- Holidays, like Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve, can be some of the most joyous times of the year.
- The family time, the memories made – there’s a reason why we look forward to them.
- But they’re not without their drawbacks. Here’s why holidays can be the actual worst.
Yes, Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year.
But the December holiday, along with others throughout the year, can also be a thorn in our sides thanks to annoying obligations, financial burdens, and ridiculous travel conditions.
Maybe Ebenezer Scrooge was onto something with his “Humbug” attitude.
Here’s why holidays can be the actual worst.
Holidays can be the most joyful times of the year.
But they’re not without their downsides.
They can be rife with annoying obligations.
Thanksgiving, for example, a day of gratitude, can also be a day of stress.
If you can’t be with your family on Thanksgiving, you might have to settle for a “Friendsgiving” and spend the holiday with the same people you see all the time.
And if you can make it home for Thanksgiving, fair warning — the holiday sees some of the busiest traffic of the year.
Source: USA Today
The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving.
When it’s time to start preparing the turkey feast with your family, forgetting something is out of the question — the grocery store will undoubtedly be packed with people seeking last-minute dinner items … or closed.
If you’re one of the younger adults of the group, you have to sit at the kids table with all the youngsters.
You might be recruited to handle the massive amount of dirty dishes after Thanksgiving dinner.
And if you’re not, you’ll wind up slowly slipping into a food coma …
… that is, if you can nap through the noise of a football game that you’ll be forced to watch, even if you don’t want to.
Leftovers are great the first day you eat them — but you could be eating leftovers until kingdom come.
And the apocalyptic shopping showdown that is Black Friday is the worst way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.
You’ll also get whiplash from how quickly the world transitions from Thanksgiving to Christmas …
… which, btw, isn’t all jingle bells and mistletoe, either.
For starters, the Christmas season is the most stressful time of the year for some.
There are presents to be bought and wrapped …
… holiday cards to send out …
… decorations to put up …
… so maybe those who dread the December holiday have reason to do so.
Source: Psychology Today
And the financial burden doesn’t help, either.
Shoppers in the US planned to shell out an average of $US929 for holiday gifts in 2016.
Source: The Motley Fool
And not only is travel absolutely chaotic during the holiday season, it’s also way more expensive due to high demand.
On top of that, going home for the holidays can be a stressor in and of itself if you’re forced to see family that you’re maybe not too fond of.
You’ll be subjected to awkward photos with them, even if you barely know them.
You’ll likely be peppered with questions, especially if you’re single …
… which can be difficult throughout the holidays.
Cuffing season, which colloquially refers to the fall and winter period when single people yearn for a relationship, is a very real thing.
But if you are in relationship and decide to bring your significant other home to meet your family, it’s bound to be awkward, too.
Though there’s always a good chance that you might not have to deal with that — the two-week period before Christmas is also one of the most popular times of the year for break ups.
Source: Coffee Meets Bagel
Either way, you’ll likely be forced to stay in your childhood bedroom, which can feel a bit like this.
Your family will likely insist on Christmas movies and songs playing on a loop, which will definitely get old after a while.
New Year’s Eve brings it own share of drawbacks.
For some it’s having to shop for an obnoxiously shiny outfit that you’ll wear the night of December 31 and then proceed to never wear again.
New Year’s Eve is arguably the holiday that comes with the most pressure to have a knock-out night ringing in the new year …
… which means it’s easy for the night to fall short of expectations.
In colder climates, it will probably be too unbearably cold to show off your cute, overpriced, sparkly outfit.
No matter where you go, it will be crowded with other celebrators.
And every party starts way too late, since the holiday’s climax falls at midnight.
The drink of choice for the night, Champagne, is way too expensive.
And let’s not forget the inevitable hangover the next morning …
… which is even worse if you have to work the next day. New Years Day isn’t a guaranteed day off.
Source: Time and Date
If you’re single, you’re left to watch others make out around you …
… which can make you painfully aware of how single you are.
It’s not uncommon for a proposal to go down right in front of you either.
What’s left over after the clock strikes 12 is a giant heaping mess.
Last year’s New Year’s Eve bash left 50 tons of debris in New York’s Times Square.
Source: Huffington Post
Maybe do yourself and the planet a favour and try staying in next New Year’s Eve.
Save your money on another holiday …
… like Valentine’s Day.
But if you’re planning to fully participate in the day of love, get ready to spend an average of around $US136.57 on Valentine’s Day paraphernalia and activities.
Source: USA Today
The cards, the large dinner bills at fancy restaurants …
… the gifts, the candy — it can be a headache when you have a sweetheart to celebrate with on Valentine’s Day.
And while the gift-giving is a kind gesture, sometimes it entails lugging around a larger-than-life teddy bear.
I mean, really, what are you going to do with a stuffed animal that big?
Of course, it can be a whole other case of annoyance or melancholy if you’re spending the holiday alone eating candy by yourself.
But at least you’re spared the mounting pressure to step things up for your significant other on the day of love …
… which may or may not include a proposal.
But then again, your relationship might just go the opposite route — Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular times of the year to break up with your significant other.
Source: Coffee Meets Bagel
And don’t even start with the colour scheme — the loud mashup of pink and red gets to be blinding at a certain point.
But at least it’s not the garish, swampy green that is practically inescapable throughout the month of March, thanks to St. Patrick’s Day.
Celebrators on March 17 don the gaudy colour in every shape and form for the Irish holiday.
People love to dye things green — even their pets green, which probably isn’t fun for them.
And it can become quite the rowdy affair …
… that involves unhealthy amounts of alcohol consumption.
An average of 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day.
And that’s just Guinness — other beers, some that are dyed, are also a go-to.
All in all, beer and St. Patrick’s Day tend to go hand-in-hand, so it makes sense that the holiday is the fourth most popular drinking day in America.
That can’t be good on your liver.
Neither can the cold weather while standing outside watching parades go by.
And if bag pipes aren’t your thing, too bad — the boisterous sounds will echo pretty much everywhere you go.
And you’ll constantly run into people dressed up as leprechauns.
But as far as fictitious characters go, they’re not as creepy as the Easter bunny.
The furry creatures are found everywhere, in the form of chocolates, in shopping malls, throughout the month of April.
The fashion at the annual Easter Parade in New York can be equally unsettling.
The long-standing tradition sees hundreds pour down New York’s Fifth Avenue dressed to the nines in ghastly headdresses sporting flora, fauna …
… and lots of pastel colours.
It’s a colour scheme that’s hard to escape in April.
As is confetti, thanks to the Easter tradition of cracking open eggs filled with the stuff on top of people’s heads, which hurts worse than they lead you to believe, by the way.
But we’ll take confetti eggs over carving pumpkins any day — the Halloween tradition is grossly overrated.
Preparing a Jack O’ Lantern has got to be one of the grossest things ever.
And while you might envision creating something intricate and interesting …
… you’ll probably wind up with something more like this.
And then once October 31 has come and gone, you’re left with a heaping, rotting mess on your doorstep …
… unless some hooligan has already smashed your pumpkin in the street.
Deciding on a Halloween costume can definitely be fun, but it can also be exhausting.
Should you be something sexy …
… or clever …
… or don a good, old-fashioned scary get-up?
If it’s cold out, your exposed midriff might get chilly
The glaring cultural appropriation is offensive.
And a lot of the time, the people you run into on Halloween will have put zero effort into their costume even though you went all out.
But no matter what costume you go with, it’s bound to be expensive if you buy it in a Halloween shop.
The holiday overall is an expensive one, with the average Halloween participant spending $US86.79 on candy, decorations, and costumes.
Source: National Retail Federation
If you’re not into haunted houses, too bad — your friends will probably try to drag you to one anyway, since they’re the ultimate pastime during the month of October.
During the Halloween season, sometimes-scary ads for new horror movies are unavoidable …
There can also be so much pressure to nail down an invite to a Halloween party.
And when Halloween falls on a weekday, you’re forced to either take it easy with that night’s booze-filled festivities …
… or live with the consequences in the office the next morning.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.