Holiday Horror Stories

As the holiday season is now upon us, we are encouraged to look around and feel grateful for everything and everyone in our lives. We watch movies with perfectly decorated homes and a heartwarming story to go along with the people inside of it. However, it’s no secret that in real life, most of us don’t always have a classic Hallmark holiday season. You might hope for a perfect, memorable holiday with family, but sometimes it may be memorable for a whole different reason. Just so we all know we’re not the only ones who have a holiday where everything goes wrong, I asked some fellow college students to share their own holiday horror stories:

When I was seven, I was playing basketball with my cousins and uncles at Christmas when they forgot I was seven and started to play too hard. I was just standing under the rim and one of them flew into me at full speed, knocking one of my front teeth out.” — Erik, University of Oregon

We had what we refer to now as a ‘puke-mas:’ the entire family got the norovirus. I remember my cousins clutching buckets as we opened presents, uncles running to the bathroom and the smell … oh my God, the smell! We were up in Tahoe, trapped in a small cabin the entire time. ‘Twas the worst of times, ‘twas the s—tiest of times.” — Katie, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

We were on our way to my aunt’s house in Grass Valley on Christmas Day and ended up getting lost for like six hours (this was pre-smartphones). By the time we got there, it had already been dark for a while. The next morning, my little brother hit his head on a bedpost and had to get four stitches in his head!” — Jasper, UC Davis

“One year on Thanksgiving, I wore slippers while carrying a plate of food. I slipped on a wet spot in the kitchen, and the food went flying all over me!” — Kim, UC San Diego

My family makes cinnamon rolls every year for Christmas morning, but they have a lot of yeast in them and have to rise overnight. One time, my aunt’s really old dog ate all of the dough and her stomach literally inflated! We thought she was going to explode and die or get poisoning from all the yeast, but it ended up being OK. She lived for, like, two more years.” — Xania, UCLA

Every year, my mom, siblings, and I go to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving and we were only in charge of bringing dessert. My brother said he’d bring cheesecake and my aunt approved of it. When we got to my aunt’s house, my brother carried the cheesecake in, but it was literally the size of a fist! My aunt laughed hysterically, while my uncle made so many jokes about it that my brother got annoyed and didn’t even eat the cheesecake!” — Demarin, Petaluma, CA

Usually my family keeps Christmas as a dry holiday, so no one drinks, and they’re very strict about it. One year, one of my cousins brought a bottle of Patrón and dumped the whole thing in the atole. Everyone kept drinking it since it was so cold outside, and we watched everyone change in how they spoke and laughed. It was funny, but they were mad because they couldn’t go home. No one found out which one of my cousins did it, so it’s still an ongoing investigation!” — Kelly, College of Marin

One year, my siblings and I were smoking weed late at night on Christmas Eve, and we ate all the cookies our little sister left out for Santa. She woke up, came out, and started crying, so we had to make more cookies with her. It was pretty funny, but then we had to write the letter from Santa to her and reading it the next day was so bad.” — Torran, California State University, Humboldt

“On Thanksgiving a few years ago, I went to the garage to check on how the yams were doing. When I opened the oven, flames shot out of the oven. I stepped back, tripped over something, and fell. I screamed and my mom ran in, yelling, ‘The marshmallows [on top of the yams] are on fire!’ I don’t remember who put the fire out, but my eyebrows and lashes got singed.” — Ashley, College of Marin

My uncle used to dress up as Santa and bring in gifts for my little cousins, but one time my grandma pulled down his fake beard and the kids saw it was their uncle! The whole thing was ruined once they knew it wasn’t Santa bringing the gifts anymore.” — Jillian, Colgate University

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