Do you feel that in the air? That intoxicating feeling, warm on the inside, fighting with the crisp coldness of the wind, that lets you know that the Time of Saleabrations is upon us? Of course you feel it. And while you may be tempted to just wish everyone you see a Happy Honda Days, praise Soichiro, or maybe give a smiling Merry Toyotathon, the truth is that there are so many more ways to saleabrate the season, and it’s your duty as an open-minded potential car buyer to know them. So let’s get into it.
A few years back I wrote a similar guide to the major automotive holidays, but I realized that it was in dire need of updates, so I implore you to review this updated guide, commit it to memory, and do your part to spread all of this holiday-deals cheer.
Still one of the most popular of all the major car holidays, the followers of Happy Honda Days celebrate this time of year by awaiting the rebirth of their messiah, Soichiro Honda. They retell the story of the Great GM Smackdown, and bake cakes in the shape of CVCC engine’s pre-combustion chamber.
Preferred greeting: Happy Honda Days to you, brother/sister
Suitable gift: Simply a warm hug while whispering in their ear, “May VTEC kick in, yo,” or perhaps a cross-stitch of the traditional Civic vacuum hose diagram.
For many years, Toyotathonians have had a very adversarial relationship with Happy Honda Days celebrants, but efforts are underway to promote better relations. One of the most popular of the automotive winter holidays, though the practice has become quite secularized in recent years.
Preferred greeting: Toyotathon is on! (punctuated by a kiss on both cheeks)
Suitable gift: A well-placed dent in the corner of a Camry’s bumper, or perhaps anything with “Grounded to the Ground” painted on it.
There are fewer Lexonians who celebrate December to Remember than there are, say, Toyotathonians, but they tend to celebrate the holiday with real intensity. The use of oversized novelty bows is common, as is a ceremonial reading of the Consumer Reports annual owner satisfaction report.
Preferred greeting: May your December be Memorable! (accompanied by a hand placed gently on the groin in a non-threatening way)
Suitable gift: A signed 8x10" glossy photograph of any stripper who uses the name “Lexus.”
The Hyundai Holidays Sales Event is the most important holiday in the Hyundai religious calendar, even beating their Pony Chuseok holiday that celebrates both the harvest and the return of the original Hyundai Pony to the Hyundai afterlife, known as 녹 세계 (nog segye), which roughly translates to ‘rust world.’
Preferred greeting: While pressing foreheads together, both parties whisper “Hyundai Holiday” in unison
Suitable gift: A wad of pony meat, wrapped in a map of Tucson or Santa Fe
Recently, there was a significant schism among the Hyundaians, where a group of radical reformist Hyundaians, tired of the oppressive practices of Hyundai Holidays, splintered off to form a new wintertime holiday saleabration, the Hyundai Getaway Sales Event.
The name refers both to the act of breaking away from the orthodoxy of Hyundanians, as well as referring to the key observant act of the holiday, some sort of small road trip.
Preferred greeting: Grip both hands together, then push off from one another, turning around and running a few steps away from one another
Suitable gift: A map, a bag of Combos, and a knife, wrapped in felt
The pandemic largely put an end to Volvo’s Winter of Wonder saleabrations, and as a result the Volvites held a synod to determine a new way to saleabrate that fits better with what they perceived as the conditions of modern reality.
As a result, they came up with two possibilities, either or both of which may be practiced by Volvites: Sweden’s Greetings and Holiday Safely.
Sweden’s Greetings is, as the name suggests, a saleabration of the culture and tradtions of Sweden, with special emphasis on saunas, meatballs, and seasonal affective disorder.
The Holiday Safely was a direct response to the pandemic, yet also plays to Volvo’s long history of safety as a priority.
Preferred greeting (Sweden’s Greetings): An impression of the Muppets’ Swedish Chef, to the point of being offensive, always ending in a loud “Bork, bork bork!”
Suitable gift: Stereotypical “Swedish” things, like an Ikea bag filled with loose meatballs
Preferred greeting (Holiday Safely): Slow approach, mutual cowering, attempt to do an elbow bump but retract nervously away at the last moment
Suitable gift: Bike helmets, mouthguards, hand sanitizer, handguns
The Mercedes-Benzites regard this as a very utilitarian, businesslike holiday. It’s winter, and this is an event. Any attempt to read more meaning or depth into the holiday is seen as highly offensive.
Preferred greeting: “It is winter. This is an event.”
Suitable gift: White tube socks, possibly a small ruler (metric only).
A highly raucous, festive holiday, the Chevrolenians first started celebrating Red Tag as an attempt to bring more raw, unguarded spirituality into the automotive holiday space. Also, there’s a lot of drinking.
Preferred greeting: “Woooooooooooo!” while making devil-horn hands
Suitable gift: Any booze. Possibly a bag of ice, or the promise of oral copulation.
A fairly recent holiday, Kiatholics saleabrate with a holiday all about power and control, with the understanding that control is really an illusion, and that while we are all subject to the often cruel caprices of fate, it nevertheless feels good to indulge in the charade of control, at least once a year.
Preferred greeting: A firm, double-arm-grab handshake with intense, full eye contact, punctuated with loud growling
Suitable gift: Hammers, maces, croquet bats, most blunt instruments
Infinitarians have based a lot of their holiday saleabrations and traditions on the Mercedes-Benzic minimalist holiday traditions but have made the pointed change of including “Sales” into their Winter Event, to prevent the holiday from getting too de-commercialized, an issue Infinitiarians have noted in other manufacturer’s saleabrating tradtions.
Preferred greeting: A close hug while loudly inquiring into one another’s ears “What’s it going to take to get you into a new Infiniti today?”
Suitable gift: Miniature flapping tube-guy statuettes
This is an unusual saleabration, as it’s the only cross-carmaker holiday: The Year End Sales Event. Currently, both Genesis and Nissan are participants in this holiday, which saleabrates the end of the year with a somber tone, emphasizing the “endness” and playing up the $0 down, $0 first month payment, and $0 security deposit as the “Triple Nothing,” a signifier of the meaninglessness of being and the inevitability of death.
Preferred greeting: Synchronized eye-rolling while muttering “nothing matters”
Suitable gift: A cardboard box wrapped in gray paper, empty
Volkswagen’s traditional holiday saleabration revolves around the fetishization of the symbolic act of finalizing a car purchase, distilled down to the two crucial acts: the signing of the documentation, and the driving away.
Preferred greeting: Miming the signing of your name in the air with your finger in front of the face of whomever you’re greeting
Suitable gift: Fancy pen sets, sometimes jammed into an avocado so it looks like a porcupine
This is Ford’s public-facing holiday, though automotive cultural anthropologists have long maintained that Fordite’s true believers celebrate a winter solstice holiday based on veneration of Henry Ford himself, indulging in arcane ceremonies involving ingesting elixirs made from Mustang muffler rust and Econoline paint chips designed to bring about visions of the ghoulish form of Henry himself.
The “Get Holiday Ready” name is actually a subtle reference to the true holiday, where the entire phrase would be “Get Holiday Ready for the Coming of the Great Mass Producer, Henry of the House of Ford.”
Preferred greeting: Expressionless, eye-locked staring while miming the act of driving a Model T
Suitable gift: Anything wicker
Cadillac’s holiday, Season’s Best Sales Event, is considered by many to be a thinly-veiled Cadillac Supremacist saleabration and as such has triggered a good amount of controversy and has placed a number of Cadillac dealers on watchlists.
Preferred greeting: Smashing a drug store toy Lincoln on the ground
Suitable gift: Large, wet bag of un-shucked clams (significance unknown)
Jeep’s traditional saleabratory experience, the Big Finish, is a holiday built around the concept of ending things dramatically, with a bang, that sort of thing, which Jeep Faithful maintain is the only proper way to end anything.
Preferred greeting: Flinging a bunch of small firecrackers at one another; alternatively, pantomimed orgasms (depends on audience)
Suitable gift: Boxes rigged to explode (usually in non-injurious ways, like with glitter or paint or live bees) when opened
BMWethodists focus their saleabrations on the ritualistic act of returning home during the holidays, and the saleabration involves a lot of references to revisiting and confronting one’s past, with a lot of showing of embarrassing pictures and readings from middle school diaries.
Preferred greeting: Upon meeting a fellow BMWethodist, the two must proceed to a local bar in their hometown and attempt to sleep with people from high school they haven’t seen in multiple decades
Suitable gift: Vaseline jar filled with cocaine
I know that’s a lot to plow through, but here at Jalopnik we take very seriously the concept of inclusion, and we want everyone to feel welcome, no matter if you’re a Child of Soichiro enjoying once-a-year deals on Civics for Happy Honda Days, or even degenerate Toyotathonians paying homage to the Almighty Supra or whatever way you choose to saleabrate.
All are welcome here.