Christmas is the time of giving and families, but it also has a darker side.

In the spirit of the spookier aspects of the Yuletide season, we thought we’d take a gander at five things that are creepy, unsettling or downright scary about Christmas.

Santa Getting Stuck in the Chimney

Santa getting stuck in the chimney (see above) can be a real worry for lots of kids. It’s simple physics: a big fat guy squeezing through a narrow, dirty chimney is rife with logistical problems. We’re all concerned for Santa’s health, of course, but more importantly, we need him to drop down the chimney safely so he can offload his presents. Otherwise it would be a very sad Christmas, indeed.

The Omnipresent, Omniscient Saint Nick

An all-knowing and all-seeing man at the North Pole can tell if you’ve been naughty or nice? He then chooses the contents of your stocking (coal versus delectable goodies) and the quality—or absence thereof—of your presents on merit? While that might be fine and good for some, a nation of people freaked out about the NSA’s domestic-spying programs might want to rethink a Santa who watches you while you sleep, eat, shower and use the facilities—which is really kind of creepy, isn't it?

The Abominable Snowman

The Abominable Snowman and Christmas go together like reindeer and Santa … well, sort of. If you’ve ever seen the Abominable Snowman, also known as “Bumble, the Monster of the North” in the stop-motion animated television special ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ you know he’s one terrifying beast while he still has his teeth. Before he has a holiday change of heart (and a run-in with a dentist), it even looks like he’ll chow down on Rudolph’s distraught parents! That’s a lot of scary stuff for a kid to take in.

Combustible Christmas Trees

Lights, candles and glowing stars on a living tree can be exceptionally beautiful, but they can also be a fire hazard. Every year, trees dry out, folks get sloppy, and fires get started. Be sure to turn off your holiday lights before you go to bed. The risks of fire may be pretty scant as far as the statistics go—less than 1/1000th of a percent of the trees taken home every year start a big fire—but even so, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Frosty Melting

When Frosty the Snowman melts in a greenhouse during his first-ever Christmas special, ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ you can easily understand how upset that might make kiddies. Thankfully Santa is led to the pool of water that used be Frosty, and with a little holiday magic, he brings the kind-hearted snowman back to life. Still, that's some fairly brutal storytelling. At least it all ends well.

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