Brace yourselves, Christmas-lovers. Now more than ever (especially with that horrendous ugly sweater trend that just won’t seem to die), regular folks and the famous elite alike are sending out terribly ugly holiday greeting cards. This may be because they are stupid or have no taste and therefore don’t know their photos are ugly, or it may be because ugly has somehow turned cool, at least when it comes to Christmas trends. I know; I don’t get it either. But there seems to be a growing number of people who go out of their way to make ugly Christmas cards. Their reasons for doing so are to give people a laugh or make them smile, and because it is a fun thing to do, which is fine and dandy.
It is fun to see such recognizable faces posing with their loved ones and looking silly, whether by their own naivety (which is thus even more funny) or on purpose. We are used to seeing the actors among them in various different roles in film and on television, so it is no stretch of the imagination to see them in any light, even in some of these ridiculous cards.
If you need some wacky Christmas card inspiration for your own family’s card this year, or you simply enjoy seeing usually-perfect A-listers looking imperfect for once (and laughing at them), read on. The following are 16 of the ugliest (and most amusing) Christmas cards created by famous people over the years.
16. Octomom & Her Brood
This one is pretty bad. I am sure getting eight toddlers (not to mention her six older children!) to sit still and look pretty for a Christmas photo is no easy task, and alas, Nadya Suleman (a.k.a. “Octomom”) failed in this photo from 2010. Add the weird horse thing in the background and crumbs and toys on the carpet, and you have one hot mess. At least all the kids match wearing white and blue, and some even have Santa hats on. Nadya, herself, looks half-way decent for a mom of 14, eight of them being octuplets. So maybe given all of the above, it is actually not such a bad photo, after all. But compared to most it is just plain horrible. This year, her youngest eight are seven years old, and they recently did a photoshoot with their mom, who says she is now living a healthy lifestyle and refraining from porn shoots or stripping.
15. Kelly Clarkson
No one looks very merry in this supposedly Merry Christmas Card. I give her points for creativity for this Game of Thrones card, though. It was her family’s holiday card last year in 2015, but unfortunately, despite the aforementioned creativity, this photo lacks in aesthetic attractiveness. I mean, I don’t just want to straight-out call it ugly, but in a way, it is, as they look stoic and the feeling is dark. “Merry Christmas from the Blackstocks”, the card reads. The Blackstocks include Kelly of course, her husband Brandon Blackstock, his two older children (Seth and Savannah), and the couple’s then-17-month-old daughter, River Rose. Kelly was pregnant at the time with their second child together, and people theorized that the words “Winter is Coming Blackstock” could mean they were going to name their next child Winter. It would not be a stretch of the imagination to think so; their first child was named River, so it would fit. But ultimately, the child, a son, was named Remington.
14. O.J. Simpson
I doubt anyone expected athlete/actor/convicted felon O.J. Simpson to take a stunningly beautiful Christmas card photo, but this is a little ridiculous. I’ll put it this way: I would be a bit scared to eat that food he is so eagerly offering up. O.J. looks creepy as all hell in this solo photo. He also looks awkward and just a tad bit guilty… of something. That fake, cheesy smile only makes it worse. Speaking of Christmas cards, interestingly, while in prison in 2008 for charges unrelated to his wife and her friend’s deaths, he received a card from Kim Goldman, the sister of the man he allegedly murdered. This was strange because she was open about holding O.J. responsible for her brother’s death. But the card was obviously not sent with love or warm wishes; instead, it congratulated him on his “new home” and rubbed his prison sentence in his face.
13. Mena Suvari
Pretty little American Beauty and American Pie actress Mena Suvari is probably not the first person to come to mind if you think of ugly photos, but boy, this one’s a doozy! It looks much older than it is, but it was her 2013 Christmas card with her boyfriend Sal Sanchez. Obviously, the corniness was intentional (thank God), and it shows her awesome sense of humor. Ugly is just not as ugly when it is ugly on purpose, you know? The cute couple wore matching ugly Christmas sweaters and posed with her white cat, also featuring him in a tacky-on-purpose close-up at the top. What gets me the most is that here, Mena looks the exact same as she did in both 1999 movies (American Beauty and American Pie) where she played a teenager. That was almost 20 years ago! But she is still just as petite, blonde, and fresh-faced as ever, the lucky girl. Maybe the side ponytail helps.
12. Ellen Degeneres & Portia de Rossi
These two have had more than one silly Christmas card. One of them, which was more silly than ugly, featured them both naked, facing the opposite direction and sticking their butts out under a red ribbon, a la Kim Kardashian in her infamous naked butt photo. They also once made a card labeled “Silent Night” on the front, and on the inside it read, “Because we aren’t having any kids!” and it had a picture of the two of them looking all relaxed. I love their sense of humor! This Christmas card, however, which was created by them in 2013, is just dripping with so much cheesiness that it definitely belongs on this list. Spoofing Kanye West’s “Bound 2” music video, the lady lovers posed on a motorcycle with a sunset backdrop. Portia is topless and caressing Ellen. Simply gorgeous, it is (not).
11. Peter Dinklage
Everyone loves them some Peter Dinklage, especially during this happiest time of the year when elves are at the forefront of our minds. Peter, who plays the cunning Tyrion Lannister on the HBO hit Game of Thrones, got quite into the Christmas spirit (or some other kind of spirits…) in creating this hilarious holiday greeting card that shows he is lively both on and off the set of Game of Thrones. In that respect, he is like his character, Tyrion. In fact, he is such a nice and pleasant person that his costars find it difficult to mistreat his character while they are acting! But Peter considers himself a hermit who eats and dresses like a fifth grader, and who hopes to someday play the romantic lead in a film who gets the girl. In his real life, he did get the girl because he is married and has a daughter.
10. Miley Cyrus
Oh, Miley Cyrus. We can always count on her for some cringe-worthy and lewd entertainment, even when it comes to the holiday that celebrates the Virgin Mary and the birth of Christ. I would not expect anything less, which is actually kind of why she has grown on me. I love that the “Wrecking Ball” singer (who is engaged to Liam Hemsworth) doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, and that nonchalance is plain in practically all of her photos, including this Christmas card from 2013. She created it in support of her new favorite charity at the time, Free the Nipple, although most people accused her of just wanting an excuse to show more skin (like she needs an excuse). In true Miley fashion, her tongue is out and she be lookin’ cray. Called tacky and crass, she tweeted this photo with the caption, “Merry Christmas THANK YOU NY for being one of the few states to @freethe nipple”. You go, girl!
9. Hugh Hefner
Hugh Hefner is the perfect act to follow Miley Cyrus, is he not? The two share a certain… je ne sais quoi. The Playboy founder and his 60-years-younger wife Crystal Harris actually have a slew of ugly Christmas cards to their name; these are just two examples, if you can believe it. Naturally, the couple is wearing silk pajamas and cuddling close with their pup Charlie in their silky bed. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This was the greeting card for 2012, and in 2015 they were at it again (no, not like that!). This time, they dressed good old Hugh up as Santa, and it was a very fitting outfit for him. And for once, Crystal could sit on his lap and it would look appropriate (or at least more appropriate). But let’s be serious for a moment, here. Both photos are fugly. The first one just is, for no specific reason, and its ugliness is not only because of Hugh. The second one where he is dressed like Santa is even less his fault. The gaudy backdrop and mix of purple with red just screams yuckiness.
8. Justin Timberlake
After you get done laughing, take a moment and think about this photo. It was obviously taken when he was a teenager, and probably by his mother who made him do it. This was probably even before Britney and his ‘N Sync days! Justin has never been my cup of tea, but he looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill teenaged boy here, meaning he looks awkward, slightly post-pubescent, like he probably has some acne, like he definitely has a bad hairdo and dye job, like he would rather be anywhere else; and to top it all off, what on God’s green earth is he wearing? The bright and shimmering silver whatever-it-is (hazmat suit, maybe?) is not flattering on him, nor would it be on anyone. Still, this photo has been called the gift that keeps on giving, and it really is. Love him or hate him, it is hard not to crack a smile when you see this godawful Christmas card.
7. Hilary Duff
I think I get what she was going for here (a cute pregnancy announcement? A cute baby bump shot?) but it was #fail. Sorry, Hilary. Her older sister Haylie painted her stomach for this photo that Hilary later posted on Twitter. Her belly is oh-so-cleverly painted like a gift box waiting to be unwrapped, the metaphor being that soon she will have a gift, too. And again I say, so clever. The gag-me feeling you get when you see this photo, the blurriness of it, the fact that she is making a peace sign with her fingers, and that awful red lipstick all make this a terrible Christmas photo. Oh, and there is the fact that she used to be the annoyingly perky Lizzie McGuire and by the looks of things, nothing has changed. She was and appears to still be one of those people you can count on to ask you if you have a case of the Monday’s, one of those people you just want to punch.
6. Honey Boo Boo & Co.
The Shannon/Thompson clan of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo fame never fail to be a great example of what not to do. It is nice that they are consistent about that. In this case, they provide us with a perfect example of how to create the ugliest of Christmas cards: everyone should wear mismatched (opposite, even) clothing, lean in awkward directions every which way you possibly can, and pose in front of a backdrop that literally matches nothing but the weird creature on the matriarch’s t-shirt. And voila! You will have yourself one damn ugly photo. Alana’s neon green dye job does not really help things, either. This was the family’s 2012 Christmas card and I think it’s safe to say they could have put a little more effort into coordination, in all areas. Here, as in their lives as we see them played out on TV, they are one big hot mess.
5. Joe Jonas
In 2013 it was an all-out battle between Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers and Mena Suvari for who had the best creepy cat Christmas card photo, and it really is a toss-up. But Joe might take the win on this one, because he even kicked his girlfriend (Blanda Eggenschwiler) out of one shot to feature his cat, instead! That gets extra creepy points, in my opinion. He captioned the photo, “It’s getting cold. Cuddle up with a kitten.” Fans were glad to see he could still joke around after the release of his racy tell-all. And though he may be a bit bald and looking like he should own a big, windowless van, Joe was for the most part still considered adorable (somehow). If you ask me, that cat looks kind of afraid, and Joe Jonas may be cute in real life but this greeting card is far from it.
4. All Kardashian Kards Ever
Just as Heidi Klum is known for her crazy Halloween costumes and parties, the Kardashian/Jenner family is known for their annual Christmas cards. They obviously put a lot of effort into coordinating everything for the photoshoot, but they never look very merry. They actually usually appear morose. It seems like they just want another excuse for a photoshoot and not to create a warm holiday greeting card. Actually, warm is the last word I would use to describe any of their many Christmas cards, and probably the last word I would use to describe any of them, either. Ugly comes to mind, however, when looking at all of this Kardashian Christmas nonsense. Even the poor little kids, the next generation of Kardashians, look pretty miserable, perhaps because even at their young age they can sense that they are a brand more than a family. That in itself makes these Christmas cards ugly, even if they weren’t actually ugly. Which they are.
3. Joshua Jackson & Diane Kruger
These two lovebirds dated for 10 years with no plans to ever marry, and they just broke up last summer. But in 2014, they shared this goofy Christmas card selfie. They are both attractive people, but here, they don’t really look it. Diane instagrammed the snapshot of she and Joshua wearing matching Santa hats and tinsel, and mentioned in the caption that one family member was missing: their beloved cat, Hobbes. I’m not sure Hobbes could’ve done much to help the photo, though. However, I may be in the minority, as several media outlets called the card “cute”, “adorable”, and even “perfect”. I wouldn’t go that far. I know they were not going for a professional holiday card or anything, and I totally get it is supposed to be kooky and silly, which it is. But Diane looks a little psycho, and Joshua seems to be saying, “Help me!” with his eyes.
2. Josh Duhamel & Fergie
This married couple has had some doozies over the years in terms of their Christmas cards, but this one takes the cake. Made by Ellen DeGeneres on her show, she photoshopped their heads onto different bodies, then Fergie tweeted it with a whole bunch of cliché and cheesy holiday hashtags. We already know that Ellen has a penchant for creating some questionable Christmas cards, and here, she added one more to her collection. This was in 2012, and this card is purposely silly, of course, but that does not mean it is not ugly, because it is. Fergie looks like a 1950’s housewife in one of those “ugly Christmas sweaters” that have somehow become so popular, and her face looks like she is in pain but smiling through it. Josh, on the other hand, wears nothing at all, which is just fine with all the ladies out there. But next to his fully-clothed wife, he looks like a surfer dude from another era. Plus, the whole thing has a weird, yellow-ish filter that does not do either of them any favors.
1. Paul Reubens
The guy known for playing PeeWee Herman loves making and sending holiday cards. One woman says he went to school with her mother and sends them one each year. A man says Paul Reubens helped him propose, and he, too, gets one every Christmas. Any of his unique creations would be amazing to receive in the mail, as they are clever, colorful, and you cannot help but smile when you see all of the silliness. However, these cards are on this list for a reason, and that reason is that in addition to all of those things, they are also ugly. Let’s be honest; PeeWee is not known for his good looks, and he doesn’t help himself at all by making all the weird, creepy faces. And that is the main reason his photo cards are ugly. But as we all know, Christmas is about more important things in life than how you look, or even the cards with warm wishes that are sent. So ugly or not, it doesn’t really matter. PeeWee wins Ugly Christmas cards!