8 problematic Christmas traditions that need to be cancelled, immediately

Joanna Taylor
Tuesday 03 December 2019 14:45
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Christmas is great, but as a holiday that's been happening for over two thousand years it's picked up some outdated and outright problematic traditions along the way.

From red Starbucks cups to Baby, It's Cold Outside, people are divided over what should be kept and what should be cancelled over Christmas. Here's 8 things that definitely need to go, immediately.

1. Watching Love Actually, actually.

Don't let its tangled narrative structure distract you from the fact that every relationship in this film is toxic. Falling in love with a woman whose language you don't speak because you watched her strip? That's Colin Firth's storyline. Turning up at your best friend's house and showing his wife a placard that says she's perfect? Creepy. And no, Alan Rickman's Harry is not forgiven for making Emma Thompson's Karen cry. Even after all this time.

2. Who even buys mistletoe any more?

This one is brought to you by John Mulaney. Speaking about what he called a 'perverted garnish', he told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show:

If any decoration needs to be Me Too'd, the mistletoe is... this is the most... who the hell?!

That says it all. Standing under a dead clump of leaves does not equal consent and who ever even thought it was a romantic idea?

3. Gavin and Stacey - hear me out on this one.

Gavin and Stacey has been off the air for nearly a decade and its return at Christmas for a one-off special is super exciting, according to literally everybody. But aside from the fact that Christmas specials are almost always disappointing, we shouldn't be giving Smithy a warm welcome back on our screens. Smithy's girlfriend Lucy, who he cheats on from time to time with Ness, is "seventeen and three quarters". Whilst she doesn't ever appear on screen, updates from Smithy include that she's doing her DofE, taking her driving theory test and even washing cars with the Brownies. Yikes.

4. It's time to close the (tiny) door on advent calendars.

Advent calendars have already been accused of ruining Christmas this year. Behind the first two doors in the Celebrations advent calendar were the eternally unpopular Bountys, whilst some Cabury's advent calendars were missing any chocolate at all.

But why bother anyway, with what is essentially a month-long challenge in self restraint? A tiny bit of chocolate, that never tastes as good as normal, isn't worth the vast quantities of cardboard and single-use plastic that go into these things.

5. The Michael Bublé Christmas album is boring.

Why listen to a playlist of your favourite Christmas songs when you can listen to the same voice sing covers of every single one in exactly the same tone? It might be a velvety smooth voice and a Christmas staple, sure, but it's about as varied as the presents your distant aunt gets for you and all of your cousins.

6. Why does everyone get so hyped about the John Lewis Christmas advert?

The way people talk about it, you'd think it was the latest Marvel movie and not a department store advert that's only really been a thing for the last few years. As we get more socially conscious about our shopping habits, it's time we dumped this tradition of needlessly glorifying ads. I don't care how cute the little dragon is, he's still trying to sell you something.

7. Icing on mince pies.

Okay, so this one is more mildly annoying than full-blown problematic, but seriously when did we start putting icing on mince pies? The deliciously rich mix of fruits, booze and spices don't need a dollop of sickly sweet icing on top. They're not Bakewell tarts and they never will be.

8. Plastic Christmas trees aren't saving the planet.

Reusing a plastic Christmas tree year on year might intuitively seem like the green option for getting into the Christmas spirit, but their carbon footprint is ten times that of a real tree if it's burnt afterwards. The real environmental no-no is chucking your tree in the landfill after use rather than giving it a firey post-Christmas send off.

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