For the most part, Christmas is a time full of really good stuff to eat -- from the fancy (Christmas dinner with all the trimmings) to the simple (cookies). But there are some foods and drinks that just don't make sense anymore -- they belong to a different time, in which their original role made sense but does no longer. Or they've been neutered to the point of uselessness. Or, you know, we just sort of realized over time that they suck. 10. Egg Nog without Liquor What a shame. Egg Nog without alcohol is like people on airplanes who drink Bloody Mary mix. Why do you do that? You're just taking someone else's Bloody Mary away from them. Just ask for tomato juice and stop pretending to be a grown up. 9. Goose Goose? Charles Dickens has been dead a long time, man. If it ain't pâté, no thanks. Actually, even then. 8. Sugarplums Not actually a plum at all, but a sugar-coated ball of fruit and anise seed the general size and shape of a plum, sometimes suspended from a wire for edible decoration. So, really, really shitty licorice on a string? I don't want visions of that dancing in my head, thanks. 7. Black-Eyed Peas Usually a New Year's thing more than a Christmas thing, sure, but it's in the same week, and I'm not doing a "Worst New Years Foods" piece. Anyway, eating black-eyed peas is supposed to bring you good luck, but why do all good-luck traditions depend on crappy tasting food? Can't we have good-luck chocolate bars or something? Seriously, someone needs to think ahead on these things. 6. Wassail There's a certain charm to enjoying the palatable delights of ages past -- that is, until you actually taste the stuff, and begin to truly appreciate the blessings of advancements in brew-making over the years. In short: there's a reason why the word "assail" is in there. 5. Candy Canes No Longer in Cane Form Here's the thing: candy canes need to be cane-shaped, because otherwise, they're just starlight mint shards. And that's not Christmassy--it's more reminiscent of what's in a bowl on your way out of a casual dining establishment. 4. Gingerbread Houses Not just plain gingerbread, which when warm and fresh from the oven is pretty awesome. Rather, this is the house-form of the gingerbread, which is made to be glued together with an edible, vaguely sugar-based substance, decorated with gumdrops and other candies one wouldn't voluntarily eat otherwise, and then sit out on the table for a week or more and get terrifically stale. Foods should be yummy--not structurally sound. 3. Mincemeat Pie Invented originally to stretch the meat supply in lean times ... and maybe to cover up the odor of slightly turned meat with heavy spices. De-lish! Granted, we now leave out of scraps of meat, but we're still eating the crap meant to cover the stench? Yeah, we don't have moon-shaped holes in our bathroom doors either. 2. Boar's Head Granted, even though this disgusting thing is generally decorative only (despite the fact that it's still roasted, spiced, and garnished--because, I guess, nothing says "Christmas" like the smell of cooked snout), it's still part of ceremonies both here in the states and overseas. This stems from ceremonies in which the boar was the symbol of all thing wild and bestial, and presenting its head on a literal platter was not only satsisfyingly John-the-Baptist, but also served as a big fuck-you from man to his surrounding world. Which is, after all, the reason for the season. 1. Fruitcake Not making it. Not sending it. Not eating it. What we need a moratorium on is making fucking jokes about it. Because without the jokes, the actual stuff would have died out a long time ago. And yes, I realize the inherent irony of me making a joke about how we shouldn't make jokes. This is my gift to you this season: that you now get to feel superior to this list. Have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby danced with Danny fuckin' Kaye.
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