5 of 2019’s Most Viral Moments, as Told by Holiday Trees

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The year of our Marie Kondo 2019 was a heck of a year, not to mention the last one of the decade. We’ve had ups, we’ve had downs, and we’ve bonded over a bunch of memes and pop culture. So, like we did in 2018, we decided that we should close it out with a festive touch—by revisiting some of the year’s biggest and most viral moments, as told through mini Christmas trees. While it was very hard to pick just five, we think they represent 2019 in all its glory. Let us know what you think (and what you think we missed) in the comments below.

Marie Kondo

We’re ending 2019 the same way we started it—with Marie Kondo and her magical, joy-sparking KonMari method. For those who need a quick refresher: in the beginning of 2019, we were hit with a calming-yet-powerful wave of decluttering via the Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Sure, there’s usually a push for starting over in January, but watching the physical, mental, and emotion transformations that unfolded on our TV screens gave us a glimpse into what our homes could be in the new year.

Eleven months later, and we still have Kondo to thank for keeping decluttering top of mind this year. So naturally, we put the organizing guru at the top of our tree, and decorated the branches with reminders of the KonMari method (folding tips! socks!) and to give thanks to our belongings—all sitting on top of a neatly folded pile of clothes.

The final season of “Game of Thrones”

Spoilers ahead!!! Whether you loved the final season of “Game of Thrones” or thought it was dire(wolf), there’s no denying that it in the first half of 2019, it was as inescapable as the Night King’s steely blue stare. Season 8 was jam-packed with moments fans have been waiting for, from Arya’s epic win to Cleganebowl. Even though GOT was overlooked in the recent Golden Globe nominations, Drogon snagged it the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy in September for season 7. The Iron Throne may be a puddle of metal now, but the the three-eyed raven tells us that GOT fever will never truly die.

“Fleabag” and Hot Priest

If you haven’t watched season two (or season one for that matter) of Fleabag, might we suggest you stop reading immediately and go do so. We spent a decent chunk of 2019 thinking about Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s deliciously dark and honest comedy, available for US audiences on Amazon Prime. And about 50 percent of those thoughts were occupied by the man who became known as hot priest. That’s why he gets the star on this holiday tree tribute. As for the fox, the guinea pigs, and the jumpsuit ornaments: if you know, you know. If you don’t, return to the start of this paragraph and get streaming.

Hot Girl Summer

Were you on the internet during the summer of 2019? Then you surely heard about Hot Girl Summer. For those who would like a thorough history of the meme’s origins, check out Vox’s explainer. TL;DR: it started with rapper Megan Thee Stallion (also known as Hot Girl Meg) and her fans (called Hotties) and became a full blown movement because it had all the trappings of viral social media. As Rebecca Jennings writes:

Hot girl summer is a play on themes people on the internet are always talking about: being a girl, being hot, and summertime. It provides a template against which people can perform the realities of their life: Having a fun day at the beach with friends? Hot girl summer! Staying home alone in your room? At least you can make a hot girl summer joke about it!

While we personally identify with Exhausted Adult Fall, may Hot Girl Summer, with its promise of badass ladies getting theirs, reign forever.

Baby Yoda

As far as 2019 cultural touchstones go, Baby Yoda came pretty late in the game—but what he lacks in punctuality, he makes up for in (possibly dangerous) levels of cuteness. The brand-new streaming service Disney+ debuted the Star Wars spin-off show “The Mandalorian” on Nov. 12. That was the day America’s lives collectively changed, at the first glimpse of the big-eared, giant-eyed toddler version of the old green alien of yore. Officially, he’s “The Child,” but you can just quit it with that BS, Disney+, because he’s Baby Yoda forever and ever now. You don’t even have to watch the show to appreciate the painfully adorable Baby Yoda. Gifs abound: Baby Yoda blinking. Baby Yoda hiding. Baby Yoda gasping. Baby Yoda using the force. Baby Yoda eating a space frog whole, in one gulp. A single image of Baby Yoda wrapped in a very-on-trend sherpa coat, drinking a cup of soup, has reached near mythic meme proportions.

And then there’s the merch! Disney was too slow to release their own, fearing spoilers; fans immediately filled the gap with a frenzy of unofficial merch that the Mouse is still trying to squash. Whether “The Mandalorian” makes it through 2020 remains to be seen. What is guaranteed, though, is that Baby Yoda will live on in our hearts forever (or at least, on our Christmas tree).