Holiday Top 10: It’s not your imagination. This stuff is everywhere!

This undated photo provided by Sony shows the Sony Playstation 4.  The latest Playstation 4 and its on-screen user interface has been streamlined, with a horizontal bar of large icons for games and apps.  (AP Photo/Sony)

In this Nov. 26, 2013, photo, Nicole Musgrave models a ugly lamp shade at Flower Child. in Columbus, Ohio.Temporary stores in Ohio outfit their racks with ugly Christmas sweaters for the Christmas season. (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Tom Dodge)

In this Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, photo, Marc Cohen, 5, uses a Sesame Street app on his tablet at home in New York. Tablets of all types are expected to rank among the top holiday gifts for children this year, but some experts and advocates question the educational or developmental benefits for youngsters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Legs of woman in knee-high boots

Gloved hands holding hot chocolate


Santa Claus winking

In this Dec. 7, 2013 photo, Cooper Volkman, 8 years old, wears loom band bracelets that he made in Ridgefield, Wash. When kids collected Silly Bands, parents groaned. But the current craze for kids, Rainbow Loom bands and their many knockoffs, is surprising parents and child development experts.  (AP Photo/Lori L. Volkman)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the talkiest. People are calling each other and sending Christmas letters and just communicating. There’s buzz this holiday season, is the point. And what’s the buzziest? Behold:

Ugly sweaters

Oh, ugly sweaters. So loud. So reindeer-bedecked. So festive (and ultimately beautiful?). You own Christmas once again.

For yet another year, the most popular holiday party to have is the Ugly Sweater party. In fact, there will be one at 8 p.m. Saturday at Edgewater Brewery, 905 Struthers Ave. Wear your ugliest holiday sweater, there will be prizes. Tickets cost $10.

PlayStation 4

With more than one million units sold in the first 24 hours after its Nov. 15 launch, PlayStation 4 is on a whole lot of gamer wish lists this holiday season. Xbox One is mounting a fierce challenge, but PS4 has online streaming capabilities that Xbox One currently doesn’t. So, with gotta-have-it-right-now game “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” it’s shaping up to be a PlayStation Christmas.

Rainbow Loom

Anyone who knows a 9-year-old girl knows that Rainbow Loom-made jewelry and accessories are white hot right now. It’s entirely possible, among the elementary and middle school set, to attend parties at which the main, and eagerly anticipated, activity is weaving bracelets out of multi-colored rubber bands (

At a loss for what to get the 8-year-old in your life for Christmas? Two words: Rainbow Loom.


This holiday season is part of the continued ascendancy of tablets. They top most lists as THE gift to give children and adults this Christmas, with tablets like the iPad Air and Galaxy Note 10.1 2 buzzing the loudest amid the tech buzz.

They’re also changing the way holiday shopping is done. According to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, 23.2 percent of all online sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday were done on mobile devices, a number that has grown each year for the past several years.



As they are every holiday season, boots are made for walkin’ — on snow and ice, over the river and through the woods, to grandma’s house, to work. Knee-high leather boots with heels or without (check out for ideas) are a perennially great holiday look for women, and any man with sense is pulling on his Sorels ( as the temperatures remain below freezing.

A cup of warm beverage

This is the time of year to celebrate the perfect single cup of the perfect beverage. And while perfection is in the eye of the drinker, the world can accommodate: Right now, single-cup coffee makers are everywhere (example: the Keurig, saying, “Buy us! We’re the perfect gift!”

And the Internet is awash with recipes for the perfect cup of cocoa (here’s a doozy that’s pretty much melted Nutella:



On everything! Sweaters! Dresses! Accessories! If a Christmas or New Year’s party isn’t the most perfect time to wear things covered in sequins, then what is?

It’s the shiniest time of the year, made shinier by the joy of sequins (for ideas, check out


Not only are beards enjoying a pop cultural renaissance — and have been for the past while — but winter and the holiday season seems to bring out the inner Jeremiah Johnson of a lot of regular dudes. Call it the Santa Complex. Men right now seem… hairier. Burlier.

Keep a gimlet eye peeled on your trees, lest the newly bearded take it into their heads to chop ‘em down.

“Love Actually” on Netflix

The film celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and has been streaming on Netflix since September, but that isn’t stopping people en masse from watching it and writing about it: Is it a Christmas movie? Is it an anti-Christmas movie? Is it even any good?

Eh. Don’t over-think it, just watch for the eye candy of Hugh Grant dancing to “Jump for My Love.”


Everything peppermint

Sorry, pumpkin. You had your day in the sun (Thanksgiving). You’ve been replaced as the flavor du jour for the holidays. And the usurping flavor? Peppermint!

Everything is peppermint-flavored right now! Peppermint mochas at Starbucks. Peppermint bark at City Market. Peppermint fudge. Peppermint cocoa. Peppermint soap!

Cinnamon and eggnog may be giving it the ol’ college try to unseat the holiday champion flavor, but peppermint is standing strong.


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