10 Worst Things About the Holidays in Dallas

Wanting Snow, but Getting Ice
Every once in a while around Christmas, it gets really close to snowing. White stuff even starts dripping out of the sky. But by the time it lands on the ground it's one big sloppy pile of ice. It's such a tease. We're still dreaming of a white Christmas. 

The Traffic Around NorthPark Center
It's true that in terms of mall-going experiences, NorthPark Center bests most in the world. But come the holiday season there will be so many people trying to get through their shopping lists that the exit off of 75 for NorthPark Boulevard will cause traffic. Seriously, it's nauseating. Take the exit for Caruth Haven, people. Get creative! 

Black Friday
That nonsense deal you think you're getting on the two-for-one televisions at Best Buy, or 10 for $5 pack of T-shirts, is ABSOLUTELY not worth dragging your kids out of bed at 5 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. Seriously? What kind of materialistic, ludicrous holiday is this? The spirit of the season is not red tag markdowns, it's holiday designs on your coffee cups. Obviously. 

The Galleria 
I know, I know. It's getting better. But I still can't help but wander the floors of this mall filled with holiday malaise. Maybe it's because of the oversized Christmas tree's use as a marketing ploy to lure shoppers in to waste an entire day spending money; maybe it's the way stores like the American Girl shop leverage young girls' self-esteem for overpriced doll clothes; or maybe it's the mall's overwhelming lack of personality that makes my annual pilgrimage to this mall the tradition I dread the most. Bring on the awkward family dinners, just let me skip the Galleria. 

Sitting Through the Cowboys Game on Thanksgiving During a Bad Season
So, this might seem like it's every year. But what's worse than eating a delicious meal, getting tipsy on some spiked cider and feeling all jolly, only to have the Boys show up and play like they're drunker than you are. It will make you wish you were back at the dinner table listening to your Uncle Bob's stories about Vietnam. 

All the Cultural Shows and Exhibits Dedicated to the Holidays
For two months every year, it seems we lose our ability to think about anything other than the holidays. A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker I'm cool with, but do we really need the Bush Center to show us AGAIN what the White House looks like on Christmas, and does that one local theater in town really have to dig up a holiday-themed show? For the love of baby Jesus, our brains must be freezing. 

The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book
Especially the fantasy gifts. Come the end of the year, I'm tallying the debt I have to pay off from shopping for Christmas presents. The last thing I need to add to my dismay is to find out that for just $80,000 I can have a trunk of accessories hand selected by Iris Apfel for Bajalia, or that for $90,000 I could see the world from the edge of space. Do people actually buy these gifts? Do they? 

Tacky Christmas Sweaters
Really? Why? Why do we ask our friends to dress up in ugly sweaters? Apparently we ask them to do it so frequently and in such volume that an entire store pops up in Dallas every year filled to the brim with tacky red and green sweaters.  If you want to be as annoyed by ugly sweaters as I am, just watch the above video.

The Dallas Skyline
I get it. Sometimes I want Dallas to look like Vegas too. The endless lights on the buildings aren't always annoying, sometimes they even cleverly engage with news from around the world. But I could live without every single building in Dallas getting into the holiday spirit. If we can't rely on our architecture to give us some kind of consistent structure for our lives, what can we rely on? 

New Year's Eve
In most places, New Year's Eve is a shitshow, it's true. But in Dallas it seems particularly awful. If you leave your house, you risk drunk drivers. If you stay in your house, you'll likely run out of booze. You could go to Victory Park for a knock-off party styled after Times Square (just read that sentence again and try to make it sound fun). Really, you just hope one of your friends who doesn't mind having his house trashed offers to throw a party. Otherwise, you'll be curled up with your dog and a bottle of Champagne for one, and asleep before 11 p.m.
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Lauren Smart
Contact: Lauren Smart