Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Mishaps

The Christmas season rarely runs without at least one hitch. In retrospect, it's often the mishaps that make the strongest memories. 

The year Tim and I were engaged, he joined our family for Christmas Day. My mother had prepared dessert ahead and in the interest of efficiency, dished it up into her china dessert bowls (fruit nappies is the official term, I think), and placed the dishes onto a large tray. She thought that the dessert would remain chilled and out of reach of any hungry pets out on the top of the car in the carport.

Queen's Messenger by Royal Albert, long discontinued - my mother's china and always a favorite of mine
 The car was cold, maybe with a bit of ice. The tray was warm. She wasn't back in the house very long before we heard a mighty crash. With a great whoosh the tray had tobogganed off the car top onto the concrete floor. She lost a number of dishes and I can't remember what we had for dessert.

Later in the day Tim noticed curls of smoke rising from the Christmas tree in its usual corner next to the fireplace. Thinking fast he, or my father, grabbed the tree and hauled it out the door before it turned into a major conflagration. That's the first and last time such a thing happened. A "welcome to the family" perhaps? He still married me.

Any Christmas mishaps to share?   


  1. That is so comical!! I can almost see the tray sliding off the car!! I think I had a teacup or two of that pattern in the Tea Room, very pretty! Darrell's first Christmas with us required him crawling under the cabin we had rented for the weekend to figure out how to thaw out the frozen septic system!! YUCKY job and he still stuck around as well!!

  2. What a welcome to the family! Must have made a profound impression on him. The stuff of legend for sure...

  3. Oh dear! At least it was a memory maker!! My Christmas mishap was when I tried the Nigella Christmas Turkey. The bucket was bought, the brine prepared (smelling delicious I might add), the turkey went in and a lid put on the top. It was left outside because it was a very cold night and then about 4am I got up, put the lights on outside and attempted to get this very plump, brine filled turkey out of the bucket. Picture the scene (especially for the neighbours), me with pyjamas on, a turkey leg either side of my face as I am pulling this enormous bird from the bucket as though the bucket was giving birth - and a dog jumping up attacking the bird as it came out thinking that if there were enough puncture marks she would win. Dinner was beef!

  4. Oh my...those are quite the mishaps. So glad that tree made it out of the house before it burned! When we lived in Southern California I handpicked a two pound box of chocolates to take to a Christmas gathering. When we went downstairs on Christmas Eve we noticed a black trail along the kitchen counter up to the box of chocolates. Ants had made their way up to and into the box to enjoy my handpicked chocolates!!

  5. O my goodness, that is quite funny about the tray but also a loss of nice china and perhaps dessert! And a near tree fire must have been so scary. I'm sure I've had some disasters too but can't think of any right now.

  6. Isn't it nice that you can laugh about these things now, I'm sure the loss of broken china and a smoking tree were not very amusing when it happened.
    We've had a few minor things happen over the years but nothing worth sharing.

  7. We had our Christmas tree fall over...twice! The second time it happened when our 5-year old grandson sneezed...he thought it was all his fault! Also, not a big deal, but one year after we finished our Christmas dinner, I noticed the cabbage rolls still in the oven.

  8. A lit candle toppled on the mantel and ignited some greenery...all the while my daughter was talking on the phone with my dad and said nothing so as not to alarm him!

    Sounds like that Christmas tree was a close call!!

  9. There are two that I remember. One was when we were carting our tree home in the trunk of our car in Wisconsin. The street was a little hilly and on one up-hill the tree bounced out of the car and the car behind us ran right over it. It survived - not even a broken branch. Another year, still in Wisconsin, my husband and our oldest daughter had the Hong Kong flu and we put a mattress on the living room floor - near the heater in our drafty house - and the tree we had that year was a little lopsided and it fell over on them and the mattress three times. After the third time of having to clean it all up and put the ornaments back on I just packed it up for the year.

  10. I think it is OK to laugh now, many years later. :) Whew...mishaps indeed!

  11. The first year we hosted Christmas for my entire family including the Old English Sheepdog, Sadie. During the night she climbed over the presents under the tree (ripping some of them open) to get to the chocolate coins hanging on the tree. Christmas afternoon the foil wrappers reappeard in a pile of dog sick in the dining room. Husband, thinking it was just a pile of sweet wrappers, tried to pick it up with his bare hands. Something he's never quite recovered from!

  12. Oh your poor mother!
    It's the sort of thing I would do - we no longer have pets, so the dessert would have been perfectly safe on the roof of my car in the garage!
    A good test for Tim - that's family life all over the world!
    He saved the day with the tree.
    Happy Christmas

  13. oh the tree sounds scary and then your poor mom and her pretty dessert dishes!

    I remember the year in my twenties when I cooked the turkey upside down by mistake. I was so worried!! Turns out it was more tender that way and i've cooked it upside down ever since!

  14. Funny stories but probably not so funny then I'm guessing. We had a huge catastrophe one year that took me a few days to recover from. A beautiful Christmas Eve buffet ruined by the hutch being pushed off it's buffet (we must never had connected it when we moved.) and crashed into the table. Family heirlooms broke into pieces and most of the buffet (which we were just asking the blessing over) was destroyed. Yes a room full of relatives and guests. I don't even remember what we ate that night. :-) This was years ago and is not one we talk about too much.

  15. We've not really had any catastrophes. I am thankful for that!


  16. Anonymous8:01 PM

    It's a bit painful for me reading this story - I hate it when china gets broken. :-( Not that I haven't had many cases, having five children, of broken dishes, etc., and we always tried to comfort ourselves with "It's only a thing".
    That is a very good point about which events end up being remembered. They probably aren't often the ones that start out with parents thinking, "Let's make a memory..."

  17. Oh no! What a shame! Since hubby stayed around after all that, it was meant to be. :) Best wishes, Tammy

  18. Not sure I have such good mishap stories. Only one comes to mind when our first born was a baby and I got angry at my husband and threw a book at him. I missed him and hit the tree, over it went. Didn't every do that again.

  19. Oh Lorrie, I love these Christmas anecdotes -- so funny!! I read part two a few weeks ago, and left a comment, but I'm trying to catch up on my blog reading, as I fell behind last week. As you say, often the mishaps make the most memories. One year when I was probably just a toddler, my mom was on a ladder decorating their live cedar Christmas tree, and she lost her balance and toppled into the prickly tree. Yikes! They still talk about that to this day. :-D

    Thanks for sharing these funny stories with us; I've really enjoyed reading them!


    Denise at Forest Manor


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