When it comes to the holidays, every household celebrates the season in their own special way. Some go to great lengths to hide that Elf on the Shelf, others light the menorah every night every night of Hanukkah, and who knows how many people are meticulously peeling away the dates on their advent calendars ahead of Christmas? Well, TV families are no different. Thanks to these shows' unique traditions, we've learned some very peculiar new ways to be festive indeed.
The O.C. first popularized the Chrismukkah celebration by borrowing from the Christmas and Hanukkah traditions of Seth Cohen's (Adam Brody) mixed-faith parents. With eight days of presents, followed by one big day of presents, this hybrid holiday is not exactly budget-friendly, but that certainly wasn't a problem for the Cohens.
We have Seinfeld to thank for this money-saving holiday event, originated by George Costanza's (Jason Alexander) family. To celebrate, one simply needs a sturdy aluminum pole, some meatloaf, a list of un-aired grievances, and enough strength to pin down the head of household on Dec. 23 every year. Festivus, the festival for the rest of us. It's quite a thing.
Here's a solution for when all those St. Nick costumes inevitably run out: just rent something else and wing it. On Friends, Ross (David Schwimmer) opted for an armadillo costume to sub in as Santa's helper when push came to shove, and while it didn't impress Ben as much as when Chandler arrived in an actual Santa suit, Ross got many points for creativity and effort.
Those Gilmore Girls pretty much had to honor all of the usual pomp and circumstance of the holiday season thanks to Emily's tastes for elegance, but they still had one thing all their own: wandering out in the first snow of the year. Yep, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) could literally smell the snow coming and made a very big deal about it every single time.
Forget the usual office holiday party lines; this 30 Rock-based option is where it's at. Basically, it's a nondenominational gathering of co-workers who can get drunk on the boss' dime, spill all the tea about what they dislike about work, and dispense with useless supplies like the company shredder-slash-scanner. Good times. Merlinpeen wasn't too shabby an idea either.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia got particularly twisted when we learned of the characters' own holiday past times: Frank (Danny DeVito) started buying his kids' dream gifts, only to keep them for himself; Charlie's (Charlie Day) mom hit the streets to earn her gift-buying loot; and Mac's (Rob McElhenney) family burgled homes to score their annual stash. None of these are imitable, of course, but they certainly are unique ways to handle the holidays.
After ditching his gig as a mall Santa, Homer Simpson decided to hit up the dog racing track on Christmas Eve instead, hoping to win with 99-1 odds on a long shot, but he instead lost all his dough and came home with Santa's Little Helper, cementing the cynical, and still feel-good spirit of The Simpsons forevermore.
Who wouldn't want to dine on sausages and pre-chewed bubble gum? This Ren & Stimpy tradition turns Christmas on its head, with gifts like a 12-pack of root beer and six cans of spam subbing in for the usual fare. Why not. Stinky was here!
In Black Mirror's "White Christmas" special, fans were introduced to all sorts of disturbing devices -- cookies enslaved by time-bending technology, implants that allow someone to oversee your activities, e.g. -- but the weirdest addition to the futuristic fold was the ability to block out a living person from view and audibility. Imagine the possibilities! Although this does seem like it'd be a bit more useful on Thanksgiving when dealing with that curmudgeon uncle who can't keep up with the times.
It probably wouldn't be fun, but Futurama's version of the season, which involves citizens barricading themselves in hiding to avoid the slaughter of evil robot Santa, would certainly be eventful. That's one naughty list you would not want to find yourself on. Meanwhile, the whole concept of Robanukah -- with beer bottle candles and one festive robot dance -- sounds pretty swell.
For the secular crowd, Dinosaurs' merry attention to the wonders of the refrigerator is just as good an idea as any, really. Those appliances really are spectacular.
Okay, okay, so this one technically takes place in July, but there's a lot of merry moxie going down in Workaholics' signature holiday, so we can respect it.
Only South Park could turn a marijuana-loving log of poop into something as lovable and enduring a character as Hanky, the kids' perennial potty pal. Howdy ho!
When the neighborhood goes full-kitsch with the outdoor decor, who else but the Conners on Roseanne would subvert the tradition and put out the trashiest, most garish garbage they could find?