Top Ten Worst Christmas Traditions

Christmastime is a season filled with many different rituals that families have been taking part in for decades (or for centuries, in some cases). The problem is that some of these traditional practices are being done because some have a blind devotion to continuing tradition, rather than because it makes sense to do it. This list compiles the greatest examples of Christmas traditions that, maybe, shouldn't be traditional anymore.
The Top Ten
1 Decorating the tree on Christmas Eve

A lot of people do this, and out of those people, some actually do it once the kids are in bed! How backwards is that? Sure, you choose to take part in your favourite things on Christmas Eve, I get it, but how long do actually get to enjoy the tree when you're only giving yourself ONE NIGHT before Christmas comes and goes? Most people do not keep the tree around for long after Christmas. Most people see that it's gone by New Year's. That's less than a week, people. I, for one, decorate my tree in November (or at the latest, within the first few days of December) and I'm always sad to see it go once all is said and done. People need to enjoy having this beautiful decoration in their house, and the kids need to be involved. If your family has it where the kids don't even see the tree until Christmas morning, be the better person and change the ritual so that your kids can be involved.

2 Taking awkward family photos for Christmas cards

Nobody I know has ever done this. Perhaps Christmases in Ontario, Canada are uniquely family photo-free. I don't know. All I know is that I have seen plenty in the media and, more often than not, their not pretty. And even when they are, they (to me) represent the self-centred side of today's culture that I very much dislike. Cards such as these are doorways that lead to mothers and fathers bragging about their successes and their kids' grades in school to everyone on their mailing list (or e-mailing list, if they're sending e-cards). Does that feel like it's in the spirit of Christmas? Nope. That's a tradition that I'd effortlessly toss in the trash bin.

3 Buying / making / eating fruitcake

Do I really need to explain this one? If you actually like the stuff then you have very specially-coded DNA, my friend. For the rest of us it's a nasty substance that tastes worse than it looks. A classic example of a traditional food that people buy because it's what their mother's used to buy when they were kids, and no other reason. This goes for other Christmas foods like figgy pudding and egg nog that most people only get because it's a tradition to have it and not because they actually like it. Remember, there was a time when most working-class folk had to make foods out of common ingredients they could get their hands on. The final products were the best things they could come up with, and although times have changed, and the availability of specialty food items has skyrocketed, these foods are still made to remember traditions of yesteryear. But if you think these foods are gross, don't buy them. Let them be at peace.

4 Ridiculously-extended holiday sales events

Each year it gets worse. Honestly. Phrases like "Black Friday has been extended, again! " are consuming the holidays like fire on a vertically-positioned kerosene-soaked rope (hope you get the reference). I've witnessed the death of "Boxing Day" and the birth of "Boxing Week" and it makes me sort of sick. This time of year shouldn't be about great "deals" on TVs and denim jeans, it should be about your family coming before material possessions (of course, religiously, it means a whole lot more - but I'm not here to get religious or political on you and start religious debates) so don't let the MBA's take this wonderful time of year away from us and make it nothing more than a sales event. I want Black Friday and Boxing Day back, and by "back" I mean "back... to being one day again".

5 Listening to modern Christmas songs like 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' and 'Last Christmas'

These songs aren't terrible, typically. They're mostly average with the occasional decent song here and there. What's wrong with these songs is that there are certain radio stations and stores that play them over and over and over. Lots of people grow tired of Christmas music before the big day comes, it's common knowledge, and I think it's largely because musical "artists" today (that term is very loosely defined, here) can't seem to keep themselves from releasing Christmas albums of their own, needlessly-updating classic songs or trying to make new Christmas songs that they hope will, one day, become classics. And most of it stinks. Even the guys from 'Duck Dynasty' released a Christmas album, apparently. Thankfully, their stuff isn't on the radio 24/7, but the two songs mentioned in the title, are. If I never heard 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' again, it would be too soon.

6 Vacationing over the holidays

It's a messy thing, vacationing over the holidays. Airports get swamped and hotels get overbooked. And, on top of that, you're playing hooky with Christmas. Of course, if you don't actually care enough about the holiday to take part in it, go ahead, but there are better ways to spend the single-most-important time of the year when you actually believe in it. Anyways, there's always January or February if you want to fly off (when you actually start to get sick of the cold and the snow). By Christmastime, the winter weather should still be new and magical, not something to avoid.

7 Decorating with white lights and minimal colour

I hate this. It's been the craze, over the past decade, to decorate your home with a designated colour palette of TWO colours and all-white lights. It's boring, in case you didn't notice, and it works against the whole point of decorating at Christmastime. The lights and the decorations are meant to enhance the, otherwise, white and colourless setting that surrounds us (for those of us who get the seasonal snowfalls, especially). Using all-white lights is like decorating with the lights that you already use 12 months of the year. It's unimaginative, at best. And the whole "blue and silver" and "red and gold" colour palettes that you see people decorating their trees with is just about as boring. A tree that has ornaments and lights of many shapes, sizes, and colours is one that you'd actually spend more than 30 seconds looking at before you grow bored. Take note, rich people; You're typically the worst offenders.

8 Unnaturally-coloured Christmas trees

Every Christmas I go to Canadian Tire (if you've never heard of it, you're not Canadian) and they've got dozens of artificial trees on display and for sale. Most of them are decent. Some are pre-lit, some have artificial snow on them, and some are completely pink. The completely pink ones represent the few that are not decent. They look ridiculous; as do all unnaturally-coloured Christmas Trees. Be they pink, red, white, silver, or blue, trust me, those trees are not for you - or anybody.

I like white trees, but pink, red, silver, and blue look very weird.

9 Giving underwear as a legitimate gift

Come on parents, it's all well and good to give clothing as a gift, but a brand new ski jacket or a cool-looking toque is one thing, a few pairs of underwear or a bag of socks is another. Christmas morning is a time for children and parents to share a complete feeling of happiness and intimacy between one another. An easy way to kill the positive energy that flows throughout the living room is to bring pieces of fabric that kids probably wouldn't even wear if they weren't being told to. So, parents, take a hint from AFV and the YouTube videos and save the undergarments for when you need them on an average Tuesday afternoon when your kid comes home after school with holes in their socks and no replacement pairs.

10 Doing "Secret Santa" at work

I have never taken part in a "Secret Santa" before, mainly because I have never had enough co-workers for it to actually work. But anyways, to me, the idea of forcing employees to buy gifts for co-workers they mostly don't know (since most work friends aren't after work friends) makes for awkward exchanges and unnecessary anxiety over the holidays (because people already have to worry about buying gifts for friends and family).

The Contenders
11 Setting up Christmas decor weeks before Thanksgiving

It kinda sucks to decorate too early, as by the time Christmas Day arrives the novelty of the decorations will have long worn off. My family decorate on the first day of December at the very earliest.

12 Krampus

Kids should behave, but using Krampus to frighten them is a little bit too far.

13 The nice/naughty list

I believe in santa, but not the naughty or nice list.

14 The Christmas crackers at dinner

Crackers are pretty fun, and as for the jokes you can at least laugh about how cheesy they are.

15 Caroling
16 Midnight Mass/Church
17 Christmas pranks
18 Holiday movie specials being played all the time

Elf and Polar Express are classics though.

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