Random Ephemera

Christmas Things That Are the Worst Already

The holidays are a delicate balance of excitement and weariness. On one hand it starts too early, but on the other who doesn't get excited when all of their holiday shopping is done by the first week of December? Then again, who doesn't get all rage-y when Christmas carols are playing at the grocery store before the Halloween candy displays are out?

So basically it was pretty hard to ignore a recent email from Target touting their LATEST AND GREATEST holiday gift idea yet--Target Holiday Gift Cards! Not just the one you pluck off the rack at the register and load with $25 for that last-minute "whoops I forgot" gift, but the newest, coolest way to shop for gift cards. Target now lets us choose from more than 40 gift card designs, including two "WOW!" gift cards "that use technology like lights, sounds, and motion." You know what that means? One lights up when you press the Target bullseye button; another has a PEZ dispenser.

You know what? Just give me the goddamned gift card. If I wanted to choose between 40 things, wouldn't I be buying this person an actual gift?


So in spite of the fact that making Christmas lists and shopping is currently fun, there are a few other things that are threatening to grind away at holiday cheer before we've even had our Thanksgiving turkey. In addition to the holiday gift cards, here are a few other things about Christmas that are terrible already.

Elf on a Shelf

Look, Elf on a Shelf is just terrible anyway. The adult "after hours" elf photos--dolls posed next to birth control pills, or slung over the toilet seat--are also pretty stupid. This year Elf on a Shelf posts started appearing on my Facebook timeline in mid-October, earning these friends and acquaintances an automatic blog until (at least) after the New Year. I just can't with this doll, you guys. My childless best friend loves it, and it's very hard for me to forgive her this time of year.

Oprah's Favorite Things 2014: The Comments Section

Yeah, yeah, I know. All online comments sections are the worst. Oprah's Favorite Things 2014 is, in and of itself, pretty great--there are Big-O priced things, of course, but also lots of regular people-priced things--but the comments are more than predictably terrible. They are downright depressing. To people begging Oprah for personal help (Oprah didn't get to be Oprah by obsessively reading comments sections, people) to catfights over who is having The Worst Christmas This Year, these comments are an Internet rabbit hole from which you may not ever escape.

The Highland Village/Galleria Bows

The big, giant, festive bows are rad now, but when they were going up I was still wondering what the hell I was going to be for Halloween? TOO SOON, guys. Too soon. Of course now it makes me want to warm up my credit card and do some damage, so they've got me right where they want me.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Christina Uticone