Weirdest American Holiday Traditions

Presidential Turkey Pardon

This goofy tradition got its start with Abraham Lincoln in 1863 – it’s said that his son Tad pleaded with him to let their holiday turkey go instead of eating it, so he granted it clemency and let it live. Since then, many people have sent the sitting President turkeys out of either patriotism or a sense of fun, and they were always eaten with gusto.

In the latter half of the 20th century, lobbying organizations working on behalf of the poultry industry would send the President or his family turkeys for the holidays, and by the 1970s, these turkeys would often be sent to a hobby farm or petting zoo, as it made for a better photo op. In 1989, George H.W. Bush was the first to issue a formal “pardon” to his turkey, and the tradition has stuck.

Dennis Govoni / Getty Images

Hallmark Christmas Movies

Many people love the holidays because they feel that they represent a simpler time when we were able to spend more carefree time with our family. Many beloved holiday movies are tried-and-true favorites for this reason – they tell a simple story with a positive message and end with all the characters realizing the true meaning of the holiday and living happily ever after.

Recent movies put out by the Hallmark channel have tried to recreate this feeling, and are enjoyed by many because they’re so simple and positive – even if they’re extremely poorly written. They may not be the most interesting movies, but they are quite popular.

Fabio Balbi / Shutterstock

Pumpkin Chucking

If you’ve never heard of pumpkin chucking, or punkin chunkin, depending on your region, you’re missing out on a uniquely American experience. Pumpkin chucking is a competition to see who can toss a pumpkin the furthest distance, using anything from a trebuchet to a cannon.

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin has been held since 1986 in Delaware and is a huge community event with multiple categories including Air Cannon, Trebuchet, Catapult, and Human Powered. There are lots of rules to govern pumpkin chucking, but the most important is that a pumpkin has to remain whole until it hits the ground; if it bursts mid-air, it’s known as ‘pie’ (as in, pie in the sky). It’s a ridiculous spectacle, but there is something pretty fun about seeing a very un-aerodynamic pumpkin flying through the air.



Winter Wonderland: 14 Most Beautiful Winter Destinations in the World

While winter can be associated with cold, slush, dreary weather, and gloom, it can also be the perfect time to travel the world and take in some incredible wintery scenery! There a plenty of incredible cities across the globe that simply come alive during the coldest time of the year. So, bundle up, grab a thermos of hot chocolate, and make sure you have some warm mittens on, and a cozy hat. Here are 14 of the most beautiful winter destinations to travel worldwide.

The Best Warm-Weather Destinations for a Winter Vacation in the United States

There are plenty of warm-weather destinations in the county – some that are popular with tourists and are routinely full, and others that are wildly underrated and don’t attract the same kind of attention. Whether you’re looking for a beach vacation, an outdoor adventure, or a city that’s known for its nightlife, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of our favorite warm-weather destinations for a winter vacation within the United States.

Escape the Cold: The Best Places to Warm You Up

If you’re lucky enough to have vacation days scheduled around the holiday season, now is a great time to start planning. If you wait much longer, airline prices will start to rise, and all the best hotels will be booked up. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, chances are you’ve already had a couple days of cold weather and are just starting to realize that summer is truly over.