Back in 2012, I made a list of the Most Disturbing Hallmark Ornaments I could find. I updated the list in 2015, but since then, it’s lain dormant while Hallmark has not. The company has been churning out more Christmas ornaments every year, and while most of them are perfectly fine, goofy, or lousy, there are a few that boggle the mind in the worst of ways. Warning: These things are not going to put you in a festive mood.
We begin with the Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil. The first is “Santa’s Extra Reindeer Taz,” in which he has murdered a reindeer, brutally torn out its horns, and then attached them to his own head for… reasons. Surprisingly, the hall-of-famer ornament “Me No Angel” reveals he still managed to go to heaven when he died, despite his many sins.
“Jolly Old St. Pickolas” was on my original ornaments list, and he still disturbs me in the sense he makes me so damned angry. He looks absolutely nothing like a pickle because no pickle has ever been that shade of green, nor do they widen out at one end like a pear does. Still, at least St. Pickolas, unlike “Santa’s Workshop,” doesn’t depict ol’ Father Christmas standing in front of what is clearly an elf-filled sweatshop.
Creating a Monster
I can almost imagine someone being so into Stranger Things that they wouldn’t mind seeing an ornament of the Lovecraftian, monstrous Demogorgon on their tree, despite how incongruous it would look next to festive colored lights. But the idea that anyone would want an ornament of Merle Dixon, a minor Walking Dead character who died back in 2013 and was both a huge asshole and a racist, is beyond me. Maybe a Michael Rooker ornament completionist?
So This Isn’t Christmas
It makes me actively angry that Hallmark makes Christmas ornaments themed on non-Christmas holidays, and this Easter-based “Seasons Treatings” is a particularly egregious example. The company has also made more Halloween-themed ornaments than I can count, but 2019’s “Happy Halloween” installment is the only one that features a dead child walking a dead puppy, so on the list it goes.
Skirting the Issue
In full disclosure, there are several more “Disney Princess Celebration” ornaments, and I’ve randomly picked Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty as examples. They’re all upsetting in the same way: the princesses have parted their gowns as if to reveal their nether regions, only to actually reveal the bottom halves of their bodies have been sawn off and replaced with portals to their assorted movies.
Melt With You
So… yeah. The marshmallows of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife Mini-Pufts” and “S’more Camping Fun” are trying to kill themselves, the former by melting themselves in hot chocolate, the latter by fire. If you think this is a stretch, please remember the Mini-Pufts scene from the movie featured all the marshmallows coming to life only to commit murder-suicides, while the S’more couple is sitting approximately less than a foot away from an absolutely raging bonfire.
Funny Hunny Business
Another “classic,” “Everything Is Honey” features Winnie the Pooh playing in a puddle of honey while dressed in a bee costume, and I believe my original write-up stands: “We all know Winnie the Pooh likes his honey, although I imagine most of us assumed he only enjoyed eating it. Not so! He also likes pouring it over his body and wallowing in it! He likes letting it seep between his fingers and toes and ass cheeks! While in a bee costume! Just look at the smile on his face. There’s only one reason someone sitting in a pool of sticky honey would be beaming like that, and that’s because the sensation is providing him an orgiastic pleasure that most people never even dream of.”
Maybe it’s because I have never forgotten about the horror of “Everything Is Honey” that I can’t help but feel the “Winnie the Pooh and Honey Tree 55th Anniversary” ornament depicts the bear staring you dead in the eyes while he slowly smears honey on his chest and face. It upsets me very much.
Holidazed and Confusing
“A Crappy Christmas” is obviously an ornament depicting a festive pile of holiday shit, and that’s really all that needs to be said about that. Meanwhile, the message of “Happily Stuck Together” is innocuous enough, but the scene of these affectionate cacti being forced together into a pot that’s way too small, their barbs painfully embedded in the flesh of their lover but unable to be removed, looks like some kind of Saw torture. Note to St. Pickolas: These guys look much more like a pickle than you do.
O Christmas Trek
“The Needs of the Many” made the original Disturbing Ornaments list, and its scene of a beloved Star Trek character dying tragically while his best friend watches still seems decidedly un-Christmas-y to me. Meanwhile, Trek fans may remember “The Man Trap” as the very first (non-pilot) episode of the show, in which a salt vampire attempts to drain the salt from Kirk’s body. I couldn’t tell you if this ornament is a good representation of the scene, but the way it’s sculpted makes it seem like Kirk and the alien are about to tenderly embrace while Kirk is screaming. It freaks me out.
While there’s nothing intrinsically disturbing about an ornament of the Lord of the Rings movies’ Gollum, this one makes the bold choice to give the unfortunate creature the most hateful, upsetting face imaginable. While completely different, the eyes of this horrid little girl-thing in “Angelic Candlelight” are just as awful, if not worse. I hate looking at them and I hate that they’re looking at me.
Murder Most Furry
Nothing quite says nothing about Christmas than “Mischievous Kittens,” an ornament featuring a lone kitten attempting to kill and eat a terrified hamster. At least “Snowball and Tuxedo,” featuring a polar bear and penguin who have been Hallmark ornament characters for ages, takes place in a cold climate, albeit where is anybody’s guess since the animals live in different hemispheres. At any rate, Snowball has finally murdered Tuxedo and feels fucking great about it.
Speaking of animals committing sins, I truly didn’t expect to find a Tom and Jerry ornament more depraved than “Decorating the Tree,” in which Tom shoves a Christmas tree up his mousy frenemy’s butt. Yet somehow, I’m even more disturbed by “The Last Straw,” in which Jerry is just sucking up Tom’s gross wet cat food with a straw. It’s so disgusting and disturbing it genuinely makes me want to heave just thinking about it.
It Was a Wonderful Life
What better time to think about mortality and eventual deaths of you and your loved ones than the holiday celebrating Christ’s birth? This five-second scene from Pixar’s Up is, of course, part of the montage where Carl and Ellie marry, discover they can’t have kids, and then she dies of old age, so that’s a lot of fun. Meanwhile, “Life’s Next Journey” gets straight to the point and simply reminds you that death is on the way!
O Holy Hell
Both of these ornaments were on the list back in 2015 because they’re classics, and of course “by classics” I mean “still impressively bad decisions.” The first ornament from the beloved and so-ubiquitous-I’m-sick-of-it movie A Christmas Story, in which little Ralphie believes he has accidentally shot himself in the face, permanently blinding himself in one eye. The second is of the General Lee, driven by them durn dang Duke boys in The Dukes of Hazzard TV series, which prominently featured a Confederate flag on its roof. Obviously, Hallmark knew enough to realize they couldn’t make an ornament featuring a symbol of hate and oppression, but not enough to realize it shouldn’t make this in the first place. The solution was to have the car crash through a billboard in such a way that its pieces cover the roof, which looks so absolutely bananas that it’s a constant reminder of what’s lying underneath.
Speaking of fire, Dale here has set his head ablaze in “A Merry Pair” while a disturbingly unconcerned Chip takes his sweet time extinguishing it. Meanwhile, “Dragon Around” may look innocent enough to you that it shouldn’t be on the list, but Dale’s half-lidded, intensely debauched smirk forces me to think that Chip riding on his back is some kind of sexual foreplay. I’m not trying to yuk their yum, but I truly feel this particularly yum does not need to be on my Christmas tree.
They Came Upon a Midnight Clear
These two ornaments are distinctly sexual, but kudos to Hallmark for being so forthright with their carnal pleasures. The first is the hall-of-famer “Let’s Get It On,” named after the Marvin Gaye sex anthem, confirming that this gingerbread man and glass of milk will unquestionably fuck in the very near future. Pity the poor squirrel, who sits alone, with no partner in sight. It appears that whatever gift he thought he had received doesn’t contain the pornography or sex toys he was hoping for. Still, he’s going to soldier through, because Hallmark has named this ornament “Nuttin for Christmas.”
Happy Holidays? I guess?
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