Deck the halls with branded nonsense, fa la la la la, la la la la

Photo: Taco Bell, Dunkin’

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a Fire Sauce ball for my tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: White Castle socks, and a Fire Sauce ball for my tree.

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On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Dunkin’ doughnut candles, White Castle socks, and a Fire Sauce ball for my tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Any number of other things brands are slapping their logo on to sell to consumers, an increasingly popular trend seemingly designed to court Instagrammabilty and to persuade fans of Nacho Fries to serve as walking advertisements, and to pay for the privilege. This isn’t a new thing—we had a collective shame spiral about this adorable kid’s Taco Bell birthday party, for example—but the trend seems to be reaching new heights. Today we’re focusing on only three, but there are many more, trust us (just consult the McDonald’s or Red Lobster holiday shops). Also: Dunkin’ doughnut candles, White Castle socks, and a Fire Sauce ball for my tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: the White Castle details. QSR reports that the chain’s online store—or the House Of Crave, as it’s formally known—is offering lovers of tiny hamburgers the chance to deck themselves for the holidays in a White Castle holiday sweater, created in partnership with the Ugly Sweater Store. Other offerings include a light-up glass ornament, a campfire mug, a striped scarf, onesies, golf balls, socks, and a slider-scented candle. That last one is a little less dystopian than the others, as it benefits Autism Speaks. If you’re planning on buying a loved one some White Castle swag for the holidays, best to do so on Cyber Monday (that’s December 2), when ground shipping is free for all orders. Also: an overview of brand stuff, Dunkin’ doughnut candles, White Castle socks, and a Fire Sauce ball for my tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: the Dunkin’ details. The coffee, doughnut, and apostrophe purveyor has partnered with Homesick, a fragrance company, to create a trio of scented candles which, admittedly, sound kind of amazing. The first smells like the brand’s original coffee, the second like a peppermint mocha, and the third like an old-fashioned doughnut. If those are too pleasant or reasonable for you, Dunkin’ has also rolled out its first-ever holiday pop-up shop, featuring such delights as branded phone cases, lunch boxes, a Dunkin’ electric guitar (that one’s sold out, sorry), and peppermint-scented “wrappin’ paper.” Also: White Castle highlights, an overview of brand stuff, Dunkin’ doughnut candles, White Castle socks, and a Fire Sauce ball for my tree.

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On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: new Taco Bell stuff. The onetime hotelier has added a new holiday section to its online shop, now offering snowglobes, sauce packet ornaments, scarves, blankets, pillows, a stamp that allows you to make Taco Bell cookies, Taco Bell holiday cards, and a choker that spells out T A C O B E L L in little gold letters. Reader, we are tired.

On the eighth day of Christmas, we gave up and went into a shame spiral again. Brands are not your friends, but if a Fire Sauce ornament sparks joy, then what the hell, put it on your pear tree, right next to the partridge.

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.