The Boldest Beagle:
"One year, my old beagle Gus tried to get to the Thanksgiving spread while nobody was looking by pulling the tablecloth with his dumb little mouth. He pulled almost the entire meal onto the floor. I think we were able to salvage enough to eat but there were definitely no leftovers. :("
"It's always been my job to pick out our family Christmas tree. I'm very particular and don't take this responsibility lightly. A few years ago, I found the most perfect tree I'd ever seen. We brought it home and set it up, but realized it was just a little bit too tall. My dad was tasked with trimming it down, but I guess was feeling lazy, because instead of chopping off the stump, he took from the top, and we were left with a tree that resembled a trapezoid. 'Don't worry,' he said. 'No one will notice once we put the angel on.' WRONG."
The Middle-child Syndrome:
"My mom's side of the family gets together every year for Christmas, and each family is in charge of getting gifts for certain kids. One year while handing out presents, all the adults noticed that I had a TON of gifts while my sister (who was also a middle child) had none. My two aunts realized they both thought they had me and panicked. So they stopped Christmas, BOOKED IT to the toy store, and showered my forgotten sister with gifts."
The Cat Burglar:
"My cat managed to drag the giant turkey (about six times as big as the cat) out of the sink where it was defrosting and under the dining room table.
"We just gave it a rinse and cooked it.
"(Just to clarify, we rinsed and cooked the turkey, not the cat.)"
The Eager Granny:
"My grandmother used to get incredibly impatient to open presents on Christmas morning. The tradition was as follows: Everybody woke up with their stocking at the foot of their bed, suddenly filled with small gifts and knickknacks. We all convened in my grandparents' bedroom and sat on the bed, taking turns opening our gifts one by one. Well, when I was 6 years old, my sister and I took too long waking up, and my grams kept hollering for us to 'get in here!' I finally walked into her room with my stocking in tow, and what did I see but my grandmother surrounded by a mountain of wrapping paper and UNWRAPPED PRESENTS. She had gotten started without us! She had even opened some of my grandfather's gifts!! My 6-year-old self was shocked and appalled, and my grams never lived that day down."
The Soggy Surprise:
"When I was 10, my dad thought it would be a cute Christmas surprise for my mom to install new crown molding/trim in the living room. Welllllll he didn't think about the bathroom on the other side of the wall and drilled a hole into a water pipe. The living room flooded instantly, and we had to hire a plumber on Christmas Eve. We all felt bad making him work on the holidays, so we bought him a gift, and he even stayed for our Christmas dinner. Also, I'd just gotten a new pop album that I played on loop the entire time. I'm sure he appreciated that..."
The Poisonous Pour:
"So my grandpa is the supreme wizard of gravy. He's also quite old. One holiday, I arrived late for dinner and was super excited about pouring his dang gravy all over my turkey BUTTT the gravy bucket was nowhere to be found...so I turned to my mom and was like, 'Mom, can this gal get some gravy or what?' and she was like 'I MEAN, YEAH, if you wanna die it's on the stove,' and then she explained Grandpa had been stirring the gravy with a massive plastic spoon...which he forgot to remove...and so it melted into it. And thus the recipe for toxic-ass gravy was invented. Anyway LEMME TELL YOU: dry turkey sucks."
The Tree That Never Stood a Chance:
"Every year growing up, my family chopped down our own Christmas tree, and it's hands down my favorite Christmas tradition. Last year, my husband and I decided to stay in L.A. for Christmas rather than go up north, but that didn't change my determination to grab a saw and find and personally cut down a perfect tree. The nearest tree farm was 90 miles away, but we were indefatigable warriors, undeterred by the distance. When we got there, however, the trees had all gotten some type of blight (?) and all that was left were some very, very sad-looking, malformed bushes...for $90. So, being the holiday-spirited people we are, we put up the cash, got down in the dirt, and got sawing. To make this all worse, I am a HUGE arachnophobe, and realized that since the trees don't freeze in California like they do in Wisconsin, there's a good chance our tree would be full of spiders (or, like, have a spider in it — nature is so uncool). This, again, didn't stop me. I merely soaked the 'tree' in two cans of bug-killing spray before driving it home 90 miles. When we finally got this chemical-waste-smelling, lopsided shrub home, we shook it out a bit before bringing it in. Not only did 50% of the needles fall off, a GIANT spider fell out: spry, lively, and healthy as can be. We guiltily left the tree out in our hall for a night but couldn't bring ourselves to bring the heavily fumed spider bomb into the apartment. We threw it in the Dumpster the next day."
The Mele Kalika-Mama Meltdown:
"My mom, dad, and sister always drive up together to my grandma's house for Christmas Eve. This particular Christmas was wreaking a lot of havoc on my mom, who was stressed to the bone with making the house perfect, throwing perfect holiday parties, and arguing with my grandparents. We drove up listening to Christmas music, the soundtrack to the entire month of December at Mom and Dad's. Well, the dinner didn't go well, and after goodbyes, we all got in the car to awkward silent tension you could cut with a holly leaf. My dad turned on the radio to break the silence, and Bing Crosby happily bumbling 'Mele Kalikimaka' came on. My mom immediately yelled 'TURN THAT SH*T OFF,' and he did. It took but a beat for all three of us to erupt into laughter, my mom finally following suit. Christmas is meant to be a time of joy, and since then, she hasn't stressed over trying to make it 'perfect,' and I still troll her with that song."
The Mock Gift:
"One Christmas, all the gifts for my older sister didn't arrive on time, so my mom went out and got some secondary gifts so she'd at least have something to open. Included in that was a pack of mock turtlenecks. My sister was beyond upset. I just remember sitting on my bed watching her as she dried her hair. I couldn't hear her over the hair dryer, but she was sobbing and mouthing the words 'mock turtlenecks' over and over again while aggressively brushing her hair. Cracks me up to this day, but I've spent my life in fear of getting her the wrong gift."