Do These Holiday Life Hacks Actually Work? Watch John Green Test Them Out for Mental Floss

I’m not really sure why we need to refer to everything as a “hack” these days, but I still always appreciate a good "life hack." It’s a good thing John Green and Mental Floss are on hand to demonstrate whether these 16 holiday life hacks actually work, then, isn’t it? For the latest episode of “The List Show,” the Fault in Our Stars author/YouTube personality and his team scoured the Internet for some of the most bizarre-sounding holiday life hacks they could. Do they work? Well… yes and no — but surprisingly, mostly yes. If you’ve ever wondered whether you really can use bread to pick up crushed glass (in case, y’know, you dropped an ornament or something), or been stuck in a situation where you had plenty of candles but no candle holders, or what have you, this one’s for you.

On a slightly unrelated note, do you know how easy it is to lose time to old episodes of “The List Show?” Seriously, you guys. I always have to be careful whenever I write about them, because I always get unbelievably tempted just to sit there and go as far back through the web series’ archives as possible. They’re currently on episode 234, so it’s a dangerous thing. Learn from my mistakes, everyone. Don’t go to Mental Floss’ YouTube channel unless you have a lot of spare time to kill.

In any event, here are nine of my favorite holiday hack attempts, along with whether or not they passed muster. Scroll down to watch the whole video — which I highly recommend you do, because John Green is a delightful human being. Happy holidays!

1. An Empty Potato Chip Back Is Acceptable Gift Wrap

Status: Pass.

Turn it inside out so the shiny, silver part is on the outside, stick your gift inside, add a ribbon, and you’re all set. Just don’t forget to give it a good wash with some dish soap before hand — otherwise it’ll be all greasy.

2. Wrapping Your Holiday Lights Around a Coffee Can Will Prevent Them From Tangling in Storage

Status: Fail.

As Green puts it, “There is no one on Earth who is going to take the time to wrap their Christmas lights around a coffee can.” True that.

3. Putting Ping Pong Balls on Your Holiday Lights Makes Them Into Little Lanterns

Status: Fail.

First off, it’s a little difficult to cut x’s into ping pong balls such that you can slide them over the LED bulbs in the first place; and second off, it looks dumb. Don’t do it.

4. No Candle Holders? Use Upside Down Stemmed Wine Glasses Instead

Status: Pass.

Of course, Green doesn’t actually light them — but I would imagine they’d get a little messy once the wax starts to drip. So, y’know… take that as you will.

5. Alternately, Fill a Mason Jar With Salt and Stick Your Candle Inside

Status: Pass.

Green got this one from Pinterest. He also noted, “Pinterest is a weird place.” But hey, it keeps the whole thing in place — and will probably stand less of a chance than the wine glass one of getting wax everywhere or setting your other decorations on fire. Right?

6. Combine Glue, Water, Glitter, and Borax to Make Fun Fake Snow for the Kids to Play With

Status: Pass.

Not at all snow-like, but it looks like homemade GAK. I’ll take it. Find the recipe here.

7. Use Toothpaste to Remove Tree Sap from Your Hands

Status: Fail.

Uh… no.

8. Those Wacky Deli Condiment Bottles Make Fantastic Frosting Dispensers for Holiday Cookie Decorating Purposes

Status: Pass.

It’ll take a good deal of squeeze power, though, so get ready to flex your hand muscles.

9. Use a Bread Tab to Keep Your Tape from Sticking to Itself While You’re Wrapping Presents

Status: Pass.

With flying colors!

Watch the whole video here:

Mental Floss on YouTube

Images: MentalFloss/YouTube (9)