Here is my list of annoying holiday family traditions that need to disappear forever:
1. Elf on the Shelf. This has become one of the most controversial holiday traditions. People either loathe it or love it. The toy elf is like Big Brother, watching the kids during the day and reporting back to the North Pole at night. The next morning, the elf returns to a different spot in the house and the kids are supposed to find it. The problem: once the child realizes this is just a silly toy and not an actual elf, what's to stop him from questioning Santa's existence? It's better to leave magic and fantasy to the imagination rather give it a creepy elfin face.
2. Reindeer paraphernalia on cars. Maybe antlers on a cute little VW Bug would work, but these things are always attached to hulking SUVs. And it looks like a misguided attempt to appear festive. Usually the suburban mom driving the car is wearing her own set of antlers. That doesn't work, either. This isn't about holiday cheer, it's about a soccer mom announcing to the world, 'Aren't I cute? I even decorate my car! Now get out of my way before I run you over with my gas guzzler!!!"
3. Gift as a verb. During holiday season, the word 'gift' morphs into a verb. I hear it on the morning shows, on the news, on the radio, in commercials. But let me set the record straight: the word, gift, is a noun, not a verb!
4. The long-winded holiday card. My daughters are brilliant honor students, incredible athletes, and perfect in every way. My husband loves me so much he took me on a year-long cruise through the Greek Isles. And my wonderful dog saved an entire soccer team from drowning. But I don't need to brag about it.
5. Fruit Cakes. Do people really ever eat them? I think it is the gift that keeps on gifting (and yes, this is the only time it is acceptable to use 'gift' as a verb.)