Ah, the holidays. They’re the best of times, they’re the worst of times…but mostly, they’re straight-up nightmares.
1. Naughty, Not Nice
On Christmas morning, my nephew, who resides in the flat just below, had a full-blown meltdown. He believed his sister received "bigger presents" from Santa this year. His father's response was golden, "You can't be serious. Please tell me you're not serious. Say it's a joke. Oh please, someone say he's playing".
Honestly, that kid is the most spoiled brat I've ever met.
2. Money Can’t Buy Class
My wife spoiled my Christmas. I'm not sure if I can see her in the same light again. She referred to the modest ring my daughter got from her boyfriend as "a trash ring" just because she chose not to wear the almost $700 class ring we'd just gifted her. I've never felt such disappointment towards my wife before. It's like seeing a side of her I never knew existed.
3. Bad Boy
So, I opened my eyes at half past four in the morning, thanks to the noise of my dog being sick. I mopped up the mess and spent some time comfortingly cuddling him. Suddenly, it was 6 o'clock in the morning, and that's when I made a disturbing realization.
I noticed he was breathing a bit too lightly. From that time onward, I've been camped out in the veterinary ER parking lot, waiting for them to finish his check-up. After examining him, they found out he's got pneumonia, and handed me a hefty bill of $900.
4. Perfect For You
A couple of Christmases back, my aunt decided to give me the worst gift ever. As big girls, she announced that it was time for me and my two older cousins to unwrap our gifts. She let my cousins go first, and they both got scarves. When it was my turn, what I found inside my package was a rock. Yes, a ROCK.
Expecting this to be some kind of joke, I looked at her for a laugh. But she simply said, "Isn't it fantastic??" So, I had no choice but to pretend, "Oh yeah, I absolutely adore it!" She then explained that she'd found this rock in her garden last summer and was certain I'd find it super cool.
The next year, she gifted me acorn tops. Her reasoning? "Some folks can use them to whistle. I don't know how to teach you, but I'm sure you'll figure it out". She's a bit quirky. But I must say, both were rather disappointing gifts.
5. One Big Angry Family
On Christmas Eve, at around 11:30 PM at my in-laws' place, I discovered that my wife was not being faithful to me. Without causing a scene or letting her family in on our issue, I collected my things and headed out. I drove for six hours through a wild rain storm to reach my parents' house. So, that's my situation.
I'm confident things will eventually be fine, but... it certainly wasn't a nice way to spend Christmas.
6. Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
My beloved granddad, with whom I'm extremely close, has been in the hospital for nearly a fortnight and sadly, he won't be spending Christmas at home this year. In all my 20 years, we've never celebrated Christmas without him. To make matters worse, we can't even visit. I managed to give him a phone call this morning, and it really choked me up. What he said next moved me to tears.
He shared that he received a present from the hospital staff, which unexpectedly brought on a wave of emotion and caused me to shed a few tears myself. Once he regained his composure, he began to animatedly describe the turkey dinner waiting for him today, which he's looking forward to.
Here's a piece of heartening news, though; he's likely to be back home before New Year's eve.
7. Taking It For Granted
My cousin, the guy who always brings Chick-fil-A to our holiday feast rather than eating our home-cooked food, made a stunning declaration the second he walked through the froont door.
Apparently, he wanted to make it clear that he had NO intention of helping out. No tidying, cooking, or watching the kids. He spent Christmas Eve using substances and was drinking solo before lunchtime. When I asked him to keep the Christmas vibes peaceful and take care of his dishes, he yelled right in my face.
8. Mother Doesn’t Know Best
My mom's refusal to acknowledge her bipolar disorder really made my Christmas difficult. At present, she's caught up in a full-blown manic episode. I journeyed eight hours from another country just to spend Christmas with my parents. While I planned to stay nearly two weeks, the negative environment made it impossible for me to stay longer than three days.
When I shared that I was heading off earlier, things turned from bad to worse. I confessed during our conversation that I couldn't cope with her yelling, frequent outbursts, and generally unpleasant behavior. I wanted nothing more than to support her, but she vehemently denied any illness, proclaiming that this is simply her nature and I must accept it because things wouldn't change.
I grapple with my own mental health challenges and reached a point where I simply couldn't tolerate her endless barrage of harsh words. I found myself on a bus heading home, and arrived at my apartment at three in the morning, set to spend my Christmas alone.
9. Child’s Play
So, guess who got stuck assembling ALL of my nephew's toy sets? It's not an easy gig at all. I mean, I'm dealing with instruction manuals and at least seven bags filled with screws and wood pegs, which I must use precisely to put together these toys, or else he's going to have a meltdown.
It's already 6:00 am and there's still one toy set waiting for completion. But that's going to have to be a job for later.
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10. Parent Of The Year
My mom has made a choice that she feels is best for both of us. She's planning to spend the holidays with her boyfriend, who's quite a bit younger than her, around 15-17 years younger. But believe it or not, that's not what's bothering me the most.
The thing is, her boyfriend lives in a different city, while my step-dad (her second husband) is working in a foreign country for our financial benefit. Meanwhile, I'm here, just turned 18, about to experience my first Christmas and New Year's Eve on my own.
11. In The Dog House
So, this year I was gearing up to spend Christmas with my parents. This came after breaking off a nine-year relationship and two-year engagement, all happening right before Christmas. I recently got a place of my own and am adjusting to living solo after nine years, which is proving tough.
Just when I thought it couldn't get rougher, it did. My faithful dog fell ill with a terrible stomach bug, causing him to wake me up three times during the night for outdoor bathroom breaks. Normally, my pet sleeps soundly all night so this was new. To top it all off, I woke up to find his dog bed a mess with vomit.
It's not his fault, but I don't think I'll be able to leave the house today.
12. It’s All Fun And Games…
Guess what happened at our house this Christmas? My five-year-old was super excited to open his brand new Nintendo Switch, but disaster struck immediately. He accidentally dropped one of the controllers into my wife's cup of coffee. Yep, you heard that right, and yes, it sort of spoiled my merry mood.
Incredibly, it all happened so quickly, barely a second after the wrapping paper was torn off. Now, to be fair, the little guy wasn't entirely to blame. The controller was in a plastic sleeve and slipped right out of it, landing straight into the coffee cup. No doubt, it wasn't our finest hour as a family.
But hey, we've decided to see the humor in it and we're certain we'll chuckle about this incident during future Christmases.
13. All Dogs Go To Heaven
My beloved pet dog unexpectedly passed earlier this month from a sudden and aggressive form of cancer. This is my first Christmas without him, and frankly speaking, he was more enthusiastic about the holiday season than even I was. He’d be the one to rouse me early in the morning because he was aware that wrapped gifts meant something exciting.
He would patiently lay near the presents in anticipation. He was an incredibly good-hearted dog, and his absence is terribly heartbreaking for me.
14. The Doctor Is Out
I live with Crohn's disease, and recently, I developed an abscess near my buttock that needed surgical attention. The worst part isn't the procedure itself, but the complications that arose during surgery. The abscess was far deeper and extended higher up my buttock than expected, which made it bleed profusely.
The operating room looked like a scene from a horror flick when I was done. The gushing blood is a natural occurrence due to the intense pressure from the abscess. If the medical team isn't ready, well, it could get messy. Sadly, after the procedure, they made a terrible mistake.
They forgot to send me home with painkillers. For a while, I was okay, given the numbness post-surgery. But around 10:30 PM, the pain hit me so hard, I had to rush back to the ER. I managed to take a pain pill in the early morning hours.
Now, I'm waiting for my body to return to its normal state, until the fight or flight response fades. This means I'll pop a few pills for relief until I eventually relax. But what's more disappointing is that this isn't my first festive season in hospital. I've spent quite a few Christmases and New Year's Eves in the ER before.
15. Burden Of Care
The surgeon who worked on my mother's knee replacement made a mistake which resulted in a broken femur. This unforeseen accident wrecked Christmas for us. Now, I'm stuck caring for both my mom and my sick dad round the clock because my mom is unable to move or take care of him.
This means I won't be able to celebrate Christmas—or much of December—with my husband. But things took an even more challenging turn. Following this incident, my mom got really upset because she can't celebrate Christmas in her normal way. And this is despite the fact she will still be surrounded by all her loved ones, who are coming to see her in person.
I'm not blaming everything on the doctor, but my Christmas plans got messed up because of this rare complication—something that reportedly only happens in 2% of such operations. However, I'm doing my best to stay positive and not vent my frustration on my mom. I'm excited to see my sister and niece, but I miss my husband.
It’s been a few weeks since we've been together and I definitely would have preferred a cozy evening with him rather than just a video call.
16. The Christmas Choice
So, it seems like my parents are on a mission to wreck my Christmas. Last summer, my mom decided it was time to split up with my dad. He's had a drinking problem for some time, and about a decade ago, my mom held off on the divorce because my eldest sister, then only 14, would have been placed in a grown-up role during the times we were with our dad.
But now, with me almost graduating from high school, she feels that we can manage the fallout of the divorce. I don't want to go on and on, so I'll just mention that my mom has tried enough to weather through, while my dad is unable to accept the reality, believing that we can still fix things without resorting to a full-blown divorce.
He puts the blame entirely on himself, although a portion of this is just the unfortunate reality that things didn't pan out. His drinking is just one piece of a larger puzzle. Recently, my dad sent me a text that I wish I could erase from my mind. It was essentially a desperate, emotionally charged ultimatum commanding me to pick one parent over the other.
Remarkably, this gave me a chance to stop visiting his house weekly, and leave it that I would be staying indefinitely with my mom. But now it's Christmas. To prevent him from spending it alone, as he did on Thanksgiving, we are heading to his house for Christmas morning.
My dad has good intentions, but his tearfulness tends to dampen everyone's spirits, making us all feel low. I'm bracing myself to see how this morning unfolds. I'm en route now. My dad has currently maintained sobriety for seven months, which is immensely important to him, but sometimes it feels like no one acknowledges this.
17. The Great Forgetting
My mom is aging, and her once lively spirit has faded away. Her bones break easily, her hair is now silver, and her eyes clouded over with cataracts. Her skin bears bruises like a patchwork quilt. Not so long ago, she was the picture of vitality, living an active life full of visits to the beauty salon for regular pedicures and hair colorings.
Once all her five kids were fully grown, she embraced her independence. She barely stayed home, always zipping about town, catching up with friends, or going shopping. After years of being a busy nurse, a dedicated housewife, and a loving mother, she was finally relishing newfound freedom. But then, a sudden accident brought everything to a halt.
Three years back, she lost her footing stepping off a curb. Her shoulder bore the brunt of the fall and was shattered beyond repair. Even more shockingly, it was through this event that we discovered her osteoporosis condition. This required her shoulder to be rebuilt and resulted in reduced mobility.
The recovery process did not go smoothly, marking further falls that caused fractures in her back and knee. Since then, her active lifestyle has been replaced by a sedentary existence in a recliner. The past couple of Christmas holidays have not been the same, and this year's might be her last. Memory lapses have started creeping in too.
I visit her every week, and I sleep over every Saturday in my childhood room. It's as though her memory deteriorates a little more each time I return. This year, for the first time, she forgot my birthday, an occasion that was always special to her—and to any mother.
Growing up, our birthdays were the high point of the year. My brother, my father, and my own birthdays all fall in December, yet this year, she forgot them all—no celebrations, no cards, no cake, no calls. We didn’t bring it up, too upset about the 'Great Forgetting' to bring ourselves to address it.
Last week, right before Christmas, my mom reminisced about her love for honeycombs as a child. She and her sisters would put honeycomb on muffins or biscuits, and she wouldn't eat oatmeal without honeycomb. It was a rare treat that felt like luxury. She wished she could taste it again.
Understanding her wished-for delight, I decided it would make a perfect Christmas gift. It took visiting three apiaries and considerable expense and time, but I knew that the effort would be worth it.
In gifting her the honey, I also hoped to make amends for past transgressions, like dropping out of college after she'd paid my tuition or selling a cherished piece of family furniture. Perhaps this 'Honeycomb Atonement' would also serve as a meaningful reminder of this Christmas in the future when I might also face memory issues.
This Christmas felt different. My mom's deteriorating memory condition made me realize it might be her last one. The excitement of the surprise gift made the wait until Christmas even more tantalizing. Finally, just before Christmas, I dropped a hint, asking if she remembered eating honeycombs with her sisters. Her response sent a shiver down my spine.
She turned towards me with a blank expression. "Honeycombs?" she asked. "I never ate those. They’re disgusting".
18. Father Christmas
Here's my tale for you to judge what spoiled my holiday season the most: My father just came back from the hospital after a particularly bad drinking binge, and now I'm the only one in our family still around to help organize his life. My brother? He simply isn't capable of taking on the responsibility and is out enjoying a pleasant little Christmas with his own family.
Despite my dad's less-than-jolly mood and arguing tendencies, I elected to spend the festive period with him. He gets daily visits from carers from 7 in the morning till 10 at night, even during the holidays. On my visit, I noticed two high-end items were missing from his place. Considering only the carers step foot in the house, they seem to be the most likely culprits.
On top of everything else, I managed only two hours of sleep last night thanks to my dad's raging toothache. Today, I've had to get in touch with the health helpline to arrange a dentist appointment for him this coming Sunday. Alas, this means I'll need to prolong my stay with him to ensure he gets to the appointment, despite my lack of driving skills.
Our Christmas lacks any festive feast or special touch and let me tell you, I am truly worn out.
19. Life Comes At You Fast
So, my girlfriend messed up my Christmas. She's got a drinking issue and thought it'd be a good idea to get seriously loaded at her first Christmas with my family. Don't misunderstand me, when she drinks, she's usually a blast... until she goes overboard.
Beyond that limit, she becomes clumsy, emotionally unstable, angry, just a complete hot mess, and always tries to make a big scene. But her dramatic statements are rarely clear-cut or even rational. She gets furious when she feels like I don't "get" her, and that's usually the spark that lights our verbal arguments. And it never stops at that.
She refuses to let me calm her down or diffuse the situation. Instead, she hurls some of the vilest things at me. And because I refuse to be her verbal punching bag, I fire back, and we both descend into this verbal slugfest. Fast forward to now—I'm a single guy. Yes, we broke up on Christmas day during a family get-together.
20. A Happy Meal
My spouse made a minor mistake—she forgot to close the fridge last night which means we had to chuck out all of our holiday meals. But you know what, I'm not too bothered. It was just us and our brand new baby, so we only had enough food for two. Sometimes, fatigue leads to minor mishaps.
On the bright side, it gives us a great reason to grab a meal from McDonald's.
21. She Has A Type
My girlfriend's sister really messed up my Christmas this year. She's a mom to three little girls and unfortunately, she consistently chooses the wrong kind of men to date. So naturally, she decided to use a video call today, with the kids present, to announce to everyone that she is currently seeing a guy in our town who is infamous for his addiction habits.
She tends to get hooked on things easily and has always had challenges trying to quit. This news has left my girlfriend extremely anxious and concerned for her nieces' well-being.
22. Angels Among Us
My grandmother is deeply interested in spiritual things. At first, we just shrugged it off, knowing it makes her happy and not seeing it as a threat to her finances. But we couldn't have been more mistaken. It turned out the group she was generously supporting had been deceitfully siphoning off a huge chunk of her money without giving anything in return.
As a solution, my father and uncles decided to stop accompanying her to the store where they peddled their wares. The shop, however, reached out to her and tried to manipulate her, convincing her that we, her own family, are out to hurt her.
It happened right before the festive season and as a result, she barely uttered a word throughout the typically cheery Christmas celebrations. It was an especially small gathering too. Everyone was upset and anxious. The atmosphere was really strained.
23. Life’s Not Fair
Lung cancer threw a wrench in my holiday plans, appearing just a week before Christmas. As a lifelong endurance athlete, who doesn't smoke and hardly drinks, I was puzzled by this. We conducted a CT scan, but the results were heartbreaking. Three days ago, they confirmed it: I have lung cancer.
I'm currently at the age of 29, fresh out of grad school and had just started my dream job three weeks ago.
24. Unhappy Holidays
I was planning to spend Christmas with my long-time girlfriend, but she went behind my back. When I attempted to look past it and offered her an opportunity to fix things, she chose to break it off instead. Now, I find myself staring at a mountain of presents I had bought for her, questioning what it's all about. Certainly, not the merry Christmas I had in mind.
My father and his wife reside in the Midwest, while my wife and I call California home. Back in September, my father suggested that we think about moving to their city. He offered to assist us in everything, from moving logistics to home purchasing. FYI, my father and his spouse are quite wealthy.
Conversely, my wife and I are in the early stages of our careers and some might say we're not rolling in the dough. Despite this, the idea of moving, especially with financial help towards housing (often perceived as an unachievable millennial fantasy), seemed like a good one. So, we agreed.
My father and his wife recently bought a new home and indicated that once their old home sold, they'd assist us in securing a house in their city. Soon after, they introduced us to their real estate agent and revealed the strategy. We eagerly browsed houses online, preparing a "must-see" list for our return to the Midwest at Christmas.
But then, right in the middle of unwrapping gifts surrounded by our entire family, my dad drops a bombshell—he's decided to install a swimming pool instead of helping us with our home purchase. After that, I didn't see him for three days. On the eve of our return to California, I had had enough, and my wife and I decided to spend our last night in a hotel.
When my father overheard our plans, he finally decided to face me. When I confronted him about the whole ordeal, his wife became irate. She flew at me, prompting my dad to hold her back. She commanded me to leave their home for good, with my dad chiming in with a threat to call the authorities.
With a shrug, I pointed out that we were already on our way out, and ordered an Uber. Following that encounter, we cut off contact with them. Fast forward a year, and my wife and I are expecting a baby, I've just landed my dream job with an impressive salary and my father is clueless about all this.
My brother and his girlfriend also opted to skip visiting my dad for Christmas, significantly reducing their contact with him and his wife.
26. Say Uncle
My less than pleasant uncle, the reasons for my dislike towards him are lengthy and complex, but feel stronger with each passing year. This year, though, he really outdid himself. My 83-year-old grandmother had been looking after my 88-year-old grandfather who had dementia, incontinence, and severe leg issues limiting his mobility.
My grandfather's confusion made him lash out on my grandmother, making life quite difficult for her. My mom and I came to her aid as much as we could, but my uncle? He didn't lift a finger, instead pressuring my grandmother not to consider respite care for my grandfather, despite his worsening condition.
She was by herself, not receiving any outside help. Yet my uncle had the audacity to criticize her for contemplating respite care, which led to her experiencing a mental breakdown from stress. Luckily, she decided to opt for respite care eventually. But then, tragedy struck.
Regrettably, my grandfather had a stroke and passed a few months later. Did my uncle help with any arrangements? Nope. Did he visit my grandmother on the day my grandfather passed? Still a no. He even criticized my mom over not personally providing him with the funeral plans, although my aunt had all the necessary information.
The audacity of my uncle didn’t stop there. He grumbled about not having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and successfully guilted my grandmother into preparing the meal by herself, just a MONTH after my grandfather's passing. As tradition, he showed up two hours late, leaving her to manage the food.
This year, I decided that enough was enough. I planned for Christmas to be at my place; my uncle could celebrate however he wished, but not by burdening my grandmother to cook the whole Christmas dinner.
However, plans have changed, and myself, my brother, and our families have decided to go to grandmother's place for Christmas—with the saving grace that he won't show up. But did that deter him? Unfortunately not. Now, he's invited himself and imposed on our family gathering.
Thankfully my troublesome cousins won’t be making an appearance. But if his past antics are anything to go by, he’ll be late as usual, and we'd have already left, making his presence redundant.
27. If The Clothes Fit…
Each year, our family has a tradition where we head to our grandma's house just next door to open most of our Christmas presents. Following that, we return back to our house to unwrap the remaining few.
At grandma's place, we usually get only a handful of presents and out of those, half are typically clothes—which, oddly enough, is a boon for me as I usually need them. But my 11-year-old younger brother had a different take. He was quite vocal, repeatedly saying, "Can we go home, all I got was clothes. I want to go home!"
His remarks came off as ungrateful and disrespectful to everyone present. It seemed like he was solely focused on the quantity of gifts, not the gesture of giving. Interestingly, I also received the same number of clothes, but in my view, the other two presents were great. Importantly, I made it a point to visibly express my gratitude.
28. Not-So Picture Perfect
My mom and I put in a ton of effort and patience over a few months, collaborating with an Etsy shop, to create a special poster for my dad. It was a touchingly personal gift, featuring all the lyrics from “My Man” by Lynn Anderson, a song he absolutely loves.
We even included a snapshot of them on their wedding day. This was my mom's way of expressing her deep affection for him. So, as we unwrapped gifts last evening, we were thrilled for him to receive our surprise. However, the moment he opened it, I sensed something wasn't right.
His smile was hollow and he didn't utter a word. Later that night, my mother, tears streaming down her face, walked into my room. Apparently, my father criticized the gift, comparing its quality to a kindergartener's work. He claimed that he felt disrespected by it.
I was furious and questioned him about why he disliked it, but he simply repeated his initial response. He went even further by angrily instructing me to leave him alone and never ask anything of him again. To our dismay, we soon heard the sound of the beloved poster being ripped from its frame, and sure enough, we found it torn to shreds on the floor.
Overwhelmed by a mix of anger and sorrow, my mom had ripped up not just the poster but also their wedding photo that was on it. Thus, another Christmas was ruined, thanks to my insensitively blunt dad.
29. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
My boyfriend was left to spend Christmas Day alone by his family. He asked me to be with him, although I always follow a tradition of celebrating Christmas at my mom's place. I extended an invite for him to join us, but rather than expressing appreciation, he started arguing with me to accompany him.
He ended up shutting himself in my room, refusing to come out, even when my parents attempted to persuade him. They were kind enough to get him gifts and even prepared meals and beverages especially for him. But he was so insisting on having his way, he didn't even accept these gestures.
My Christmas Eve was far from enjoyable as I ended up shedding tears for the entire day.
30. An Ivy-League Burn
My grandma bluntly stated that my degree was pointless and a squandered effort. Honestly, that stung and put a damper on my Christmas spirit. I just earned my degree this year and I didn't even have the chance to attend my own graduation ceremony. But let it be known, I completed my studies at one of the top 10 colleges in the country.
31. Party Pooper
During the entire Christmas party, my brother was tucked away in a corner, glued to his cell phone. He ignored the presents, declined the food, and refused to engage in conversation with anyone. Dressed in a battered hoodie, his neck bent at an awkward angle, he was utterly absorbed in whatever was happening on his screen. But that wasn't the worst part.
My step-dad tried pulling him aside for a chat, but it didn't seem to improve matters. In fact, he seemed to become even more moody. Upon his return indoors, he was extremely unpleasant to everyone. He even had the nerve to shout at his son who was excitedly declaring "I love it! I love it!" as he unwrapped his present.
32. Doesn’t Age Well
My Christmas was spoiled by my 90-year-old granddad. I've been taking care of him for some time now, but he threatened my life this week. He even called me the "biggest letdown he's ever had" and a "useless bit of rubbish".
All this happened when I had just secured a place in medical school this year. He managed to suck all the happiness out of the festive season.
33. The Opposite Of Puppy Love
During Christmas Eve, my wife and I decided to exchange presents at my in-laws' place, and let's just say, things didn't go well. Back in May, we'd become proud parents of a hyper rescue puppy, who even at the holidays, was still full of puppy energy.
Then there's my father-in-law's dog—an unsocialized, untrained four-year-old Labrador who's a total handful. Originally, we had no intention of introducing our playful pup to their chaotic canine due to the fear that bad habits may transfer, and also because of the age gap. But my father-in-law decided it would be fun for both dogs to play together.
As soon as they were introduced, our puppy, naturally, entered play mode—running rings round the Labrador and hopping on top of him. My father-in-law mistakenly interpreted this as aggression. Meanwhile, the Labrador was clearly unsettled, and the owner seemed tense.
Sensing this, I called my puppy back and she obediently bounded towards me. As she did, my father-in-law suddenly knocked my 5-month old puppy to the ground, shouting "bad dog!” We were gone in an instant. I'd rate the experience a solid 0 out of 10.
34. A Christmas Surprise
My elder sibling struggles with addiction. During Christmas Eve, he and his girlfriend—who were both under the influence—visited our home. They didn't stop their verbal spats, which escalated dramatically. The situation turned physical, and because my brother couldn't overpower me, I ended up choking him in self-defense.
His girlfriend also attempted to lunge at me, so after dealing with him, I had to show her the door. I tossed her jacket and boots out the door after her. My brother regained his senses and left soon after, but the drama didn't end there.
Later that night, they got into another conflict that required law enforcement involvement, and my brother suffered a broken arm in the process. Thus, my mom ended up having to drive him to the hospital at the ungodly hour of 3:00 am. So here's wishing everyone a hearty CHRISTMAS! Major kudos to my saint-like mother enduring it all.
35. Special Delivery
Just last week, I got some gifts from FedEx that I had ordered. But, instead of leaving them on my front porch as usual, they were tucked away behind my car in the driveway. I'm really not certain why this happened. You see, my driveway is long and private, set quite a distance from my neighbors and surrounded by woods. Plus, the packages themselves weren't large.
I've got to mention, I don't have any pets that might have spooked the delivery person. So, I'm guessing they were just in a rush. I can only imagine the pressure they're under during this high-traffic shipping season, not to mention navigating through a year like this, one where they've had to shoulder the burden of delivering even the smallest slivers of normalcy to us.
It seems likely that many of these delivery folks are temporary seasonal workers, doing everything they can to make ends meet in these challenging economic times. BUT. It took me a bit to realize this, especially after disaster struck. Truth is, I accidentally backed over the packages when I was heading out to grab groceries.
The packages were small enough to slip under my truck's bumper, and they were placed so close to my vehicle that I couldn't see them in my rear and side mirrors. Honestly, it wasn't the best outcome.
36. This Story Slaps
I have an aunt, let's just say she's not my favorite. She often looked after me when I was young—I'm all grown-up now—but some of her attitudes towards me were rather unsettling. When I got older, I began to suspect that she had an improper interest in young kids. Today, she finally faced the consequences she deserved, right during a family gathering.
My sister's toddler was running around and out of the blue, my aunt, with her disconcerting tone, commented on how "cute" her little bottom was while tapping it playfully. My sister didn't hesitate; she immediately responded with a resounding slap that nearly toppled my aunt. The satisfaction was immense. I highly doubt we will see her at next year's family gathering.
37. Sibling Rivalry
Just yesterday, my sister made a false allegation against me, claiming I had hurt her five years ago. What's shocking is the reason she gave. I had just recently shared with our parents that she'd been physically harming me for several months. I was fed up of tolerating it, mainly because I was her older brother.
It really bothered me that she concocted a new narrative purely to absolve herself, saying, "That was why I behaved as I did". What's even worse, our family accepted her side of the story, shaping a distorted view of me. I ardently suggested to my family that we take a lie detector test or hire a detective, anything to confirm my innocence.
But she became more emotional and proclaimed that despite the difficulty, she would forgive me. Clearly, she was trying to dodge the polygraph test. She single-handedly cast a shadow over our Christmas and it was profoundly upsetting that my family sided with her.
Finally, I urged my parents to probe my sister's version again as her narrative kept modifying with minor details, piling on more inaccurate information to tarnish my reputation. Eventually, she caved in and admitted that she lied to escape punishment.
My parents and I shared an emotional hour together crying. At last, I could enjoy dinner with them and participate in unwrapping presents. My sister, however, escaped any repercussions and acts as if nothing ever happened. I can't even bring myself to look at her or be in her presence.
38. The Mother Of All Bad Christmases
My husband isn't a fan of our Christmas tree, which as a result, sits half-assembled in our living room. My schedule keeps me so occupied with work, errands, and keeping up with the kids' schooling, I just haven't managed to complete it. I stayed up until 4 am sorting out Santa gifts.
Despite helping to carry everything indoors, my husband hastily returned to sleep while I arranged the presents. His biggest mistake, unfortunately, was failing to fetch our daughter's main present—a trampoline—from its storage spot.
This put me in the tricky situation of having to explain its absence in the morning—and it was his sole responsibility. Even though I dearly love seeing our three kids' excitement over their Santa gifts, they didn't wake me to share the moment with them this morning. It gets worse.
Then, my husband spends all day dealing with a bout of anxiety, opting to sleep it off. He also neglected to engage in the family's gift exchange. As I now prepare Christmas dinner solo, everyone else in the house enjoys a nap. The kids only infuriate me more by grumbling about the onion in the pot roast I made.
My plan was to whip up a turkey, but when I got round to shopping, I was met with a bunch of frozen birds and no thawing time. Moreover, despite the fact that I'd asked the kids to take out the mountain of wrapping paper and other trash from the gift unwrapping, not one of them has done so.
My husband did grumble about the clutter on his brief visit downstairs. Following the meal, it'll be up to me to clear up while everyone else enjoys their gifts—gifts I sourced, wrapped and arranged by myself. My husband chose not to participate in gift-opening or give his gift to me. It appears that my gift was hidden in a room barricaded by bags stuffed with wrapping paper.
I didn't receive any presents from my children, and my husband has never initiated taking them shopping to pick out something for me. So, the kids aren't tuned to the habit of gifting. In fact, when I vented my frustrations at my husband, he simply attributed it to a sour mood.
It's true, my husband deals with real anxiety issues. His Christmas experiences as a child weren't the most festive. His neutral attitude towards the holiday took a hit when his mother passed on a Christmas Eve, adding a layer of sorrow to his ambivalence.
He goes through the motions for our sake, with some years being harder than others. For me, Christmas stands out as my most cherished time of the year, reminiscent of the wonder of my childhood Christmases.
Once dinner was prepped, I broke down and teared up when a group message to my husband and older kids announcing dinner and reiterating the trash chores got blatantly ignored. Dejected, I fixed my plate and sent out a final message to them before tearfully dining alone.
I'm not one who cries easily, but seeing no reaction until a more stern message dragged them from their rooms was upsetting. Most of the blame falls on me, I'm the independent type who would naturally insist on doing things herself.
Perhaps if the kids hadn't charged into their Christmas celebration without me, I would have been a bit less heartbroken. I had personally selected every present with their happiness in mind. This year's been a tough one, and I thought I could bring a little cheer by working extra hours to afford a more special holiday.
My emotional reaction got them moving, and they thanked me for the meal and presents before helping with cleanup. Exhausted from all this, I retreated to my room after dinner and put in a good four-hour nap.
39. Santa Isn’t Coming To Town
I put in an 18-hour shift today. My little ones wouldn't visit, worried that without a chimney at my place, Santa wouldn't drop by. My family is a cross-country drive away, some 2,500 miles from me. And the hardest part? My furry buddy spent the whole day by himself.
40. Ship Wrecked
The actions of my children's mother and the US Navy have led to an unfortunate Christmas for us. When my child was only nine years old, my ex travelled from one doctor to another, trying to secure a diagnosis that would qualify him for disability, resulting in her getting government benefits.
She managed to convince a less-than-credible doctor that he had schizophrenia and psychosis along with Aspergers, which was a load of nonsense. She conducted prior research, persuading the doctor towards the specific diagnosis she desired.
Upon gaining custody, I managed to overturn the spurious diagnosis, revealing him to be a normal kid dealing with some emotional upheaval. Fast forward to this year, my son enlisted in the Navy. We were completely honest about his past with his recruiter, who reassured us it wouldn’t cause any issues.
He was told it wouldn’t come up and everything would be fine, so off he went for basic training in November. Surprisingly, they dug up his old records from 12 years ago—and the consequences were heartbreaking. They decided to disqualify him.
He's now been separated from his training unit and relocated to ship 5, awaiting discharge with a planned visit home. He's disappointed and frustrated. We were hoping he could spend Christmas with us, but it looks like he might just make it back by New Year's Eve. And thus, our Christmas joy was once again marred by the shadows of a troubled past.
It's just another chapter in our ongoing saga.
41. Undercover Santa
So there I was finishing a task my partner couldn't do because he had to work late. By the time his work was wrapped up and he headed to bed around 1:00 am, I stayed awake to quickly fill his Christmas stocking and settle our dog for the night.
Within moments of him hitting the sack, I accidentally knocked over his stocking, setting off a chain reaction. It toppled over the plug-in wax warmer next to it, scattering fresh, hot, crimson wax all over the place.
The wax flew in all directions, staining our wall, the hardwood floor, and most tragically, my boyfriend's precious stocking — a keepsake from his very first Christmas, almost 40 years ago. Hearing the chaos, he dashed out from the bedroom. I immediately yelled at him to not step out, assuring him I'd handle my slippery mess.
I practically had to plead with him to stay put and not witness the disaster I'd made of our adorable little Christmas setup. Fast forward two hours to 3:00 am, after tiring work, the wax was finally removed from the floor. It was grudgingly scraped off the wall too, but it had left its mark—a red stain.
Thankfully, I had some leftover paint from last year's house repair, which I used to cover up the discoloration. In just an hour, you wouldn't believe the chaos that had ensued in that spot. I saved my boyfriend’s stocking for last, dubious about salvaging the felt-like material.
Miraculously the wax had only resided on the stocking's back, which was already red. I almost ignored it, but decided to give it a shot. Armed with an iron and an old rag, I spent the next 10 minutes scrubbing, and voila! Not a drip of wax left behind.
After a sweeping session on the dried wax flakes, I put the paint supplies back, got rid of the paint on my hands, settled our dog again and laid out some champagne and nibbles (our playful tradition). So, in essence, I single-handedly nearly destroyed Christmas and then miraculously saved it—a roaring adventure. The best part?
My boyfriend was oblivious throughout the whole fiasco.
Five days back, I relocated towards my mother-in-law's place with my family of four dogs and my one-month-old baby. There has always been a bit of a quarrel between my mother-in-law and me, but my husband and I were left with no other options. She gave us her word that our disagreements would be set aside for the baby's sake.
Yet, within two days of staying there, she was back to her usual antics. Considering our past disputes, I informed my husband that we should begin considering different living arrangements. It seems my husband informed her that we planned to leave after the holiday season. To this, her reaction was deeply unsettling.
I returned from the store to find her in the midst of a tantrum, a behavior all too familiar, demanding us to pack up and leave immediately. She initially assisted us with moving as our belongings wouldn't fit in our car—my husband rides a motorbike everywhere.
Renting a U-haul turned out to be difficult. She had previously rented one under my name and email, and didn't pay for it. Hence, they wouldn't rent to us. Adding to it, it was Christmas Eve and hardly any options were available. As our final resort, we moved our stuff, dogs, and baby to a motel.
Unfortunately, that's the place our baby is spending her first Christmas.
43. Welcome To The Family
My sister, her beau, and their young pup celebrated Christmas at my mom's and my place. We were meeting her boyfriend for the first time. Regrettably, mom over-indulged in drinks before their arrival, and by the time we gathered around the dinner table, it was clear she was almost checked out.
The three of us did our best to restore a normal Christmas atmosphere, but mom's constant muttering made things awkward. In spite of the already unusual situation, the pup was relentlessly attempting to get onboard with mom, further dialing up the awkwardness. The final straw came when mom knocked over a glass.
She stood up, completed a full twirl, and ended up falling over, smashing her head in the process. She managed to get up, planted herself on the sofa next to us, and not long after started questioning me about the attendees in the living room.
After cleaning up the scattered debris, we all piled into the boyfriend's vehicle. Although they were heading home, I opted for a drop off downtown, as staying at home wasn't high on my list. So yeah, that's the story of our ruined Christmas, coupled with the worst first impression my mom could possibly make.
44. Looking For These?
Once back home from college one year, I found myself with a bit of extra money. I thought, why not use it to buy some new video games for myself? So I ordered a few and had them delivered to my place. But strangely, I only got half of what I'd ordered.
Naturally, I shot an email to the sellers telling them that my order was incomplete and, frankly, it was getting me down. Then Christmas morning rolled around and I was unwrapping my gifts. When I got to the one from my older brothers, I excitedly ripped off the wrapping paper and opened the box.
To my surprise, inside were several other parcels, all mailed to our house and all with my name on them... Turns out, my brother had snatched up half of my games and set them aside for Christmas... what a surprise.
45. You Get What You Give
I still recall my initial time working a retail shift on Christmas Eve. The doors were meant to shut at 6:00 pm, and the team and I were given instructions to leave only after the "store was spick and span and there were no items left for returns". We thought we'd be there till around 8-10pm based on past experiences. Yet, the store's director left promptly at 5:30 pm.
We were pretty frustrated, but things took a positive turn instantly. Around 6:05, the person appointed in charge announced that if the store director expected perfection, he should've stayed back himself. She encouraged us all to head home, enjoy Christmas, and assured us that she would handle any repercussions. She indeed faced a few, but her response was classic.
She boldly told him, "Keep your Grinch-like thoughts to yourself and fire me if you wish. You wouldn't dare, you know you need me". Her unflinching courage probably came from the fact that she was already planning to quit. She moved to a better job in early January, and it seems the store director learned a valuable lesson.
I never saw him leave early on a Christmas following that incident.
46. She Knows When You Are Sleeping
A few days ago, my wife's grandmother, whom she shared a strong bond with, sadly passed. Since then, my wife has been going through a rough time—emotionally upset, angry, and I'm doing everything possible, even going without sleep, to keep her spirit up during this difficult time.
It's been a huge challenge, testing my patience as I let her vent out her angry feelings, recognizing her need to do so. Last night, things got really tough. We spent time with her parents, and after nearly four days of not sleeping, I hit a wall and couldn't keep myself awake.
I ended up falling asleep at her parents' house and tried to tell her I just needed a brief rest. We managed to get home around 1:00 am when she vented her frustration on me. She berated me for being tired, calling me "weak" and suggesting I wasn't behaving like a supportive husband should during times like this.
Despite not fully understanding her pain, I was taken aback when she tossed her engagement ring at me and suggested I sleep in the car. We had planned to visit my family today. Before going to bed, she made it clear that she saw spending time with my family, which she finds uncomfortable, as a waste of her precious time.
Dealing with grief is really tough, isn't it?
47. There Can Only Be One
My brother's former wife really irked me. She won't share with him what presents she's purchased for their two children, aged 12 and 7. What complicates things is she's always the one who spends Christmas morning with the kids.
So, even if she happens to buy them the same gifts as my brother, she gets the first shot at giving them. It’s pretty low from her. And guess what happened this holiday season...
My brother has been pulling all sorts of overtime shifts during the weekdays and weekends for the last couple of months. His sweat and toil has enabled him to buy a PS5 for the eldest and a PS4 for the youngest. Want to know what she ended up getting them?
48. Fight Together For The Kids
My ex-husband and I had agreed that our daughters would stay with me on Christmas Eve, and he would collect them on Christmas Day. However, he sent me a text last night saying he would be outside my house in 15 minutes to pick up the girls since technically it was his turn to have them according to our agreement—which is every other Thursday.
Regrettably, we didn't incorporate anything about holidays in the agreement. I assumed that we could handle these matters maturely when they arose, and now I regret overlooking this detail. I had to pass over my teary-eyed and bewildered girls to their father, still dressed in their Christmas nightwear.
Before this incident, it had been more than a month since he last had them at his place. This move seemed to be designed solely to upset me, and it worked.
49. Shots Fired
Last Christmas, my elder sister, who I've never quite seen eye to eye with, was acting particularly horrid and belittling me. She sneeringly said, "Honestly, when was the last time we even chatted?" My response left her speechless. I retorted, "Hmm, I'm unsure, perhaps it was during your wedding a few months back?"
Here's the backstory: She tied the knot in May, was a divorcée within two months and now, at Christmas, she was cosied up next to her brand new boyfriend who she was introducing to the family. They took off shortly. My parents were fuming. But me, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
50. Last Christmas
The world just turned upside down for us. Yesterday, my wife and I learned that our unborn child, who is our first, has a severe brain issue that simply won't allow him or her to live. We're holding off on sharing this devastating news with our family until after the holiday season, so as not to dampen their Christmas spirit.
We've been shedding tears intermittently over the past day, yet we managed to gather our strength for a few family occasions. The family chats went smoothly for the most part, but I nearly broke down when my younger brother expressed his excitement about welcoming the newest member of our family next year.
We passed the day by watching Christmas shows and The Lord of the Rings, while I passionately explained some geeky stuff to my baby. Our one and only Christmas spent together wasn't all that terrible.