Photos show why holidays can be the actual worst sometimes

MICHAEL CAMPANELLA/Getty ImagesChristmas lights are pretty, but some people leave them up long after the holiday is over.
  • Holidays, like Christmas,Halloween, or Thanksgiving 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 like large and inebriated crowds, god-awful colour schemes, 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.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Holidays can be the happiest times of the year.

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But they’re not without their downsides.

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They can be rife with annoying obligations, family drama …

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… and god-awful colour schemes, like the garish, swampy green that is practically inescapable throughout the month of March, thanks to St. Patrick’s Day.

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Christmas isn’t all jingle bells and mistletoe.

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For starters, the Christmas season is the most stressful time of the year for some.

IMDb/20th Century FoxThe 1992 movie ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.’

Source: CNBC

There are presents to be bought and wrapped …

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… holiday cards to send out …

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… and decorations to put up.

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So maybe those who dread the December holiday have reason to do so.

IMDb/Universal PicturesJim Carrey in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ in 2000.

Source: Psychology Today

And the financial burden doesn’t help, either.

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Shoppers in the US planned to shell out an average of $US929 for holiday gifts as of 2018.

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Source: The Motley Fool

And not only is travel absolutely chaotic during the holiday season, but it’s also way more expensive due to high demand.

IMDb/20th Century FoxThe 1992 movie ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.’

Source: CNN

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.

IMDb/Warner Bros.We all have a Cousin Eddie, like in ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.’

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 …

IMDb/Screen GemsBeing the single sibling, sans a partner and kids, makes you an easy target.

… which can be difficult throughout the holidays.

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Cuffing season, which colloquially refers to the fall and winter period when single people yearn for a relationship, is a very real thing.

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Source: Refinery29

But if you are in a relationship and decide to bring your significant other home to meet your family, it’s bound to be awkward, too.

IMDb/20th Century FoxThe 2005 movie ‘The Family Stone.’

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 breakups.

YouTube/Universal PicturesCameron Diaz’s character in ‘The Holiday’ called it off before whisking herself on a Christmas vacation.

Source: Coffee Meets Bagel

Either way, if you’re travelling home, you’ll likely be forced to stay in your childhood bedroom, which can feel a bit like this.

IMDb/Warner Bros.Will Ferrell in ‘Elf’ in 2003.

Your family will likely insist on Christmas movies and songs playing on a loop, which will definitely get old after a while.

Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Sugar Factory American BrasserieYou can only take so much of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You.’

New Year’s Eve brings it own share of drawbacks.

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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 chilly to show off your cute, overpriced, sparkly outfit.

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No matter where you go, it will be crowded with other celebrators.

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And every party starts way too late since the holiday’s climax falls at midnight.

Andrew Kelly/ReutersCan we go home now?

The drink of choice for the night, Champagne, is way too expensive.

Scott Barbour/Getty ImagesI’ll take a $US3 beer please and thanks.

And let’s not forget the inevitable hangover the next morning …

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… which is even worse if you have to work the next day. New Years Day isn’t a guaranteed day off.

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Source: Time and Date

If you’re single, you’re left to watch others make out around you …

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… which can make you painfully aware of how single you are.

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It’s not uncommon for a proposal to go down right in front of you either.

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What’s leftover after the clock strikes 12 is a giant heaping mess.

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The New Year’s Eve bash of 2018 left 50 tons of debris in New York’s Times Square.

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Source: Huffington Post

Maybe do yourself and the planet a favour and try staying in next New Year’s Eve.

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Save your money for another holiday …

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… like Valentine’s Day.

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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.

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Source: USA Today

The cards, the large dinner bills at fancy restaurants …

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… the gifts, the candy — it can be a headache when you have a sweetheart to celebrate with on Valentine’s Day.

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And while the gift-giving is a kind gesture, sometimes it entails lugging around a larger-than-life teddy bear.

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I mean, really, what are you going to do with a stuffed animal that big?

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Of course, it can be a whole other case of annoyance or melancholy if you’re spending the holiday alone eating candy by yourself.

IMDb/Warner Bros.Jessica Biel in ‘Valentine’s Day’ in 2010.

But at least you’re spared the mounting pressure to step things up for your significant other on the day of love …

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… which may or may not include a proposal.

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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.

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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.

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As is the hangover that comes with celebrating St. Patrick’s Day — it can become quite the rowdy affair …

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… that involves unhealthy amounts of alcohol consumption.

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An average of 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day.

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And that’s just Guinness — other beers, some that are dyed green, are also a go-to.

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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.

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That can’t be good on your liver.

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The holiday is also known for celebrators sporting the gaudy, green colour in every shape and form for the Irish holiday on March 17.

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People love to dye things green — even their pets, which probably isn’t fun for them.

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Parades with the family can be fun, but not if you have to stand in the rain or snow waiting for parade floats to go by.

John McConnico/APSnow and rain can definitely put a damper on a festive St. Patrick’s Day parade.

And if bagpipes aren’t your thing, too bad — the boisterous sounds will echo pretty much everywhere you go.

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And you’ll constantly run into people dressed up as leprechauns.

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But as far as fictitious characters go, they’re not as creepy as the Easter bunny.

David Duprey/AP

The furry creatures are found everywhere, in the form of chocolates, in shopping malls, throughout the month of April.

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The fashion at the annual Easter Parade in New York can be equally unsettling.

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The long-standing tradition sees hundreds pour down New York’s Fifth Avenue dressed to the nines in ghastly headdresses sporting flora, fauna …

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… and lots of pastel colours.

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It’s a colour scheme that’s hard to escape in April.

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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.

There are lots of holiday traditions that are grossly overrated, like carving pumpkins on Halloween.

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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 …

Elise Amendola/AP

… 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.

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Should you be something sexy …

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… or clever …

… or don a good, old-fashioned scary get-up?

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If it’s cold out, you might get chilly with your midriff exposed.


The glaring cultural appropriation is offensive.

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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.

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The holiday overall is an expensive one, with the average Halloween participant spending $US86.79 on candy, decorations, and costumes.

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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.

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During the Halloween season, sometimes-scary ads for new horror movies are unavoidable.

Universal Pictures/IMDb‘Halloween’ in 2018.

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 …

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… or live with the consequences in the office the next morning.

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Thanksgiving — a day of gratitude — can also be a day of stress.

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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.

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And if you can make it home for Thanksgiving, fair warning — the holiday sees some of the busiest traffic of the year.

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Source: USA Today

The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving.

IMDb/Paramount PicturesSteve Martin in ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’ in 1987.

Source: AAA

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 it will be closed.

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If you’re one of the younger adults of the group, you might have to sit at the kids’ table with all the youngsters.

You may also 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.

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Leftovers are great the first day you eat them — but you could be eating Thanksgiving leftovers for weeks.

And the apocalyptic shopping showdown that is Black Friday is arguably the worst way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

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You’ll also get whiplash from how quickly the world transitions from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Stephen Chernin/Getty ImagesChristmas decorations fill a Macy’s department store the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday in 2003.

All in all, the holidays can definitely be a stress-filled bummer. But, it’s important to keep in mind that they also have the potential to be days filled with love, family, and good vibes all around.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty ImagesHRH Prince Charles poses with son Prince William at the start of their annual skiing holiday in Switzerland.

Read more:

Photos show what holidays look like around the world

15 reasons why we’re obsessed with Christmas – and why you should be too

25 reasons why Thanksgiving is our favourite holiday

25 reasons why Halloween is our favourite holiday

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