Christmas Disaster Stories

ky1My friend and fellow author, Molly Harper is guest blogging with me today.

I had the pleasure of meeting Molly this Fall when I attended the Kentucy Book Fair in Frankfort.  We happened to sit next to each other and it was very cool spending the day with her.  Molly is a Kentucky girl and we decided it would be great to do a fun contest together on our blogs sharing our favorite Christmas disaster stories.  I’ve invited Molly to share her story here on my blog, and I’m sharing mine on Molly’s blog.

Here’s Molly’s story…

My late grandmother, Marjorie, was one of those Ivory soap and oatmeal cookie grandmas. She had an eye for “flash and trash” accessories and always dressed to the nines. She raised four of the biggest smartasses to ever tread the Earth’s surface – my mother, Judy, and my uncles, Dan, Pat, and Ned.

In November 1993, the entire Thompson clan was thrown into a panic when Grandma’s doctors announced that she had terminal cancer. She wasn’t expected to live for more than a few months.* Determined to create some happy family memories in her remaining time, we gathered all of the Thompson uncles, various aunts and cousins in the same room for the first time in about 10 years. Did I mention that this room was in our house?

My Mom was struggling to keep our house’s foundation from giving way and cook a Thanksgiving meal for a crowd that seemed to exponentially expand. Every time someone ate a sausage ball, two more people seemed to show up. Used to preparing these gargantuan holiday meals herself, Grandma was struggling with the idea that she was not in charge of Operation Loaves and Fishes. She kept sneaking in and out of the kitchen to offer Mom helpful advice … whether Mom wanted it or not. The sweet potatoes needed butter. The turkey needed a little more basting. The pie needed cinnamon.

and_one_last_thingMom asked the uncles to distract her, but apparently, Grandma was wilier than any of us gave her credit for. When Mom took the dressing out of the oven and set it on the stove, she turned her back to direct my sister and me in the peeling a metric ton tons of potatoes. Behind her, Grandma had ambled into the kitchen.

According to family lore, Grandma put a pot on the stove for some planned sweet potato and marshmallow concoction and turned on the wrong burner — the one under the container of dressing. Distracted by the calls of my 436 cousins, Grandma shuffled silently out of the kitchen like a ninja in StrideRite shoes, forgetting about the dressing.

Mom noticed the smoke about ten minutes later.

Shrieking, Mom grabbed two oven mitts and whisked the smoldering side dish from the stove. In an impressive “physics in everyday life” lesson, cool air hit the hot glass, and the casserole dish exploded. As my horrified sister and I looked on, my mom clutched two casserole dish ends in her hands and screamed. A lump of perfectly rectangular, molten dressing burned a 9×13 hole through her linoleum.

The rest of the brood came running as Mom fell to her knees and let loose a string of expletives that made an episode of The Sopranos sound like Sesame Street. This was the moment my future husband, David, who was spending his first holiday with my family, chose to come through the front door. If he had run away, leaving a David-shaped hole in the wall, I wouldn’t have blamed him.

Grandma just patted my mom on the head and said, “Don’t worry, honey, we’ll pick the glass out, and it will be just fine.”

True to Thompson, “I’ll do it when I’m good and ready” form, Grandma went on to live until May 1996. We had a precious few more holidays with her, and no holiday moment since has ever inspired the sheer horror and hilarity as The Exploding Dressing Incident. Though it was tense, loud and made the house smell like burning tires, it’s a story that always comes up when we’re reminiscing about Grandma.

You don’t know what you’re missing with your family members until they’re gone. While we’re caught up in little things like which relatives are chronic re-gifters and how to keep the “highly strung” cousins out of the egg nog, we miss out on some of life’s strangest, sweetest moments. If we all just take a deep breath and pick the glass out of the dressing, we’ll be fine.

For the record, we didn’t eat the glassy-riddled dressing. My dad and my aunt searched every grocery and gas station until they found the last box of stovetop in western Kentucky.

I’m giving away two copies of Molly’s new release, And One Last Thing, along with a fun box of Christmas goodies to two winners here on my blog and Molly’s got prizes for you as well!  All you’ve got to do is read Molly’s story here, and then visit Molly’s blog to read my story, then share your personal christmas disaster story with us on both blogs.   We’d love to hear them!   You don’t have to share your story on both, but if you do, you double your chances for winning!


  1. I wouldn’t call it a disaster, but it WAS memorable. My boyfriend of less than 4 months (he was 31 and I was 21) joined my family at my sister’s for Christmas. My last gift was a ring from him. When he asked me to marry him, I was dumbfounded as all I could think was, “It’s too early!” While I was gathering my wits, my mother answered, “Yes, she will!” I eventually said I’d need some time to think it over because I wasn’t prepared, which gained me 2 weeks to think it over. A few days later, I said yes, and we wed 7 months after that.
    That isn’t the proposal I would have wanted, but it did the trick, as our 30th anniversary is coming up in 2011.

  2. How about when Lady, my SIL’s 150-lb German Shepard, grabbed the turkey during the blessing, and swallowed most of it before the Amen. Pizza for all. (we now feed our animals FIRST)

  3. Omg that is the funniest thing i’ve heard in a while. i laughed out loud. Families are something else. My grandma used to host Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. God the food was to die for good. The woman could cook. As she got older everyone brought a dish of some kind to pass to ease up on all the cooking she had to do and eventually she couldnt’ do it anymore and is now in a retirement home. The only horror story i can think of right at this minute was when my mom burned the rolls a few yrs ago and hurry up and ran them out of the house and got rid of them before my dad could see because she knew he just HAVE to say something about it. lol She made more and no one who saw her run out with them never said a word to my dad.

    Lisa B

    Awesome story i glad i got to read it.

  4. If Molly writes her books like she described the disaster they will be hilariously wonderful.

    My nightmare Christmas was when one step-son and my nephew and the step-daughter and her bf came to our place. I was up at 5:30 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven. Had everything else done. At meal time, rushed a bit because step-son and nephew were in a bit of a hurry to get back to the city(girls I suspect) and step-daughter and guy friend had to drive back 2 1/4 hrs. Nice looking table and after the meal there sat a lot of the food. I’m thinking my cooking isn’t that bad.

    Dh and I had been married 6 years and the boys had been with us 1 yr.(oldest) and 2 years( youngest who was there) and the daughter had never lived with us as she was at her grandparents. Their Mom had passed away 7 years earlier. What I’m trying to say is they hadn’t eaten much of my cooking to get used to my style.

    Everyone had turkey, mashed potatoes and very little veggies(even though they ate peas/carrots/corn but no to mashed turnips. I found out that their family didn’t do veggies and salads once I got married. There sat my home-made buns(one each at the most), my fruit salad, the cranberries, the Ginger Ale/Cranberry juice in the glasses. They were basic eaters. I was devastated.

    Not many liked the drink, the jelly salad was foreign to them and they ‘no like’ veggies which I knew but….

    Next the gift opening. Things were fine until the step daughter’s boyfriend starts opening his; he says here Rhonda and hands her the white tube socks we gave him(apparently he only wore grey ones); this went on with 2 or 3 gifties and didn’t make me feel great by any means. How childish is my thought.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  5. i was fortunate to meet you and molly at the kentucky book fair…she was wonderful, too! the only disaster i can remember was when i accidentally fell into the tree when i tripped and it broke the base of our artificial tree. i had to duct tape it so we could keep it together and then put boxes around the base to give it a little more support. it leaned a little but it worked well enough to get us through the holiday! lol
    hope your holidays are what you want and them some…

  6. Hi, Jane! Happy Holidays to you and your family and your great comments group : )

    “Pride Goeth Before a Pie”

    I have always loved to cook, and I began preparing the meals for my family when I was just ten years old. By that time, my grandmother was no longer able to grocery shop and cook our meals. She taught me how to cook, and we managed pretty good. My mom and grandfather worked full-time and I went to school. We each did what we could to keep it all together. My grandfather’s favorite pie was mincemeat, and I decided to make him a pie one Christmas. It was a beautiful mincemeat pie with a golden, fluted-edge crust. I wanted to be just like my grandmother, so I sat my pie on a chair on the back porch so that it would cool quicker. My grandfather could hardly wait for a taste of that pie. It was a wonderfully clear and cold December day with a bright blue sky. Not a cloud in sight. A great day for birds! When I went back to get my prize-worthy pie, birds had completely pecked away the carefully fluted edge of the pie crust. They left a perfect ring of crumbs around the pie pan. I was devastated! My grandfather loved to tease me, and he told me that since there were no dead birds in sight, the pie was probably safe to eat! I cried, but he gave me a hug and took over that pie. He brushed off the top and cut away a narrow ring around the edge. Over the next few days, he managed to consume the whole pie. No one else would touch it! He told me many times that it was the best mincemeat pie he ever ate. It was the only one I ever made : (

  7. My dh always cooks on the major holidays. He’s a fantastic cook, much better than moi…well, one Christmas Day, he pulled the ham out of the oven, and since I was entertaining the other guests, he asked neighbor Jim to help him by holding the serving plate while he placed the ham on it. Jim turned his head at the crucial moment and didn’t see the ham coming down onto the serving platter, so SPLAT! the ham slipped off the platter, onto the kitchen floor, then skidded across the floor into the family room…my dh and Jim were shouting and slipping across the floor in ham juice and glaze to reach the tasty porker before five cats and two very large dogs made it there first…dh won the race, rescued the ham, wiped it off, washed it, and told everybody to drink more wine and everything would be all right!

  8. What a great post today. I had the misfortune to take a hot beautifully prepared dish out of the oven and place it on the counter where it combusted, in other words exploded and glass, food etc. rained down all over the kitchen. Hours spent cleaning up and preparing a new dish. Needless to say I am careful now.

  9. My christmas disaster was when I totally stranded in the snow on my way to a family christmas party. I was traveling by train and because of the bad weather, many delays and cancellations. The only direction that worked out was to go back home again, which I did, and missed the party, which I didn’t like.

    Wish you a fabulous christmas Jane and Molly, and one of the things I really want to do in 2011 is read your books!

  10. In the immortal words of Fancy Nancy’s grandpa, “When life gives you cracked eggs, make eggnog!”
    Have a great holiday!

  11. Not so much a disaster as sad… My parents have their own retail business and my sister and I would have to work every Christmas season growing up. One Christmas we didn’t have ANYTHING prepared for Christmas. No treats, presents, or dinner. After work we drove around aimlessly looking for a restaurant… Sadly, we had Xmas dinner at a random Denny’s…

  12. Hilarious, Molly. I’m a Kentucky gal, too, and believe it or not, I don’t have any Christmas disaster story.

    Sure, the occasional Christmas tree falling over and scorched turkey. Alas, no fights or drunken brawls.

    My uncle did give my grandmother a Christmas card once with a picture of her sitting on the toilet wearing a chef’s hat. Yeah, the good ol’ days.

  13. OH gosh Christmas disaster, who does not have one this season.
    I was at the store today in fact and brought my list in hand. I shopped with my 3 yr old and felt pretty pleased since I was getting things done in time before I went to go pick up my school aged kids. I paid for the items and got out to the car. I left town and when I got to the next I stopped to get gas and found NO PURSE. I scrambled looking through the car and went 10 miles back to the store and asked inside. NO PURSE. I wandered around where I parked the car and saw the basket we used with the purse clipped into the back of the child seat area with the waist strap. My 3yr strapped it in behind the shelf area. I was lucky no one picked it up. I was also lucky to get home just as my kids were getting out of school. I may have left a few nerves behind, and I skipped getting gas. SO yes already I am having holiday mishaps.
    Happy holidays to you wonderful ladies.

  14. I love Molly’s story! My biggest holiday disaster is one that left me quite sore for a while. It’s tough to re-visit, but for the sake of this fun contest I will; fortunatley it’s short and sweet.

    My worst holiday disaster was Christmas 2002 (I think that was the year). My mom is prone to being tardy (ok, really late) but this year it was the worst EVER. My Christmas gathering (my husband’s and my family) all were to be at my house between 3-3:30 p.m. for gifts, dinner and merriment. My mom arrived at 7:30 p.m….yes that’s right, she walked up as people were LEAVING!!! I was in tears, everyone felt awkward and embarrassed for me, and we didn’t speak for nearly a month. To be entirely honest, it took me more than a year to forgive her (shame on me), but it was pretty awful. She never said she was sorry and when I told her how mad I was (and why), she said “sorry you feel that way”. I’m happy to say all is mended and healed, but it was nothing BUT a disaster as far as I am concerned.

    Merry Christmas!
    Shannon in Tustin

  15. One year there was one present left under the tree. When I went under the tree to go retrieve said present the entire tree fell over. Broken ornaments a scratched window. And a sever amount of pain. Oh yeah good times.

  16. Hm…probably the biggest Christmas disaster is the year I ruined my boyfriend’s Christmas gift. We were spending the holiday vacation with his family, and he had gotten his baby sister this beautiful scarf online. The postman delivered it in the mail Christmas eve…and I just happened to be the one who took the package. I exclaimed, “I didn’t know USPS delivered during the break!” and his sister ran to me, eager. We both didn’t know it was her present because it was supposed to be a surprise. Ummm oops.


  17. It’s so nice to see Molly as a guest on your blog. I’ve read many of Molly’s articles when she was a writer for the “Sun” back in the day. I am so happy to see her achievements. Her new book sounds fantastic.
    Thankfully, I haven’t had any Christmas disasters. Hopefully, I won’t have any this year.

  18. I don’t think I’ve ever really had a “disaster”. . . figured they were all par for the course. I have a very large extended family and always, something or another will fail, but we all take in stride. . . like the time one brother said he was ordering food to be catered and we all assumed he was having at least half if not most of the food catered. Needless to say, he had one, ONE dish for 42 people. It was a mad rush and frantic pleading at the Chinese take-out to get enough food for everyone. And we all ate, with leftovers and it was normal. No ONE blinked an eye..we just went along with it.

  19. I tried to post on Molly’s blog but for some reason, it wouldn’t let me post unless I open an account. I read your story and I have to add: Deja vu – my first Christmas with my now-ex was something similar to Jacqui’s. Instead of letting the Tree guy cut off the tree, he said he was going to do it at home. Well, he used two of my big kitchen knives, a cleaver and a bread knife to try and cut off the bottom of a 4-5 inch wide tree. Epic Fail! and I lost my knives. Needless to say, the tree didn’t last very long but it was still a very memorable Christmas.

  20. These have been great fun to read. As I mentioned on Molly’s blog I can totally relate to Jane’s tree experience having done it by myself pregnant and with a toddler and a full set of icy deck steps.

    Love Molly’s dinner story, that was great. This wasn’t a holiday but I can remember our dog taking a roast off the kitchen table when we had our backs turned and we couldn’t find it for some time! Defintiely wise to feed the animals first!

  21. Well I turned my tree over right after getting it decorated last year, moving the table back. I broke half of the ornaments, which i felt like crying afterwards. Also one year my girlfriend and I were making Christmas cookies and one slide off the pan into the oven and caught on fire. We grabed some tongs and got the cookie out and threw it on the countertop and burned a big whole in the countertop. Why we didn’t throw it in the sink I will never know. We had to use the same countertop for several years after, the reminder was always there. My sister changed that countertop about two years ago.

  22. My funny holiday story involves my son in law. A few years ago his aunt gave him a cd for Christmas by a group that shall remain nameless, just in case anybody likes them. Anyway my oldest daughter laughed about it so much that my son in law saved it and gave it to her the next Christmas. Thus began the giving of the cd for all kinds of holidays. Valentines Day, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Birthdays, any holiday you can give a gift that cd makes the rounds. My oldest daughter has it right now and I’m waiting to see how she disguises it this year. It’s always fun to see where it will show up.

  23. Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year and also the most painful. Here is my story:
    I had been married 30 years and yet a few years ago I was given a coffee gift set from the family who drew my name at the in-laws holiday get together. I was very puzzled because I don’t drink coffee – never have, never will. Every meal I had ever eaten with his family for all the years of marriage I declined coffee, so I was stunned to open this present with my name on it. Of course someone blurted out, “but Kathy doesn’t drink coffee” and I replied, as my mom had taught me always to be polite, “it will be nice for guests” and set it aside. My brother-in-law was a teacher and I think he re-gifted me with something he had received. I had hurt feelings because the present was completely thoughtless and cheap!
    The very next year the same family drew my name and I opened a present of a cut glass bowl that looked just like one we had received oh so many years ago as a wedding present, and I reacted too quickly and said, “it looks like a wedding present” and I must have hit the nail on the head because I saw significant glances going across the room. You see, that family had just moved to a condo and had obviously “re-gifted” a 30+ year old present that they didn’t use or want anymore.
    After two embarrassing disasters in a row, I guess they finally gave up on even bothering to give me a present, because the gift exchange now is we all bring one present suitable for anyone (no drawing names) and we do the “open or steal game” and it works out much better for all.

  24. Well, this isn’t really a disaster, just a funny Christmas story/prank.

    One Christmas my cousin, who is very gullable and well, shall I say a little “slow” decided to cook Christmas dinner. We were all very skeptical but tried to stay positive. She didn’t have much experience in the kitchen, so we knew it would be eventful. Well, her mom decided to play a joke on her. When my cousin came out of the kitchen at one point, her mother snuck in and pulled the turkey out of the oven. She then stuffed a small cornish hen inside of the turkey and placed it back in the oven without my cousin knowing. Later when dinner was done as they carved the turkey everyone became aware of the small bird inside. My cousins mother said, “Oh my God, Angela! You cooked a pregnant Turkey! Baby and ALL!” My cousin started crying and was mortified. Everyone else in the room was laughing hysterically because we all knew turkeys lay eggs. Eventually we had to explain it all to my cousin. She did find the humor in it but it took a while. My family is always about having a great time…even if it means embarassing other family members. 🙂 I hope I’m not next! Merry Christmas everyone!!!

  25. Don’t put me in the drawing, I’ve been lucky to win lately. But I just had to share our story from a few years back. My husband and I, with our young children, were hosting the entire extended family on Christmas Day. However we kept putting off the grocery shopping. Christmas Eve came and we still weren’t ready. Off we went to the in-laws for an early dinner – surely we could stop at a store on the way home? Uh, no. Not when the early dinner starts late and ends even later – driving home at 9pm instead of 6pm! Not a single store in our area was open. We made frantic calls to all the family and dinner became an interesting potluck. We grilled some chicken we had in the freezer (not enough for the 15 people coming but it was something), someone brought a salad, someone else baked a cake, and so on. It was a mish-mash of items, but a memorable (and ultimately less stressful) meal. Now we keep it simple and go buy a Honey Baked Ham several days before Christmas.

    We’ve also had the too big of a tree, that we had to anchor to the ceiling to keep it from falling, after it tipped over 2-3 times. Luckily nothing broken! But the picture we have of my mom’s face as she’s holding up the tree, was/is priceless!

  26. Molly’s story is hilarious! My story wasn’t exactly a disaster, but it was a lesson learned. I had never cooked a turkey. Silly me, thought would be easier to cook it in the crockpot. It was dry as dirt. My dad kept asking for extra gravy! The lesson I learned was never try to take the easy way out in life. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  27. My disaster was messy, smelly, but ultimately was solved…

    We had spent the summer and fall building our first house — I was 24 and determined to host Christmas and have my wheel-chair bound grandmother stay with me. We had just built our house and moved in December 20 (don’t know WHAT I was thinking trying to host a family event so soon). We live in the country and have a septic system. While building the house, there were only a couple of us around and no stress on the septic system… maybe 1 or 2 flushes a day, mostly weekends. On December 24, after several loads of laundry, dishes, showers and mutltiple toilet flushings we were horrified to find raw sewage bubbling up in the basement. I had houseful of guests arriving the next day and we couldn’t use the toilets etc. And try to find someone to come and help in the country on Christmas Eve!

    My husband finally decided to dig through the snow to the septic tank cap, bravely levered it off and looked in. The idiot who had installed the septic tank had the pipe leading from the house smack up against the septic tank wall. While we were building, the usage was low enough for liquids to dribble out, but the solids plugged the pipe and then when we started using the house and toilets, etc. in earnest it took no time to back up. My husband solved the problem by shattering the PVC pipe with a shovel, resulting in a geyser of pent up #$#%^ shooting straight up in the air. We shovelled up the mess and became functional again, but it was extremely stressful to be in a new house, expecting a houseful of guests and have the septic system back up into the basement on Christmas Eve!

  28. Let’s see..the time our dog, Hershey, peed on our tree? And we had to take everything off and get another tree, using a baby gate around the tree that year to avoid future incidents.

    Or the many times our tree has crashed by children, animals or just because we were too complacent?

    Potato soup because the potatoes cooked too long for mashed potatoes…

    OR…the time I decided to make this fantastic ham recipe and forgot to take the netting off the ham? Yeah, so there we were trying to pull out as many pieces of the net so we could salvage enough meat for dinner. 🙂

  29. Well, I don’t have a funny Christmas disaster story. I do have a Christmas disaster that sits heavy on my heart every year. My step Grandma traveled out of state 4 years ago to visit her daughter for Christmas. She was amazing with my kids, went to every sporting event and birthday party and always tried to get my shy older son to open up to her. I didn’t always get along with her when I was younger, but once I grew up and had kids we became closer. I had two boys and became pregnant with my third and was excited it was a little girl. She was due on Jan. 3rd. My step grandma left for Christmas and I got a phone call from my step dad on Christmas eve that she ended up having a severe stroke and wasn’t going to make it. She was out of state so I had to say my goodbye to her on the phone. It was one of the hardest things I had to do. She ended up dying on Christmas morning which was also her birthday. We had heavy hearts that day and couldn’t get into the spirit as the kids opened their presents. Her funeral was to be two day’s later and my doctors didn’t wan’t me traveling because I was already dialating and almost ready to have my daughter. I went into the hospital and basically forced the doctors to induce me so I could go to her funeral. My daughter was born on the 27th and in tribute to my step grandma I gave her my step gandma’s middle name. She new how much I wanted a girl and was just as excited to meet her as I was to have her. I regret every day she never got a chance to see her, but I can’t wait till my daughter is older so I can tell her all about her middle name and the grandma she never got to meet. Sorry about the tear jerker, but I’ve always had stress free, no incident holidays and this is always the one that stands out to me

  30. LOVE Molly’s story! No big disasters except when baking. Had the kitchen table covered with dozens of cookies cooling, went down the basement to do the dryer, new load in washer thingie, and came upstairs to find our cat on the table licking all the tops of the cookies…

  31. One Christmas, I was doing my usual baking for family and friends. I had made about 3 batches of cookies and had them in air-tight containers on the kitchen counter. I had to go run some quick errands and when I returned, our dog Elker had got every one of those containers off of the counter and had them on the floor. 2 of them were open and one of them was still closed. Luckily I got home when I did because Elker was trying to pry the 3rd lid off to get the rest of the cookies. Needless to say, I then had to take Elker in for a visit to the vet. He turned out to be alright other than the fact he could barely move he had ate so much and was so round. I decided to give up on my baking that year. It’s funny when I look back but I wasn’t too azmused at the time! 🙂

  32. Hehehe, aren’t grandparents wonderful! I miss mine so much!

    My funny story would be the last Christmas I was able to spend with my parents before we moved east. Mom and Dad, for the first time in probably 15 years, decided to go out and get a real Christmas tree instead of putting up their artificial one. I’m not sure where they got this tree but I think it might have been from some sort of arachnid farm because it was FULL of spiders. Nothing harmful, just those little black jumping ones that kind of freak you out when you get too close, they jump at you. So the ceilling above the tree was black with spiders when we woke up Christmas morning and the presents had spiders on them. We were all kind of spooked every time someone reached for a gift. It took forever to get all those bugs out of the house and the next Christmas had Mom and Dad pulling out the artificial tree once more 😀

  33. Oh so many years ago when my now husband was my fiance, we invited a college friend and his date to my parent’s house for a Fish Fry Christmas meal. Turned out the date was a Country Club kind of gal and we are just country–period. Mom and I were in the kitchen getting out condiments and discovered to our mutual horror that we were totally out of ketchup. We had a bottle, but there was only a ring of red in the bottom. So, we pulled out a huge plastic bag that Mom kept the tiny “take out” ketchup bags in and started ripping them open and squirting them into the bottle. All the time we were trying so hard not to laugh that we had tears running down our cheeks. We were able to get up to about a half a bottle of ketchup and neither one of us used any on our fish when we sat down to eat. Why you are asking did we not run to a store to buy more ketchup? Those were the days when every store, filling station etc. closed down on Christmas Day and NOTHING was open. All of our neighbors were gone to be with family for the holidays, thus the need to squeeze tiny “take out” ketchup packets into the bottle. It is a good thing my mom kept all those little ketchups and she reminded me of that many times that day and for years afterwards. Still makes me smile!

  34. This is a tough memory. Probably the reason Christmas is hard to celebrate. Here it goes….

    When my nephew was 2, we were all at my parents house. We were getting ready to eat dessert and I was holding my nephew at the time. I happened to get a little pumpkin cheesecake on my hand and went to offer it to him. I thought it was cute, my sister went nuts. Yelling at me how could I harm her son. She went on exclaiming how did I know if he wasn’t allergic to it. She left the house and things seemed to calm down. Her husband went after her and then returned. He cornered me up against the wood burning stove yelling at me for endangering his son. My dad got up to stop it before I was pushed onto the stove.

    I called my mom the next morning to talk about things and learned my father had been so upset and shaken by this event he had a heart attack that night. Christmas has never been the same. For many years I would not celebrate Christmas and to this day find it hard. A disaster that has lasted way beyond its time.

  35. While cooking Thanksgiving dinner several years ago at my Aunt’s house- everyone had had a bit too much wine. Being the pregnant one- I took over kitchen duties. I didn’t know that the double wall oven hadn’t been attached properly (a hint would have helped…) When I opened the oven to check on the turkey, the weight of having the turkey pulled out to basted- caused the oven to tip out of the wall and the turkey went sailing across the tile floor about 20 feet! Thank goodness it didn’t spill, so we were able to salvage it- but years later we still talk about the flying turkey!

  36. One year after we got our Christmas tree at the tree farm in Madera, we got it home and my dad worked hard to get it in the tree stand. As he was taking it into the living room my mom said, “Larry, what’s that noise?” My dad, true to form said, “I don’t hear anything.” and kept on going. I heard it too. We kept hearing a bzzzz, bzzzzz ing noise. It took a moment, but we discovered a HUGE grapfruit sized wasp nest in our tree! I don’t think I have ever seen my dad move so fast getting that tree out of the house! Then he proceeded to whack the nest with a stick. Fortunately for all of us, it was cold and the wasps were moving slow. We managed to stomp the ones that got out of the nest. From that year on, we never took a tree until we had all checked it over from top to bottom and shook it like crazy!

  37. Molly’s story was so funny! Those are the holidays you always remember and can laugh about later.

    I was born on Christmas Eve and my sister always said it was the worst Christmas she ever had! 32 years later, my mom was ill and in a nursing home. My husband and I took the kids to visit her on our way to their house. My sister had to work that day and was so frazzled with taking care of our dad and our mom being sick she didn’t even think that the store would close early. To top it off there was a snow storm! I don’t remember if we ended up having Chinese or pizza, but that definately was the worst Christmas ever!

  38. The first time I met my future inlaws was when I visited them with my future hubby at Christmastime. I was extremely nervous and wanted to make a good impression. I had spent weeks making homemade gifts and goodies for them, had gone shopping for new clothes with my mom (I have no fasion sense whatsoever), and had done a lot of praying in hopes that they would like me. When we arrived at their house everything was going well & finally breathed a great sigh of relief. That evening as the family gathered in the basement to watch t.v., I was upstairs taking a probably too-long hot shower to wash away the stress of the day. A little while into my shower, I hear a big knock at the door. It was the love of my life yelling at me to turn the water off! I had left the shower liner outside of the tub and water was pouring down into the basement. I have never been more embarrassed in my life. What must they have thought of their future daughter-in-law – that she didn’t have enough common sense to put the shower liner inside the tub? Anyway, they inlaws couldn’t have been more gracious about it & even tease me about it now. Whenever I get ready to go in the bathroom, one of them will yell, “Don’t forget to put the shower liner inside the tub!”

  39. My most memorable disaster story of Christmas(thankfully there have not been many) was back on Christmas 1997 when my now ex husband walked out on his 3 young daughters and myself. He left with a friend mid morning and said he would be back, but ended up going out of state and AWOL basically. We are much better off without him for many reasons…but to leave your children like that is just unforgivable. I had to deal with all their tears etc…not a fun Christmas at all. Happy Holidays to all.

  40. Living in Colorado, we decided to drive up to the mountains this year and cut a fresh Christmas tree. Loaded up the kids, the dogs and Grandpa and off we went to this Christmas adventure. Grandpa found a tree he liked, we cut it down, took an hour to tie it on the top of the truck and drove home all excited and knew that this was the best tree ever. It took just as long to get the tree off the truck and into the house. It was a heavy sucker. We struggled to stand this tree up and discovered that in the great outdoors our preception on this grand tree was small considering the in the house it wouldn’t even fit! We ended up cutting this tree in half. It stands in our living room today a wopping 13 feet tall. Can hardly get the angel to fit on top. Our grand tree has collected many different objects other than ornaments over the past couple of days; stuffed animals, mail, bows and presents! We chuckle when we see its grandeur! Merry Christmas!

  41. Ha! this makes my story seem sort of mild, but here goes: I’m trying to have a ‘happy Christmas’ with a new soon-to-be husband and my dad (yeah, right!). There’s a blizzard on Christmas eve, but dad still has to go into work. We’ve spent the night at his place so my stepmom and I can cook dinner – dad’s favorite part of any holiday. Just as we’re about to get started, I turn on the faucet…no water. The pipes are frozen. Trying to make lemonade out of lemons, we grab all the food, all the presents, and drive into town to my TINY little apartment and start from scratch to ‘make Christmas’. Three of us in a kitchen built for one….a 16-lb. turkey (2 hours too late) in an oven built for warming leftovers…dinner was hours late, dad was furious that we ‘abandoned’ the house with frozen pipes – all in all, one of the worst Christmases I’ve ever spent with him (and that’s saying something!)

  42. merry Christmas! the only disaster I can remember that was quite funny is when all of us were and my uncle frank’s and auntie anne’s house for christmas eve dinner, were quite a crowd and we all bring a cover dish and dessert. My auntie was in cahrge of cooking the turkey. My auntie anne likes her booze and she had a few,well, she told us that the turkey was in the oven and it was almost done, well it was in the oven but the oven was never turned on. My grandma started yelling in Italian thinking us kids didn’t understand but we did, it was the funniest time i ever had, and the last time she ever had dinner for us all.They both aren’t with us now but everytime I have dinner with my uncle frank at my dad’s we laugh about that story.

  43. It was the Christmas right after my husband and I divorced. First Holiday that I was living in another state, but was able to come up and share the festivities with my family. When my kids arrived with their dad, all was good, but then he stayed. I thought that was very wrong for my family to elect to have my ex stay to celebrate my families holidays with my kids after being seperated from them for months. I did the right thing, didnt tell anyone and kept it all to myself. But my family is my family and after a divorce, the ex shouldn’t be allowed to share in holiday traditions. Its been a long time now and the past is the past and I am making new traditions with my youngest daughter. The other kids are all grown now and I dont get to see them as often as I wish, but someday, we will all share in a family celebration again…..the whole family! Happy Holidays everyone!

  44. Grandma’s experience was hilarious.

    My story isn’t as funny, but I have never forgotten it. It,too,included a grandmother.

    After I graduated from college, I went to work and moved out of our family home. My beloved grandmother worried about me living alone and moved in with me. She had a darling pet parakeet that she let fly around inside the house. When I put up my Christmas tree, the parakeet loved sitting on the tree. Everyone thought it was adorable there, especially since it spoke many phrases. But…I soon discovered that the parakeet had left “drippings” on most all of the beautiful ornaments I had collected. The result was that the ornaments were permanently stained. It, too, was an unforgettable and expensive experience.

  45. Hi Jane and Molly, Both your stories are pretty funny.

    My Christmas disaster was 2 years ago. I was supposed to have my in-laws and family over for Christmas day dinner. I woke up at 5 in morning very very sick. Then he became very sick. My middle daughter was awake wanting to see what Santa brought so she went to wake up her oldest sister who ran right to the bathroom and became sick. We all ambled downstairs to open gifts, my husband, my oldest daughter and myself crawling towards the couch. My youngest daughter got sick right after she opened her gifts, right in the wrapping paper.(that was easy clean up!) My middle daughter never got sick and was so disappointed that Mommy, Daddy and both sisters were too sick to eat the delicious breakfast I had made up. To this day, we do not plan any made up breakfasts because we are superstitious and do not want to get sick again on the holidays!

  46. We had Christmas every year at my Grandmother’s House in Austin. It seemed that every year, everything was perfectly cooked except for the rolls. No matter how careful we were, the rolls got burned to smithereens. Not just a little brown but smoking black. The aroma of burnt rolls would mingle with the turkey and dressing. Every year we would laugh and make another batch wil we were eating dinner. Even after all the years I still laugh at that memory.

  47. My most uncomfortable Christmas memory is the first one with my new in-laws. I must have been in a hurry wrapping gifts because my mother-in-law opened hers and I realized immediately it was meant for my sister-in-law. I yelled, “Wait, that’s not yours” and felt like a complete moron! My hubby thought it was funny and now I do, too.

  48. Hi Jane!

    My sister’s ex-grandfather-in-law passed away Christmas Eve two years ago. As sad as it was, he was a very religious man, and got to join Jesus right before his birthday. One must find the bright side in all bad situations. Love and miss you, Grandpa Carlton!

  49. The Christmas our eldest daughter was 18! On Christmas Eve she borrowed the van to get a bagel in town. Unfortunately, she skidded on black ice, caught/blew the tire on the rocks along the road, tipped and righted the van, & set off the airbags! We got a call from the local sheriff’s dept to say she’d been in an accident. We hopped in the car, drove down the same road and couldn’t get through because of her accident, so I ran the last quarter mile to find her unscathed but for an airbag burn on her cheek! Far too much excitement for that holiday. And yes, she still eats bagels!

  50. Thanks so much for all the great stories so far! I’ve been enjoying all of them!

    If you haven’t already shared your story, please do by midnight (Pacific time) tonight! I’ll be picking the winners tomorrow, Dec. 22nd!


  51. My son was deployed in Iraq last year at Christmas. This year he is home with his wife and two daughters in Alaska. I was so proud of myself when I ordered all of their Christmas gifts online and had them shipped directly to them, until my son called me and told me that I sent them to the wrong address, IN IRAQ! Luckily, someone my son knows is still deployed and will send the gifts to him. Now my 6 and 9 year old grandaughters just say, “Queenie, you sent our Christmas gifts to Iraq?!” This one goes in the book!

  52. Hello all, I’m here to announce the winners of the contest! I’ll make this fast since we’re going to be boarding our flight from New Orleans to Houston soon,

    I just drew the two winners and they are:

    # 7 Debora H
    #38 Jessica Lusk

    Love to all,


    1. Oh! Jessica and Debora, you know what to do, right? Please send me a private email with your address so I can get the goodies out in the next mail to you!!

      Happy Holidays!


  53. LOVED my box of goodies! I rang in the new year reading ALL of Molly’s book and sampling the chocolates. What a fun way to ring in the new year. Thanks for the treats!

  54. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this brilliant blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

Leave a Comment

Your email is never published or shared.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By posting a comment, you consent to have your personally identifiable information collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy.