably ran into Santa at some 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 a stranger's lap, tell them what they want for Christmas, and then get a picture to document the experience.

No wonder so many kids cry for these types of pictures.

13 Holiday 5K

Americans love their food, so of course, they overeat during the holidays. 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.

14 Playing A Christmas Story 24/7
15 Yule Log on Television
16 Popcorn on the Tree
17 Caroling
18 Calling Christmas Jumpers an Ugly Sweater
19 Cooking Mincemeat
20 Bell Ringers
21 Sending Photos
22 Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve
23 Marshmallow and Potato
24 Cookies and Milk for Santa Claus
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