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Merry Mishaps

When the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Goes Off the Rails

Article by Don Seaman

Photography by Don Seaman

Originally published in Wayne Lifestyle

Ahh, holiday joys. Timeless memories of caroling, goodwill, and Hallmark moments of togetherness and merrymaking.

Theoretically.

It’s just as likely to be a panicked few weeks of Amazon sellouts, tangled Christmas lights, mall traffic, and travel-related migraines. If you’re lucky this year, maybe it’ll be somewhere in between.

Here are some less-than-stellar holiday stories that might just show you that sometimes you just have to chalk it up to ‘tis the season…

“My grandmother was getting older and a bit more forgetful. She was never a particularly attentive gift giver to begin with and really wasn’t all that plugged into things. Well, one year she gave me a Christmas present she seemed a little prouder of than normal that went a little beyond her typical dress shirt from the discount store (“Bradlees has such nice things” was her favorite saying back then). When I opened her tissue-paper wrapped gift, it was one of those Hickory Farms gift sets of cheese and smoked meat and things. When I opened the top, there was a bite or two taken out of every piece. She gave me used cheese.”

“After a long Saturday afternoon of setting up all of our decorations in the yard, we noticed that it was getting pretty windy out so we took a look to see how everything was faring. At that precise moment, our 8-foot tall inflatable snowman blew straight up into the air in a sudden gust. We found him four houses away, smack dab in the middle of our neighbors’ Nativity scene. Joseph looked pretty surprised to see Frosty as his fourth king.”

“Whoever invented the Elf on the Shelf probably didn’t have a dog. We learned the hard way just how important it is that they find a high perch. Our dog is pretty big, so one morning we found our now armless elf looking a little less than jolly in her dog bed. I guess the next day our elf must’ve gotten some better training along with his stitches when he went back to the North Pole that night – he never went near a tabletop ever again!”

“It might not be a disaster, but I’ll never forget the time it literally took me 5 hours to get out of the mall parking lot one year on the Saturday before Christmas. Shop local, folks!”

“When we get our Christmas tree, we always leave it outside overnight in a bucket of water to get it ready for the transition to being indoors. Well, this one year we let our dog out into the yard for his nightly run around. Unfortunately, he ran into a skunk while he was out there. Not only did he get sprayed, but our new tree also took the brunt of it. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that until we’d gotten it into the house and it started to dawn on us pretty quickly that we’d need another new tree this year. We kept the dog, though.”

“We were new parents swept up in the magic of Christmas with our newborn, trying to do all the classic things that we could. So we took her to the mall one night to “sit” on Santa’s lap. After about an hour of waiting in the line, our daughter fell fast asleep the second we were next. Never wake a sleeping baby, they say, but this seemed like a good time to ignore that advice. Our holiday addled new parent brains went blank. But the quick-thinking Kris Kringle told us, “Don’t worry - I got this,” and made it the sweetest picture that could’ve been a Christmas card. Best Santa ever!”

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