Unless you’re a garbage human being, it takes a concerted effort to completely hate the holidays—or at least the intent behind the season. In theory, it’s a time when we all come together to be nice to one another for a while, to shamelessly indulge in guilty pleasures (like 28 Hallmark holiday movies in a row), and to attempt to forget about the dumpster fire ablaze in the world around us.
But just because we don’t hate the holidays doesn’t mean we don’t hate elements of it.
We tapped into our inner Scrooge to point out a few of the absurd and abominable decor trends befouling our holiday spirit. And boy, does our rage run deep for some of this stuff.
Let us be clear: This isn’t any War on Christmas. And you don’t need to worry about us mowing down your yard decorations. But suffice it to say we have some feelings on the matter—and we’re not alone. There are some holiday decorations that just need to go away already.
Inflatable yard decorations (that have *nothing* to do with the holiday)
For those of you who don’t live in the burbs, let us take a moment to explain this weird, horrible phenomenon.
Inflatables started popping up in suburban yards in the early 2000s. They were rudimentary to start, but today’s blow-up figures are huge things powered by motorized fans and are brightly lit from within.
“Sticking a fan up a snowman’s butt and shoving a lightbulb in right after does not constitute ‘bringing this holiday spirit to life,’” says Justin Riordan, owner of Portland, OR–based Spade & Archer Design Agency. “Be thoughtful with your decorations, not just willing to spend a mint on bad blow-up dolls.”
If you must indulge, we’ll give a pass for a solitary, puffy Santa or an air-filled runaway reindeer on your lawn. But where we draw the line is when Christmas inflatables veer into decidedly non-Christmas territory.
Do any of these items have even the barest tangential relationship to the holidays? No!
And beyond their utter mindless commercialism, there’s the nuisance factor: They fill the sounds of neighborhoods with low-pitched hums as the hot air fills their balloon bodies. During the day, many of them return to their sad natural state of airlessness. This, in turn, makes front lawns look like a plastic graveyard of bad ideas.
Twerking Santas, and other battery-powered atrocities
For all the discussion of tariffs in 2018, we were sad not to see a single trade law enacted to somehow limit the import of twerking Santas.
These battery-powered abominations are the holiday equivalent of the Big Mouth Billy Bass. Press a button, and a tinny song blares while these sad figurines go through their preordained motions. Again and again.
How is anyone amused by these novelty toys designed for the lowest common denominator?
It’s become a holiday given that we all must chuckle at battery-operated “cheer,” which repeats ad infinitum until you want to drown yourself in a punch bowl of eggnog. And if you’re the one who isn’t guffawing at a lame piece of plastic passing gas to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” you’re the Grinch. Say whaaaat?
If you have one of these dumb decor items, please dispose of it immediately. They’re corroding your brain and slowly eating away at our holiday spirit.
Why is this still a thing? What’s the point? OK, I suppose we get the point. Sparkle! Glitter! Pretty! But also: Big, freaking mess. Choking hazard. And impossible to get off the tree (and anything else) once you’ve spent 47 bajillion hours carefully stringing it on.
This holiday tree decoration—which is often openly hated—used to be made of sturdier stuff: tin-laminated sheet brass, for instance. Because of that, there was a time when tinsel was afforded by only the very wealthy. Not today’s tinsel, which is made of slippery, icky plastic.
“Tinsel is the epitome of cheap decor that bums people out,” says Erica Reiner, owner of E. Leigh Designs in Los Angeles.
So what’s the best way to display tinsel? In the trash!
Matchy-matchy Christmas tree decorations
Lest you think we’re dull drones who lack sentiment and want conformity to rule Christmas, like Kim Jong Un, let us correct the notion: We appreciate things that don’t match.
And yet, the ideal of a perfect Christmas tree persists. Some might blame Martha Stewart. Others may finger Pinterest. Either way, there’s a sentiment among some holiday lovers that everything on a Christmas tree must be just so. The ornaments must be hung with precision and they must all match—whether it’s color, size, or shape.
If you’re stressing over a color palette for your tree, you’re doing it wrong. There’s much more fun to be had when your tree is an explosion of ornaments new and old, handcrafted and store-bought, in an array of colors.
Your tree doesn’t need a theme, people—it already has one. The theme is “Christmas tree.”
We simply can’t with this, y’all. If you’re not familiar with this niche holiday decor trend, picture your favorite horror movie monster/villain dressed as Santa. Mix in a dash of Hot Topic edginess. Throw it in a blender with the goth kids moping around the mall. The result is nothing you truly need to have in your house.
We’re not saying every holiday decoration needs to be merry and bright. And perhaps this stuff is necessary for the underserved market of Satanists who celebrate Christmas.
But do we really need our Halloween to creep into our Christmas? It’s a reverse Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup—two great tastes that don’t go so great together.
“If you want to explore your darker side, opt for a couple of quality pieces from Tim Burton’s ‘Nightmare Before Christmas‘ instead,” Reiner suggests.
Or you could just go watch “Mandy” instead.
Stephanie Booth contributed to this report.
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