People Are Sharing Their Wildest Christmas Day Disasters, And I’m Just Glad None Of It Happened To Me!

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their biggest and wildest Christmas fails. From family drama to food poisoning to a hungry Great Dane, here are some of their stories:


1. “When I met my boyfriend’s relatives the first time during Christmas, I was really touched that they gifted me with high-end toiletries. After a few weeks of using the lip balm, I got serious rashes and chemical burns around my lips. Turns out the stuff they gave me had been expired for YEARS. Apparently, recycling presents is a thing for some people.”


2. “My grandma is notorious for giving awful gifts. One year, she gave us the Bible on VHS (the year was 2012, and no one had a VHS player by that point). She gave me a guitar for my 10th Christmas and then made me pay her back for it. She gave me a gumball machine with expired candy and kept the key to get the money out of it. She said the money I used to put in the machine was payment for the machine. But the best one was the cooking pan set she gave me with egg residue on it from when she last used it.”


4. “We started three small fires within 10 minutes trying to light the Christmas pudding. The kitchen cupboard, wall, and hallway carpet got it, but it’s okay because all fires were out within a few seconds and we all had fun with it.”


5. “My siblings and I were still young kids, and we were really proud that we’d found a specific book we knew our parents would like for Christmas. Fast-forward to us unwrapping presents with the whole family: Our parents were extremely happy with the book, but our grandparents bought them the exact same one! You might assume they’d let it be, but our grandparents decided to make a fuss about it…a really, really big fuss. Every time we thought they might finally let it go and just enjoy our family time, they would start all over again and make everyone feel miserable (especially us kids). This went on for hours and hours until our parents got super mad at them for ruining Christmas. There was screaming and crying, and in the end, everyone was sitting in different rooms. It was the worst Christmas ever in our family.”

“The whole day was stained because of a $15 book. Today we can laugh about it, but it’s still a very vivid memory.”


6. “It was the school’s Christmas dinner. Nothing fancy, just some food, traditional bread, and a dessert. The food was great as usual, the bread was fantastic, but the dessert…it was homemade (school-made?) chocolate pudding. I did not try it, but apparently it tasted good. The next day, literally everyone who ate it got food poisoning, and every class had maybe three to five kids because nearly everyone had some of the pudding. Not sure how long you experience symptoms from food poisoning, but I’m pretty sure nobody had a great Christmas that year.”


7. “At age 14, I was really into being goth with a heavy dose of teenage angst. My wardrobe was almost exclusively black with a smattering of purple. My go-to bands at the time were Blink-182 and the Sisters of Mercy. All of my extended family knew how I was, and if they asked what I wanted for Christmas, I would always say I would prefer a gift voucher or anything black. My uncle’s awful wife and daughter were my opposite. They were completely high maintenance and were obsessed with fashion and having perfect hair and makeup. They hated admitting that they were related to me and were mad that my parents weren’t too bothered by my lifestyle. One Christmas, they bought me bright pink silk pajamas, merch for the band Take That, and hair dye remover to get rid of the black dye in my hair.”

“Everyone burst out laughing when they saw my gifts. I was incredibly rude and ungrateful at the time. I handed back the gifts and asked them who they bought them for because it obviously wasn’t me. Nowadays, I am a lot more gracious when accepting gifts.”


8. “It was my first time cooking a large Christmas dinner. I was putting all the food out as my guests were coming to the table. In one quick moment, my Great Dane grabbed the whole turkey and took it to the backyard.”


9. “It was Christmas 2019. I had gotten my new husband concert tickets to see one of our favorite bands in March 2020. We agreed to give each other one present on Christmas Eve. I was so excited to see his face, so I gave him the envelope. He opened it and his face fell. Then he gave me an envelope and I said, ‘Oh no, you’ve booked us something on the same night.’ Nope. It was tickets to the same concert. He was pissed, but I just couldn’t stop laughing. In the end, he sold his tickets and we used mine…in June 2022.”
10. “First Christmas Eve in our new house. I opened the freezer to find red, runny goo all over the bottom. I realized the cherry pie had been stored upside down and the freezer wasn’t working. As I was cleaning up the mess, I got a call saying our dog got out of the yard. I ran in my PJs and flip-flops over half a mile to get our dog, who had rolled in something dead and who I had to carry back home. When I got back, there was smoke coming from the oven. I had forgotten to turn off the special Christmas bread my husband’s family makes each year. It was burned. I opened all the doors and aired out the house as the smoke alarm blared. All of this before 9 a.m. on Christmas Eve. I decided to go back to bed and start over.”


11. “My ex-husband tells a story about when he was 10 or 11. He had saved up enough money to buy his mom a Christmas gift all by himself. He was too young to realize that he went to the plus-size store and bought clothing at least four sizes too big for his petite mom. She cried when she opened it, and he’s never recovered.”


12. “My ex (33, female) and I (25, female) were dating for three years. Christmastime came, and I had been planning for months. I bought all of her presents by October and filled the area underneath our tree with gifts for her. The day before Christmas, she asked me to swing by the dollar store so she could run in. On Christmas morning. I unwrapped my presents to find a day planner and a mini spiral notebook, both from the dollar store. To make it better, she had written in days on the day planner when she would give me a massage. When those days came and I asked her, she always said no! So glad she’s in my rearview mirror. Worst gifts ever.”


13. “I was a preteen and received a Christmas gift in the mail from a relative I didn’t know very well. It was a doll that prayed when you put its hands together. It was nice that this relative was thinking of me during the holidays, but as a tomboy atheist who was afraid of dolls, I found this gift quite…alarming. I put it in my closet so I couldn’t see it while I was sleeping, and I swear that thing started praying in the middle of the night. Long story short, the doll didn’t stick around very long.”


14. “About five years ago, I spent Christmas Eve day cooking a huge, elaborate standing rib roast and all the fixings. My dog, who had a weak stomach, decided it would be brilliant to get into the trash and proceeded to come over to my perfectly set table mid-meal, with my entire family present, and throw up several times. He then ran under the table with ‘the runs’ as we scrambled to clean up the mess. Everyone immediately left, and it went down as a pretty epic fail (although telling the story is pretty hilarious now)!”


15. “Christmas Day 1973 will never leave me! I wanted a can of Coke at my grandmother’s house at lunchtime. My brother went and got it and decided to shake it up before he gave it to me. Of course it just exploded all over me, my mother, and the food on the table. I got shouted at and was told I had ruined Christmas, and I wasn’t spoken to for a couple of hours.”


16. “I was about 12, so I no longer believed in Santa, but I still loved the surprise of Christmas morning and had no teenage angst yet. We all ran into the family room, where the stockings/fireplace were. We had a real fireplace, so bits of scrap paper were always around to use for kindling. The dog would play in the basket that held the kindling paper, and one scrap had landed on top of my stocking, so I tossed it aside and found my treasures. We all compared what we had gotten, and my mom asked me where the necklace was. What necklace? She said, ‘The one on top in the tissue paper…’ I responded, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize it was a gift. I tossed it there,’ and I pointed to the basket of kindling. Then my dad said, ‘And I placed it there…’ and pointed to the fireplace. It was not salvageable.”
17. Finally: “It was my first year at university, and I decided I wanted to cook a proper Christmas dinner for my dormmates before we all went back home. It spread around the whole building, and soon our small dinner for six turned into a party for 20-plus people. I prepped and prepped, made sure I took all diets into consideration, and decided that the one oven in our dorm wasn’t enough. So I cooked simultaneously in three different dorm kitchens on one floor with no helpers because I’m a control freak. Bear in mind, I could cook well, but I’d never cooked this many dishes at once, so timing them all to be ready together was something I had no idea about.”

“Being a student, I started drinking prosecco halfway through. No harm in a couple of glasses! Well, little did I know, I accidentally filled up the wrong glass, which had neat vodka in it, multiplying my couple of drinks by a few shots. Long story short, I ended up serving three practically raw chickens and a load of burned sides. I was so drunk that I couldn’t put a sentence together — didn’t even want to eat any of the food by that point. I remember strongly hating those chickens by the end of it. Never again.”




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