Unforgettable Holiday Pranks

December 14, 2023 | Eul Basa

Unforgettable Holiday Pranks

The holidays are the perfect time for pranks. Playing practical jokes on your family and friends can help to elevate the fun, so long as such tricks are harmless and wholesome. But more importantly, a well-executed prank can make you a legend for generations to come. 

1. Looks Can Be Deceiving

My sister had always been a strong admirer of Mini Coopers. So, during Christmas, we teased her about a gigantic surprise gift. We creatively set up around 100 boxes to resemble a Mini, wrapped them, and arranged them outside once she'd hit the hay on Christmas Eve. 

As dawn arrived, we all shuffled downstairs. My father handed her his car keys cheerfully and hinted that her gift was outdoors. She burst out screaming and weeping—but the best was yet to come. She dashed outside and, for some peculiar reason, tried to hug what she thought was the car. 

It was heartbreaking and yet, wonderfully majestic. She plowed through the boxes, sat stunned for approximately five minutes, then turned to gaze at our parents as if they'd done away with her cute little bunny. As for me, I didn't receive plenty that year. Nonetheless, reliving that memory is an absolute treasure.

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2. Puppy Problems

Once upon a time on a Christmas day, when my brothers and sisters and I were just kids, my mom thought it would be fun to play a prank on us, the likes of which we'd never seen. Being a little girl, I had pleaded for a pet puppy. 

Christmas arrived and there it was—a huge box with holes punctured on the sides and top, and even the distinct sound of scratching from the inside. I was certain my new furry friend was inside, even though the box seemed pretty big. With excitement, I tore off the wrapping only to be met with a terrifying sight.

To my dismay, it wasn't a cute little puppy but my heavyset uncle, adorned with a collar and cuddling a stuffed animal. A puppy never became a part of my life after all.

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3. Apocalypse Now

In 1993, when I was just a teen of 13, I emerged from my room to find my parents in our 23rd-floor apartment glued to a news broadcast. They seemed very absorbed by what they were watching, so I joined them and asked, "What's happening?" My mother replied calmly, "They've found a huge asteroid headed for Earth".

That caught my attention, so I stuck around. We watched as the broadcast went from a news story to a dramatic live TV spectacle. At one point, the news anchor confirmed that an asteroid was indeed going to strike earth, and it was unclear if we could do anything about it in time. 

Meanwhile, my dad would intermittently switch channels, curiously wondering, "Perhaps someone else has better coverage". I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Eventually, the news reported that the asteroid was now visible even without a telescope, so I bolted to our balcony to get a glimpse. 

Seeing nothing, I rushed back and resumed watching. We soon learned that the government planned to disrupt the asteroid, detonating it into pieces that would skim harmlessly off our atmosphere. Throughout the ordeal, my parents remained cool-headed on the couch, while I was on the verge of hysteria. 

It was a sigh of relief when the operation to shatter the asteroid succeeded, and television images portrayed the asteroid breaking up in the atmosphere. I was so relieved that I shed tears of joy... until a few minutes later, another alarming news alert flashed on the screen from a space tracking center...

Suddenly, there were 100 more asteroids on the screen, each more massive than the one just detonated. Panic ensued, and I was drowning in despair, oblivious to my unfazed parents enjoying their coffee. It was then that my mom unveiled the shocking truth.

The entire news broadcast had been fabricated—it was a fictional TV show, and I had fallen for it. I was fuming! My dad confessed later that his channel surfing was to prevent me from noticing the show's commercials.

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4. Turkey C-Section

One Thanksgiving from long ago, back when my cousins and I were just kids, my dad was in charge of making the turkey. But he had a cheeky trick up his sleeve that none of us knew about—he'd hidden a Cornish hen inside the turkey.

As he started slicing the turkey, he pulled a face of complete surprise and declared that the turkey was "expecting". Many of us were so shocked, we ended up crying that day.

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5. Of The Same Name

When I was just a kid, I couldn't stop talking about how much I wanted the latest Kirby's Dream Land game for GameBoy. When the moment to open presents finally came around, there was this giant gift with my name on it. I excitedly tore off the wrapping paper only to find a box for a Kirby brand vacuum. 

I started to panic, thinking there had been a mix-up while my parents played along, pretending to be confused. They said, "But didn't you say you wanted a Kirby?" As my heart sank lower and lower, they couldn't hold back their laughter any longer and urged me to open the box. 

After digging through a sea of packing peanuts, there it was at last—the game cartridge I'd been dreaming of.

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6. Chasing The Rainbow

Every St Patrick's Day, my mom would turn our world into a frenzy of green—green milk, pancakes, you name it. She said the aim of this game was to trap the naughty leprechauns that were likely causing mischief that day. We had to entice them with their favorite color, green for an opportunity to catch them. 

We routinely set up our traps, hiding closeby, eagerly anticipating a sudden "glittery green" signal. Our parents would quietly sit by, probably holding back their giggles as we engaged in the wild goose chase. But here's the kicker. While we were all waiting for the leprechauns, a loud noise would echo in another part of our large, old house. 

When we rushed over, we'd find chocolate gold coins scattered all over the floor, concluding it was the leprechaun’s work. It was puzzling. The size and characteristics of our large, creaky house allowed us to hear these events even if they happened a floor up or down. Worth noting is that, everyone was always present during these strange occurrences. 

The distance to where the chocolates were 'dropped' seemed too far for my mom to have casually tossed them while we were busy. The chocolate gold coins often appeared in empty, open spaces in the house, making it impossible to have a hidden coin source. 

The upper hallway, with its hardwood flooring, minimal lighting, no furniture, and just one entrance became the frequent ‘drop’ spot. Interestingly, to reach it, my mom would have had to pass by us. As we grew older, our curiosity got us investigating, always trying to discover Mom's secret method of dispensing the chocolates. 

We had some interesting finds like our saved baby teeth comfortably tucked away in Mom's drawer, confirming the Tooth Fairy was a hoax. We also resolved the case of the missing Victoria's Secret catalogs. But, we're still puzzled about how Mom seemed to be at two places at once, every St Patrick's day. 

Even in our adult lives, she remains tight-lipped about her magical trick.

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7. Clowning Around

On one Christmas morning, while my brothers and I swarmed around the tree, my mom energetically singled out a rather large gift, remarking, "That, my dear, is the one I believe you'll enjoy the most. Save it for last". So we proceeded to unwrap gifts together, each one fantastic and exactly what I had wished for. This only fueled my curiosity about the gift kept for the end.

Could it possibly outshine the new books I received? Or even my stylish new hat? Eventually, the mountain of gifts dwindled away and my mom, unable to contain her excitement, slid the final package across the carpet towards me. I'd never seen her so thrilled about a gift unveiling. 

Eagerly, I ripped off the paper and caught a flash of red, a pair of menacing eyes, and glaring yellow sprinkled with polka dots. To my horror, it was a clown statue. And not just an ordinary clown, but a terrifying one, a grim replica of the one I had once seen at my granny's years ago and been spooked by. 

The very figure that sparked my aversion to clowns, even before I watched the movie It. In sheer terror, I flung it across the room and shrieked, as my mom erupted in fits of laughter. Apparently, she'd claimed it from my gran (who was about to ditch it) and kept it hidden for MONTHS to spring on me. 

That was the year my trust in my mom took a funny nosedive (kidding, I adore my mom and her fiercely quirky humor).

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8. Hound's Ham

During the holiday season of Christmas, my father and stepmother were in the midst of cooking a big meal for roughly seven to eight people. Given my dad's lengthy work week of over fifty hours along with my school, we were both pretty pooped and eagerly anticipating our holiday break. 

My stepmom had to step out for a bit and informed my dad that the ham they were making should be ready in an hour. If she wasn't back by then, he needed to take it out of the oven. You could just about see the cogs turning in dad's mind. 

He let the ham finish cooking, took it out, and hid it in the dining room while keeping the oven on to give the illusion that it still had some cooking to do. He then decided to pretend to be napping on the couch until my stepmom returned. On her arrival, she went to check on the ham. 

Unable to find it, she freaked out, yelling, "Jeff! What happened to the ham?! Did you take it out?!" Fighting back silent laughter, he feigned waking up, leading her to the dining room to reveal the hidden ham...however, a new nightmare unfolded. 

Our American Fox Hound had gotten there first and had been munching on the ham for a good ten minutes. The ham was reduced to a messy heap. So, we ended up eating Chinese food for our Christmas dinner that year.

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9. Big Y2K Scare

New Year's Eve in 1999 was a memorable one. All of my extended relatives gathered for a celebration. Back then, there was a bit of hysteria around Y2K but our clan didn't really fall for it, with the exception of my one aunt who was somewhat apprehensive. When it was time for the New Year's countdown, we all joined in...3...2...1... HAPPY Ne—Whoops!

At that moment, the television flicked off, we were engulfed in darkness, and my aunt started to panic. Aside from my aunt, everyone was silent, then we heard giggles coming from the garage. While the rest of the family scrambled to find a candle, I set off in search of my father and uncle, who seemed to have vanished amidst the pandemonium.

I finally stumbled upon them huddled by the circuit breaker in the garage, chuckling uncontrollably.

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10. The Redirect

Each year during the festive season, my brother and I would have fun trying to figure out the possible contents of the present pile and identify the recipients. One year, a mystery box tucked at the very back caught our attention. There was no name on it, so we naturally asked our mom who it was intended for. 

She calmly told us it was for our dad, explaining it held a men's gift package with goodies like a wallet and a flask. The gift sounded quite interesting, and we didn't question it further. The next morning on Christmas, we eagerly passed over the box to our dad, eagerly anticipating his reaction. 

He began to unravel it and all of a sudden suggested we join in. Great! We get to rip open some more paper. As the paper gave way, we discovered... a Playstation 2. We absolutely freaked out for a little while before we finally turned towards our mom. She was gleefully recording everything with her video camera.

We yelled at her, "YOU TRICKED US! YOU TRICKED US! YOU'RE NOT TRUTHFUL!" She was doubled over in laughter. And honestly, so were we. It was a jaw-dropping moment. Watching that recording years later, listening to our excited, high-pitched chatter always gets me.

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11. Naughty List

This prank was my idea, but my mom was in on it too. Back when my brother was just a 7-year-old full of confidence in Santa Claus, and I was a savvy 12-year-old, my duty was helping mom stash the presents out of sight until the late hours of Christmas Eve. 

After that, we'd dress them up in glossy gift wrap and arrange them neatly underneath the tree to spark wonder the next morning. Once all the gifts were ready and waiting, we decided to settle down with a good movie. That's when I spotted an empty gift box and some spare wrapping paper near the fireplace...

Come morning, my little brother woke with a present in the middle of his room—that wasn't so odd, as mom usually left our stockings or a small surprise in our rooms to prevent us from rousing her at some ungodly hour. As I watched stoically from his doorway, he unwrapped the gift and discovered a clump of coal tucked beneath layers of tissue paper. But that wasn't all. 

There was also a note penned by my best 12-year-old hand, declaring, "You've been disagreeable to your sister this year, no presents for you". Crushed and tearful, he slumped down on his rug and resolved not to budge from his room...which was unfortunate since his actual stocking was sitting just outside his door. 

Unable to bear it, I caved in after two minutes and admitted to my heartless prank.

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12. Staged Fright

My mother works as a high school teacher. When April Fools' came around, she had a humorous idea to play a joke on her students. To make it work, she involved one of her students in the setup. The day before, she confided in this student (let's just call him Brad) and instructed him to bring one of her old mobile phones to school the next day. 

All he had to do was pretend to text during class. Brad was on board with the plot, agreeing to play his part. So, the next day, as planned, Brad started to 'text' using the decoy phone during the lecture. Immediately, my mom put a stop to her teaching.

She approached Brad, plucked the phone right from his grasp, and threw it right through the window of her second-story classroom. As my mom recalls, the stunned expressions on her students' faces were priceless. Not a single student laughed or even smiled; they were filled with pure, noticeable shock. 

That prank is one of her all-time favorites; she's never pulled off a joke quite like it.

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13. A Little Birdy Said...

When I was just a tiny tot, my dad had this special game he'd play. Whenever I wasn't looking, he'd put on this high-pitched voice, pretending to be a little bird. This pretend birdie quickly became my invisible buddy. We used to chatter non-stop and I'd always pester him to show himself from his secret hiding place. 

This adorable game sprung up during a drawn-out drive to visit my grandparents. And lo and behold, it survived the trip and became a home tradition. One day, as our birdie banter was ongoing and I was busy scouring the house, peeking under furniture in search of my bird friend, I turned around abruptly. 

There I caught my dad, stuck right in the middle of his 'bird' sentence. I was heartbroken.

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14. Oven Surprise

This story hails from the year I entered the world, and it's a classic little prank my folks pulled that's become a part of our family lore for ages. Now, my big bros were dying for an NES—it topped their Christmas wishlist, but our means were slim at the time. 

My folks gently let them down, repeating that it might be out of reach. But their tiny hearts stubbornly clung to their dreams. Fast forward to Christmas Day, they enthusiastically tear open their gifts and... nada. Not an NES in sight. My eldest brother took it the hardest. 

He'd been the loudest cheerleader for the gaming console, but he masked his disappointment, trying to appreciate what he received. A couple of hours later, my parents asked him to clean out the oven for the festive ham, which frustrated him. Seriously, chores on Christmas? Couldn't the oven do its job without being scrubbed first?

Dad firmly told him to quit complaining and get to it. So, with a heavy heart, he approached the oven, swung open its door... and there it was—the coveted Nintendo, along with a couple of games. His joy knew no bounds. However, the sweet taste of the victory had to wait until after he accomplished his oven-cleaning mission.

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15. Extended Wait

During the 2001 holiday season, I had a broken leg. This made high school pretty rough, especially when you consider I had to shuffle around using crutches. I spent each day waiting in the principal's office for a family friend of my parents to pick me up because I couldn't ride the bus due to my cast and crutches. 

I felt left out because I couldn't hang with my buddies as they loved playing outdoors and I couldn't. In those despair-filled days, I pleaded with my parents to buy me the Tony Hawk 3 game for Game Boy Advance for Hanukkah. 

I had a hankering for a PlayStation 2, but considering its price, it wasn't an easy gift request, so I settled for the Game Boy game. Surprisingly, on the first day of Hanukkah, my gift was not the Tony Hawk 3 for the GBA as I had requested, but for the PlayStation, which I didn't own. 

My mom felt bad and promised we'd replace it the following day with a game of my choice. That night as I climbed into bed, I felt a large box under my covers. Much to my astonishment, it was a PlayStation2 my folks had got me for Hanukkah, along with well wishes for a speedy recovery. 

The only bone I have to pick with them is for not giving me the PlayStation until 10 pm that night. Trust me, the following school day seemed to drag on forever.

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16. Under The Sink

During one holiday season, my mom gifted my cousin the Asteroids video game for the Atari console. We were excited since we had an Atari too and longed for the Asteroids game. However, our cousin already had that game, which was part of his impressive collection. So we spilled the beans to our parents.

By this time, Santa was just a pleasant memory for us. So my parents would collect gifts, wrap them early, and playfully tease us by placing them under the Christmas tree weeks ahead. As Christmas approached, we would find ourselves lounging around the tree, trying our best to guess what presents lay hidden under the festive wrapping. 

All three of us were convinced about one particular gift. We claimed, "This has to be Asteroids!" gesturing towards what we believed was our new Atari game. My dad, playing along, challenged us, "Really? How are you so sure it's not the Asteroids game?" 

He managed to coax out a confident response from all three of us, "It sure is! We'll bet you $20 each that it is". Christmas day came and we excitedly unwrapped our gifts, only to find picture frames. Affixed to each frame, however, was a $20 bill—bills that we quickly had to handover to our dad due to our lost bet. But there was a surprise in store.

In a cheeky twist, the Asteroids game was tucked away, wrapped nicely and hidden under the kitchen sink.

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17. Foodception

One April Fool's Day, my mom playfully prepared a whole meal, cleverly disguised as different types of food. She crafted "mashed potatoes" from vanilla ice cream with a touch of yellow food coloring, reshaped taffy into "green beans", and concocted an impressively realistic "lasagna" using bits of cheesecake and red frosting, all served in a casserole dish. 

We were beyond excited... until the moment she produced a real meal.

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18. Rerouting To Destination

For my husband's 40th birthday, I played quite the prank on him. I'd been teasing him about planning an epic trip. So, a few days ahead, I took a detour to Carowinds, a theme park by the North and South Carolina border. 

While there, I swung by a run-down, ramshackle hotel in the vicinity known as The Plaza, and grabbed their brochure and some stationery. As well, I collected a bunch of fliers for kind-of-tacky tourist spots around the area.

He received an envelope that had a so-called "gift certificate" for a stay at The Plaza, partnered with a brochure showing the unattractive pink building in all its splendor. (We'd seen it quite a few times on our road trips, so he was familiar with it). His reaction was priceless; he didn't know what to make of it. 

As he was going through the shock, shooting bemused glances my way, he found the last piece of his birthday puzzle. This final piece was a homemade brochure, a brainchild of my creativity. It boasted the schedule of our flight, details about the charming bed and breakfast we were heading to, and pictures of all the exciting experiences that lay in store for his birthday bash.

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19. Whip It Good

When my brother and I were little, our mom was extremely into health foods. Consequently, when we got the occasional sweet snack, it was a big event. One particular weekend, mom made an exception to her healthy eating rule and allowed us to have ice cream after dinner. 

My brother was busy playing video games, so mom recruited me to assist with serving the dessert. I scooped ice cream into three bowls and was just about to top them off with Cool Whip when she had a clever idea. She proposed we prank my brother by replacing his Cool Whip with sour cream. 

Now, as his younger sibling, I was usually on the receiving end of his teasing and tricks. So, I was thrilled at the thought of getting even by watching him unknowingly gorge on sour cream thinking it was Cool Whip.

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20. Fast Forward

One Christmas morning back in the '90s, we had a family rule that I wasn't allowed to wake my mom for gift-opening before 7 am. One festive season, my uncle mischievously moved all the clocks in the house ahead by three hours. 

So, as usual, I woke up at the crack of dawn, checked the clock to find it was "7 am," and stirred my uncle first (who, by the way, had been out partying the previous night). Armed with a couple of whistles, we tried to wake my mom, but she was adamant—it was just too early.

The next 20 minutes saw my uncle and me racing around the house, tooting our whistles and hollering passionately. Those moments were absolutely golden.

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21. To The Track!

Well, it seems like I tricked myself. My dad had been putting in extra hours at work for several months, crafting this incredibly cool petrol go-kart for us as a Christmas gift. When Christmas arrived, they presented us with a large box containing a racing helmet and a set of keys. 

Not clear about what was going on—but not wanting to appear unappreciative—my sister and I just rolled with it and started having fun with the helmet. Our parents just watched us, smiles on their faces, as we playfully darted around the living room. 

Later, Dad told us to go outside and do our chores (even on Christmas day! Can you believe it?). But we completely missed the shiny new go-kart sitting there and headed straight to feeding the chickens, all the while voicing our complaints. In the end, they had no choice but to spill the beans and point out the go-kart to us.

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22. Sax, Relax

During my teen years in high school, right around the holiday season, I took up learning the soprano sax as part of my sincere passion for the school band. I used to borrow the saxophone belonging to my mom's boyfriend. One day, I remained home, unable to attend school due to an illness, and used the opportunity to practice an upcoming piece.

Later that day, upon their return, they accused me of damaging the precious instrument. They were quite upset, insisting that I would need to replace it and things would never be the same. All I could see was their distraught faces as they stood, looking at the open case. 

My mom's boyfriend firmly closed the case, and asked me why I ruined it. I felt a wave of panic, almost in tears, with no idea of what harm I had caused. As they pivoted the case towards me, their expressions still intense, I fearfully took hold of the case and opened it. 

I was stunned to find a brand new, gleaming red soprano saxophone nestled inside. Before I could freak out more, they then presented another case, opening it to reveal his saxophone, untouched and in perfect condition. They broke into laughter, wished me a "Merry Christmas" and revealed that it was all an elaborate prank. "Gotcha!" they said.

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23. What Comes Around...

Back when I was seven and my younger brother was just a tot of four, we stumbled upon a couple of shiny new bikes hidden away in our garden shed just a week before the magic of Christmas. Even though the shed was securely locked, we somehow manoeuvred those bikes out and into the open. 

This little adventure happened early around 7 am on a peaceful Saturday morning while our parents were catching up on some much-needed sleep. Suddenly awakened by the sound of us whizzing up and down the street on our unexpected finds, our parents came rushing out. 

Startled, they assumed these bikes must be stolen goods. To handle the situation, they rang up a good family friend of ours who happened to be an officer. So, there we were, watching him roll up in his distinctly marked car, ready to whisk away our bikes.

As he took the bikes away, he paused to thank us for our honesty. Without our lovely two-wheelers, we were a bit glum. But, something amazing happened on Christmas morning. We woke up to find those exact same bikes by the tree. 

Accompanying them was a playful note from our officer friend, mentioning that he asked Santa to return them to us for being such good kids.

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24. Follow The Clues

My folks were amazing during the Christmas season. They'd go out of their way to create pure magic each year. There's one Christmas that stands out from the rest though—the year the N64 was released. Back then, it was a Herculean task to lay hold of one. 

Some folks even shelled out triple or quadruple the retail price to land one in time for Christmas. With only a couple of weeks left until the big day, mom started preparing me for the possibility of not discovering an N64 under the tree. Understandably, I was disappointed, but I took it on the chin and accepted it. 

On Christmas morning, I walked into the living room, secretly hoping that a bit of Christmas magic had happened overnight and a brand new N64 would be waiting for me under the tree. But alas, it wasn't. I was bummed out, but my parents assured me they'd get me one when it became available. Not too shabby, right? All I had to do was wait a bit longer.

As we carried on with our traditional Christmas routines, mom came into the room, buzzing with excitement. "I just dashed off to check the mail, and there's a curious letter here for you. There's no name on it". I opened it up and found that it was from Santa (I was already in on the secret by then, but mom kept acknowledging Mr Claus, especially for my little sister's sake). It was a riddle.

One riddle led to another and another. I was taken all over the place—from the fridge to the back yard, to the garage and back inside. An hour later, after solving riddle after riddle, I landed at the laundry dryer. And there it was, my N64, nestled under a heap of clothes. Boy, did I let out a shout of joy. It was the BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER.

Turns out, mom hadn't been bluffing about struggling to find an N64, it was all part of an incredible surprise. The truth was, she really hadn't been able to get one. But my granddad, bless his soul, had somehow bagged one. For himself, no less. When he heard about the N64 fiasco at our end, he insisted she hand his over to me.

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25. Gone Fishin'

I may not have been the subject of a holiday prank, but I remember us playing a memorable one on my grandfather. I was about 12 and we were at my grandparents' home for Thanksgiving celebrations. The kitchen sink was acting up and my legally-blind-from-macular-degeneration grandfather worked tirelessly to fix it, assisted by my dad.

During the evening, my uncles gathered my cousin and me, and proposed a night fishing trip. Given that we were on Long Island, taking out my grandfather's boat sounded like a great adventure. After going out to sea for several hours, I even managed to reel in a four-foot striped bass.

Arriving home, we thought it'd be funny to prank my grandfather. He had stepped out to visit the local Elks Club, returning only at about 11 pm. We briefed him on the supposedly malfunctioning sink, prompting him to change into his work gear, tool kit in hand, and trudge to the kitchen.

Expecting a broken sink, he instead found the striped bass languishing in the kitchen sink, an apple artfully placed in its mouth. The look on his face and the sound of his contagious laughter remain unforgettable. He was relieved, he didn't need to sort out another plumbing issue.

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26. The Truth Comes Out

A good number of years back, my parents chose April Fools Day for a prank they had planned for my brother and I. We lived just opposite a church, which was linked to the Catholic school we weren't exactly fond of. So dad had this funny idea to burst into our room, hollering "Hurry up! The church is on fire!"

Just like a pair of mischievous little imps we were, we leapt in joy and quickly scurried into the living room, eager to catch a glimpse of the supposedly burning church from our window. I still remember, mom mentioned she had never seen both of us brimming with such excitement before.

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27. Beneath The Boots

About five Christmases back, my sister excitedly ripped open the final gift from our parents. It had been a decent year for gifts, not exceptionally better than the one before, but we all got things we'd wished for. She was thrilled to unravel a Doc Martin's box as she'd been pining for their shoes for some time now.

She lifted the lid off the box, her face glowing with joy, a sight I hadn't seen since we were kids—then her excitement vanished. Inside the box were my father's worn-out army boots. The rollercoaster of her emotions from joy to disappointment and frustration was the highlight of that day. 

After a bit of coaxing, she finally put them on, only to find the iPod she'd also been asking for sitting inside the boots. Nowadays, she tends to chuckle when reminded of it, sort of.

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28. Anytime Now...

One Christmas morning, there was an enormous box under the tree. The anticipation was killing my sister and me. Finally, our parents got up and we started circling the tree, sizing up the gifts like lions stalking their prey. Just as we were about to dive in, dad said, "Hold on, don't touch anything just yet. I need to use the restroom first!" 

So, we sat there, waiting patiently for the sound of running water that would signal his return. Why was it taking so long? Suddenly, we heard the sound of a toothbrush. Seriously? Okay, alright. He'll be out soon, we thought. Soon enough, we heard the sink running again. This was it! But no... 

The sink stopped and then came the sound of bath water running. Dad was not in any rush, leisurely taking a bath that seemed to add an extra 30 minutes to our already lengthy wait. When you're a kid, a half hour feels like forever. We felt like we were being teased that morning, but the Sega Genesis and Sonic game we received more than made up for it.

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29. False Alarm

During my childhood, a snow day occurred one year while I was in elementary school. Skip ahead to April 1st, which was a Saturday that year. My parents shook me awake at an ungodly hour, informing me I had to prepare for school as a compensation for the snow day. 

I was reduced to tears, vehemently proclaiming, "But it's Saturday!" Despite this, they managed to get me fully dressed and ready for school, weeping every step of the way, before finally declaring, "April Fools!" I honestly can't fathom how they could endure the clear heartbreak I felt. 

Needless to say, the intensity of April Fools' Day celebrations was significantly dialed down in my household from that point forward.

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30. Logging Out

When my younger brother was around the age of 10, our mom picked up a six-feet-tall Christmas stocking at a yard sale. As Christmas Eve rolled around, she penned his name onto the monstrous stocking and packed it full of logs for the following day's fire. 

The next morning, we could all hear him bursting with excitement and sprinting down the stairs to discover what huge gift awaited him inside his stocking. Merely seconds later, he darted back upstairs almost too stunned for words about his massive present. 

It was almost heart-wrenching seeing him beam with that much joy. Just almost. Without wasting any time, he charged back downstairs to tear open his gift. After about thirty seconds though, we heard a guilt-ridden "DAD!" echoing from the family room. 

Dad ended up being the scapegoat as he was the usual prankster in the house. We all had a fantastic chuckle over it, none more than mom herself.

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31. Cabbage Surprise

So, usually at weddings, there's a place designated for everyone to leave their presents. My cousin and his missus got an invite to one such event. They had a lovely gift in tow, all wrapped up in pretty paper with a neat little card. But they also had a second gift—a cabbage, also wrapped up, albeit without a note. 

They each sauntered into the reception with a parcel under their arm and subtly left both on the gift table. Fast forward to present day, and I'm pretty sure they've never come clean about being the mystery cabbage gift givers.

Holiday pranksPexels

32. Dream Man

My parents are pretty laid back, they never indulge in any kind of tomfoolery. However, my brother is quite the prankster. He loves crafting a yuletide trick every Christmas. Last year, my husband was the target. My brother prepared this lovely gift; bought a suitcase, dressed it up beautifully and tagged it with my husband's name. 

When my husband curiously opened it... surprise—a piece of bologna came flying at his face. But even that couldn't rival his prank from the previous year. My brother outdid himself that time. He made an intriguing DVD, titled "Play me right away". 

He'd gathered footage of all my past celebrity crushes and compiled them into a fun montage. Towards the end, there was this message: "And now, the one man she cherished the most. Take a peek behind you and open the door". 

Trustingly, I followed the instruction and found a life-size cardboard cutout of my dad, sending me into peals of laughter.

Holiday pranksShutterstock

33. Cake Mistake

For our mother's birthday, my sibling and I hatched a plan to make an enormous cake as a surprise. Our original aim was four layers, but one of the tiers turned out rather weird—fluffy and not very appetizing. Despite its odd appearance, we decided not to scrap it. 

We assembled the main cake and hid it as a back-up in the fridge. Upon her homecoming, we presented her the initially-flawed layer, and joyously exclaimed, "Surprise, Happy Birthday mom! This is your cake!"

She responded warmly, "This looks delightful, thanks a million," but we could sense her surprise. Then came the moment of real surprise—we revealed the actual cake, leading her to breathe a sigh of relief. She confessed, "Oh, I'm so relieved. Honestly, I wasn't thrilled about eating that first cake".

Holiday pranksPexels

34. Later Gator

When I was around eight or nine, I was gifted a toy alligator for Christmas. You know those realistic ones often sold as keepsakes in Florida gift shops? This one was about four feet long from its head to its tail and looked almost alive. My dad thought it would be humorous to situate it next to my bed, with its face turned towards me, hoping to startle me awake.

Let's just say, it worked! It wasn't until I screamed a couple of times that I remembered it was my Christmas present. To this day, my parents keep it in their house and believe me, it still gives me the creeps.

Holiday pranksShutterstock

35. Phone-Fished

Frank Zappa, the rock star, is part of my family tree, and that fact had me thrilled to bits when I was a kid. I learned every piece of information I could about him, and it delighted me to no end knowing his kids, Moon-Unit and Dwezil, were also part of my extended family. 

I always dreamed about the chance to actually have a conversation with them. One day, the phone rang, shattering the silence. My mom shouted for me to get it—it seemed the call was for me! "Dwezil is on the other end," she giddily let me know before I even had the chance to pick up. 

Naturally, I was over the moon. But then I picked up the phone and heard the voice on the other line. My high hopes evaporated in a split second. The voice was not Dwezil's—it was just grandma. With that, I abruptly ended the call and burst into tears.

Holiday pranksWikimedia.Commons

36. The Proof Is In The Diamonds

At the age of 10, I discovered that Santa wasn't real and shared this revelation with my mom. That same year at Christmas, I noticed a small bag hanging on the tree. Inside it was a gorgeous necklace, dazzling enough to convince me it was encrusted with genuine diamonds. The note inside read, "Always Believe. Santa". 

Curious, I asked my mom if she got it, but she firmly denied purchasing the gift. That incident made me believe in Santa for another year.

Holiday pranksShutterstock

37. Fire Safety

When I turned 15, my birthday was an odd mix of gifts. I unwrapped socks and a fire extinguisher (a gentle jest from my folks due to a summer mishap involving a tree and a fire), among other mini surprises. Initially, I felt disheartened, especially as my brother seemed to score better presents. 

However, my parents kept up a ruse for a good 10 minutes, pretending these were all my gifts. And then, lo and behold, they revealed a PS2 from a closet! Let's just say, from that point on, my day was pretty much perfect!

Holiday pranksShutterstock

38. A Quick Fix

When I was just a kid, my grandmother ended up overcooking the turkey to a point beyond rescue. In order to fix things, she quickly got another turkey from a nearby caterer, and they delivered it right away. But there was a hilarious twist to all this.

 The caterer was actually my grandpa's workplace for 20 years and we kept the turkey's true journey, along with my grandma's blunder, a secret for a whole year. 

I’m not sure, but does that strike others as funny, or is it just our family?

Holiday pranksShutterstock

39. My Screen Froze

You know, I still laugh thinking about that time I pulled off an awesome prank using MS PowerPoint. I captured a screenshot of my friend's desktop, set it as the first slide and followed it with a simple blue screen as the second. I couldn't wait to see his reaction, and it was priceless.

After some time, he clicked something and started freaking out, just like I predicted. Also, using Goatse for the second slide works equally well.

Holiday pranksShutterstock

40. Bieber Fever

A few years ago, I played a prank on my brother. I advertised on Craigslist, claiming I had two tickets for an imminent Justin Bieber concert. I spun a story about having initially bought the tickets for my now-ex-girlfriend and feeling unenthusiastic about attending solo. 

So, I promised the tickets to the person who could prove they were the biggest Justin Bieber fan by calling or texting me. But that wasn't all. Instead of listing my own number, I put down my brother's. So for an entire day, he was swamped by excited young girls asserting their Justin Bieber fandom, while all I did was sit back and chuckle to myself.

Holiday pranksWikimedia.Commons

41. Box In A Box In A...

My grandpa had a unique way of giving gifts. He'd gather boxes of all sizes, from large ones down to teeny tiny ones. Then, he'd sneak some money into the smallest box, wrap it up, and then put it into a slightly larger box. He'd repeat this process over and over. 

By the end, he'd have a huge, appliance-sized box stuffed with at least 20 smaller, all individually wrapped boxes. After unwrapping everything, you'd find yourself buried under a pile of wrapping paper and cardboard. 

Holiday pranksShutterstock

42. Joke's On Me

One year, I chose to be Miss Generous. I requested my family members to make a donation to any charitable organization they wanted, using my name. That night during Christmas, my brother was handed an envelope containing a hefty check.

Holiday pranksShutterstock

43. Full Of Peanuts

I stuffed my boss's office window full of styrofoam peanuts. If you took a look from outside, you'd swear the entire office was packed. But when you're inside, it's clear that they're simply kept in place using bags. I also sneaked a camera into the hallway to catch his shocking reaction on tape as he approached. The cherry on top? 

Tidying up afterwards was a breeze.

Holiday pranksFlickr

44. Call Me Maybe

So, I tweaked the settings on my buddy's Pandora playlists a bit. I slipped in some Carly Rae Jepsen to all of them, and it took him AGES to notice! He was totally clueless about why his beloved indie rock playlist kept dropping the beat with "Call Me Maybe".

Holiday pranksWikimedia.Commons

45. Bubble Wrap Bandit

Back in my college days, I'd head home during Winter or Spring Break and gather up a giant stash of bubble wrap. Slipping back to campus a day before everyone else, I'd put my plan into action. Every doormat in each building would get a bubbly surprise underneath. 

It didn't matter if it was April Fool's Day or if the weather was wild with rain or snow—I'd always do it.

Holiday pranksFlickr

46. A Little Overcooked

A few years ago, we played a harmless practical joke on my grandpa. He'd had this smoker for years, which he never truly figured out how to operate. My uncles finally coaxed him into using it to smoke a turkey for our Thanksgiving feast.

In secret, they swapped out the turkey, which got a bit too toasty on the grill, with a different bird—a Cornish game hen that we'd burnt to a crisp, so much so that it resembled a chunk of charred coal. Upon seeing the charred bird, grandpa blew a fuse, blaming my uncles for ruining everyone's Thanksgiving. 

They let him stew in his frustration for about 15 minutes before bursting into fits of laughter. This incident became a classic family moment, and we replay the video every year as a tradition.

Holiday pranksShutterstock

47. Morphin' Time

During my childhood, we often spent Thanksgiving on a farm and, one year, I ended up with the feet from our slaughterhouse turkey. Placing them inside my sleeves, I pretended they were my hands. Given my petite size back then, I genuinely appeared to have an eerie pair of scaly, reptilian extremities. 

My mother was on the couch, enjoying a peaceful nap, so I decided to gently touch her cheek using my newly acquired hands. As she began to wake up, I let out a holler: "I'm transforming! I'm transforming! The pain is unbearable!!!" 

Her reaction was over the top as she shrieked alarmingly, trying in vain to retreat into the sofa, only to fall clumsily off the edge. It took several family members to soothe her jittery nerves. And yet, no one thought to remove my unique turkey "hands".

Holiday PranksPexels

48. Ew, Gross!

Back in my younger days, I rushed into my folks' room at the crack of dawn on April Fool's Day, swung the door wide open, and hollered, "MOM, DAD, OUR CAR'S GETTING TOWED!" The joke ended up not going as planned, though. When they jumped out of bed in a panic, neither of them had any clothes on. Ew.

Holiday pranksShutterstock

49. Now That's Cruel

From as far back as I can recall, Mom and Dad had a Christmas Eve tradition—letting my sister and me unwrap a single gift each. 

One year, there laid two enormous boxes under the tree, standing almost as tall as my 10-year-old sister and 11-year-old me. We were filled with anticipation, wondering about the mystery treasures inside. However, my mom had a twist in store when it was finally time to open our gifts.

She declared that we were indeed opening the two humongous boxes, but the choice was hers, not ours. Now, you need to understand, Christmas Eve at our place was a major event. We hosted a significant number of relatives—my dad was one in a family of nine siblings, so imagine the crowd.

Everyone watched with bated breath as my sister and I dived into the tearing open of the wrapping paper and boxes. On top, we found heaps of crumpled newspaper obstructing the view to the actual gift. We scattered papers hither and thither, eager to find out what awaited us in these gigantic boxes. But all we found was more and more newspapers. 

It seemed like a never-ending stream until we reached the bottom, where we paused. A moment of stunned silence passed between my sister and me as we gazed at the single brick duct-taped to the bottom of each box—the only contents in there.

Meanwhile, my mom, unable to contain her laughter, escaped into the kitchen for a good 15-minute chuckle.

Holiday pranksShutterstock

50. Turkey Turmoil

When I was 10, my mom's side of the family from Guatemala decided to visit us for their first American Thanksgiving. We were planning to cook for a dozen people. After I helped my mom get the turkey ready, I slipped off to play with my friends for a while. 

Returning home, my mom rushed into my room shouting: "Come quickly! There's been a problem in the kitchen! Something dreadful has happened!" I was panicked. Flashing thoughts told me something went wrong with the Turkey. In distress, I shouted, "Did the turkey burn?! Oh no!" 

We both halted at the kitchen entrance as my mom dramatically faced me, whispering, "I...I don't know what our next move is. We have no backup plan". Pushing past her, I gallantly opened the oven. A foil blanket was still draped over our bird, concealing my worst fear.

My mom moved to my side and lifted the foil with kitchen tongs, revealing a tiny, cooked Cornish hen. My screams echoed the house. "Mom, what happened!? This was a 24-pound turkey to start with! What on earth?! We have no other food ready! They flew all the way here for this! Our Thanksgiving is ruined! We'll have to end up ordering pizza or something! How could you let the turkey shrink?!"

Tears fell from my eyes as I crumbled at the thought that our "ideal" Thanksgiving dinner had been completely spoiled. I turned to break the unfortunate news to our family on the patio, but my mom haulted me by pulling my arm, falling to the floor in a pool of laughter. Puzzled, I trailed her back into the kitchen. 

There, she opened a lower cabinet to reveal the 24-pound turkey, flawlessly prepared. She managed to laugh for a solid 20 minutes while I sat on the floor, wondering if my family had lost their minds. Even now, I'm absolutely amazed at how she kept a straight face that entire time.

Holiday pranksPexels

Sources: Reddit,

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