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Christmas Traditions I Just Don’t Get

Trust me: I am not a Grinch. I love the holidays, and eagerly join in on a million different holiday traditions in my area. I drive through the ridiculous light show. I listen to the radio station that only plays holiday songs. I go to the Nutcracker. I decorate my house.

I do it all!

And now that I have a daughter (she’s six!), all of these traditions mean more to me then they ever did before. I love seeing her eyes light up when we do something fun, even if it’s as mundane as seeing the Santa at the local mall. She loves it, and I love celebrating with her.

But there are still a bunch of different holiday traditions that people do every year, and I do not understand them. Maybe you can enlighten me? Go for it. Tell me if you disagree.


  • Christmas Coal 1 of 5
    Christmas Coal
    I'll admit, I'm sensitive about the whole "lump of coal in your stocking" thing; not because of me, but because my sadistic mother-in-law once did that to my husband. Grrrrrr.

    There are several different versions of the coal story, one from Holland and one from Sicily, but it all adds up to the same thing: if you're a bad kid, you get coals instead of presents.

    I suppose it's meant to curb kids' bad behavior, but I think of it as training kids to be sociopaths.
  • Elf on the Shelf 2 of 5
    Elf on the Shelf
    I think last year was the first time I'd ever heard of an Elf on the Shelf, and at the time I was like, WHAT? A CREEPY ELF WATCHES WHAT YOU DO AND REPORTS TO SANTA?

    So, yeah. It seemed creepy. But then my friend Liz told me that I should love the elf because it turns out that there is an awesome heartfelt story behind the creation of the spying elf.

    Yeah, I'm probably gonna buy one.
  • Fruitcake 3 of 5
    Fruitcake
    Yeah, I know. This might seem entirely too obvious to pick on, but here's the thing: fruitcake is gross. I mean, it's nominally a baked good loaded to the brim with candied fruits and nuts.

    It began in its current incarnation as a mail-order thing, and get this: it was generally loaded with alcohol and powdered sugar, and NOT to make it more palatable.

    It prevented mold. You guys. MOLDY FRUITCAKE. *shudder*
  • Mistletoe 4 of 5
    Mistletoe
    There is nothing good about our mistletoe tradition. Seriously.

    First of all, it forces people that don't want to kiss to either make awkward jokes or reveal the intense dislike they feel for each other. Ick.

    Besides that? Mistletoe is completely poisonous, causing " blurred vision, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood pressure changes, and even death."

    SO PUCKER UP FOR POISON, Y'ALL.
  • Multiple Christmas Trees 5 of 5
    Multiple Christmas Trees
    This is something I see more and more, judging by my Instagram stream and Facebook friends putting up multiple Christmas trees, including in the kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms.

    Um, I guess it's because I have such a small house, but I feel like Christmas trees lose their magic when they, well, reproduce.

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