Holiday mishaps

So now that Christmas is done and the preparations finished for another year, I’m wondering if there are any stories about holiday-related accidents or mishaps that you have to share. You know, to kind of wrap up* the holiday season (and, yeah, there’s still New Year’s to think about, so feel free to add those if/when they occur).

My contribution: About two weeks ago, I was decorating the house for Christmas, and was just about finished when I found a plastic Santa and angel to put on top of the tree (I figured they could duke it out for privileges if the need arose). Since I’m too short to reach up that high, I decided to put them on the chandelier. Our chandelier looks similar to this. I simply set the little figurines on the bulbs and went off to do other things.

After a little while, it started getting dark, and I turned on the house lights (which included the chandelier). 20 minutes later, I walk back into the room and start to wonder what that strange smell is. Almost like something’s burning. I walk into the kitchen. Stove isn’t on. Nothing amiss. I wander the house, trying to figure it out. Just about then my brother walks in and asks me what the smell is. Now I know I’m not imagining it, and start to look more urgently. He then pulls the angel and Santa off the chandelier, both of which are now melted and charred.

It honestly didn’t occur to me that heat + plastic = burned plastic. Oops. :smack: I would have found it eventually, I’m sure. Either that or the firemen would have. So do you have any stories that will make me feel less embarassed?

*This post brought to you by the Shameless Pun Association of America.

Our holiday mishap was many years ago – Razorette and I and our two boys had moved into our first new home – the first house we’d ever bought – and one of the big reasons we bought the house was that it had a “cathedral” ceiling, which was a really hot fad then in new homes. The high, pitched ceiling meant we could get a 10’ Christmas tree in the house. So, at Christmas time, we went to a lot and bought the best 10’ tree we could find. It was a magnificent beast! We got the tree into the house, got the trunk sawed properly, fitted the tree stand on (it barely fit!) and stood that monster up. Seconds later, the tree stand, built for much smaller trees, buckled and the tree began a slow fall into the living room. My wife grabbed it and wrestled it back upright, then yelled at me to run to K-Mart and buy a proper size stand – NOW! I ran to the car, sped to K-Mart (about two miles away, thank goodness!) and paid way too much for an oversize tree stand. It took nearly a half-hour, during which time our then 10-year-old helped his mother keep the tree from toppling into the living room.

The last time we put up a real Christmas tree, the water basin leaked slowly onto our carpet for three weeks, the damage neatly concealed by that lovely tree skirt (we thought, what a healthy tree, to absorb that much water!) The next year we bought an artificial tree.

Goddam SHRINK-WRAP or HARD-PLASTIC WRAP accidents!!!

Some of that shit is packaged so securely that people will take a butcher knife to open it and then guess what?

Trip to the ER for stitches.:mad:


Ah, yes. This is why we put a tarp under the tree.

Not quite a mishap, but funny:

Last year we bought a HUUGE tree. We have a 25’ peaked ceiling in our living room, so we really have no limits when it comes to Christmas trees. I wanted big, so we got BIG.

Got it home, got it set up, and hubby grabs the ladder to put the star on the top and start the lights/garlands. First ladder wasn’t tall enough, so he goes and gets the mega big ladder. He’s trying like hell to get it placed in a way that he can put the star on, and it’s just not working. Between the placement of the tree and the triangular nature of Christmas trees he just can’t get both high enough and far enough over towards the tree to put the star on.

We’re wondering what to do, when I remember I had just bought some of those plastic disks that you put under furniture that lets you slide it around. We have a balcony overlooking the living room. I grabbed the plastic disks, put 'em under the tree, and we slid it over to the balcony. Hubby ran upstairs, and put the star/garlands/lights on from the balcony. Slid it back and voila, the Monster Tree had its star.

This year, we bought a normal sized tree.

This year I kept things rather simple, I visited my parents for a couple hours on Christmas day and my girlfriend had to work. We planned to meet up at my place in the evening and have some cheese fondue. However, when we met up I decided to try out a theory I had:

marshmallows + lighters + fondue forks + girlfriend + wine = sticky messy slightly painful fun

I know, weird, but it wasn’t the first time. However, I found out my math was wrong.

marshmallows + lighters + fondue forks + girlfriend * wine = sticky messy slightly painful fun + christmas tree fire

Amazing how just a small adjustment gives a very different result.
After taking care of the “problem” we both laughed our asses off for the rest of the night. All in all a great day. :slight_smile:

Well, first off, I got up that morning… Then it was all downhill.

Years ago we had the whole extended family together opening Xmas presents. We were taking turns. It came to be Aunt Hottie’s (made up name. Aunt by marriage) turn to open her present. It was from Cousin Clueless, who at the time was 14/15yo.

She opens up her gift and pulls out this sexy Victoria’s Secret number. The whole room immediately went from a happy bustle to a painful, awkward, silence. Man, I felt so embarrassed for that poor kid.

I can beat that. I opened my eyes that morning and THEN it started going downhill. It’s still going down that hill, as a matter of fact, and we won’t hit bottom until after New Years.

Until my grandmother died, the entire extended family still got together for a massive orgy of eating and consumerism on Christmas eve. Four generations exchanging, okay the fourth generation was mostly toddling, but we’re talking hundreds of gifts being opened by the 45 of us.

The year I was 22 I was newly married and had a brand new infant, the family thoughtfully got me cash to help with all my new expenses. I lost a fifty-dollar bill somehow in the opening fest, which I didn’t discover until after we’d done the ritual cleaning up. 9 snowy garbage bags of wrapping paper refuse was quickly brought back inside, with everyone pitching in and uncrinkling each and every scrap of paper looking for where the fifty might have fallen.

Two hours of the entire family searching goes by with no luck. As soon as I realized it was lost, each adult female in the family sidled up one by one to quietly ask me if I’d checked my bra, as some women in my family have a habit of storing things in theirs. I replied that I had checked, even though I don’t store things that aren’t boobs there.

After the last bit of paper was gone thru, my mother suddenly decides it must be there and thrusts both hands into my shirt for a very thorough feeling up in front of Everybody. My squirming in discomfort at the overly familiar attack caused the folded fifty to slide out of my pants near my ankle, apparently I’d went for a pocket and missed.

My son is sixteen now and just heard the ritual re-telling of his mother losing a fifty and the group hunt for it this Christmas. Again. :smack:

**Rhiannon8404 **and I lived in an apartment for one Christmas before we bought our house. It was a memorable holiday season…

First came the ants. We woke up one morning to find the kitchen crawling with them. They covered every single square inch of the counter, except for the area immediately surrounding the one piece of pizza that was left out overnight. It was left completely untouched. After we got that cleaned up, we took a look at the Christmas tree. It seemed to be…moving… A closer inspection revealed ants all over the tree, ornaments, presents, everywhere.

We couldn’t afford to buy another tree at that point, so it went outside and got thoroughly hosed down (and I think a liberal application of Raid might have occurred as well).

Fast forward to Christmas Day. We lived in an upstairs apartment; the people below us had several small children and kept their apartment well heated. As a result, it was always quite warm in our apartment, and I was running around wearing a t-shirt and shorts. I had made two pumpkin pies. I hadn’t made pumpkin pie before, so I was delighted when I took them out of the oven and they looked beautiful. I walked one of them over to the dining room table so I could show it to Rhiannon8404.

It was at this point that I learned a valuable lesson: do ***not ***make custard pies in nonstick pans. Apparently, I tilted the pie a bit when I was showing off my handiwork, and I felt it start to slide out of the pan. I tried to correct it, but wound up spilling the pie all over the kitchen floor, the cabinets, and my bare legs.

It took several seconds before I realized that I had just poured 400 degree pumpkin napalm on my legs. As I was standing there trying to figure out how to wipe it off, my lovely wife was grabbing me and forcibly placing me into the bathtub so she could run cold water over my legs. Despite her urgings, I steadfastly refused to spend our first Christmas evening together in the Emergency Room. We did wander out and manage to find a Kwik-E-Mart open at 8:00 Christmas evening so we could buy some gauze and tape to cover my burns.

Since then, we’ve had some good years, and some not-so-good ones, but never have we had a Christmas that was *quite *so memorable…

We had a lovely big brown snake slither across the verandah just as we were all about to sit down for Christmas lunch. There was quite a lot of checking under the table all afternoon.