The holidays are supposed to be a time for joy, giving, and spending quality time with family and friends. However, the holiday season is anything but holly jolly for some people. From scummy siblings and messy mothers-in-laws to evil exes, these folks share the reason why their holiday parties were completely thrown off the rails. Content has been edited for clarity.
“A Horrible Crash Came From The Living Room”
“This occurred at my former in-law’s house over the holiday, and everyone in the family was present. Holiday dinner was a family tradition, and a lot of food was prepared for the meal. The family dinner took extensive time and preparation.
As the meal was being prepared, different dishes were laid out on the table. When the turkey and ham were placed on the table, I noticed my former father-in-laws’ new dog, ‘Otis,’ suddenly took an interest in what was going on in the dining room.
Otis kept circling the table like a shark. Everyone knew he could smell the tempting food on the table. At one point, I saw him eyeing a chair adjacent to the table as if to assess whether he could use it to get on the table.
Otis was a short mutt. Despite being short, he was still a strong and powerfully built dog. I had faith Otis could somehow climb to the top of the table and reach the food, but nobody else in the family seemed concerned.
The rest of the family was gathered in another room, but I stayed in the dining room, watching Otis. I liked turkey and looked forward to eating it.
I warned my former mother-in-law, ‘I don’t think it is a good idea to leave an unchaperoned Otis in the room with all of the food.’
She replied, ‘Stop it. You’re being ridiculous! Otis is a good boy, the food will be fine.’
My former MIL and her daughter kept calling to me, telling me to join in the festivities with the rest of the family. I responded that someone needed to watch Otis, or he would get at the food.
They laughed at me and said, ‘There is no way Otis will get the food on the table! He is only a foot or two tall.’
So, I left Otis in the dining room and joined the rest of the family in the other room. I tried to warn my family members about Otis, but nobody would listen. I figured it wouldn’t be my fault if he managed to steal the food.
Within about four minutes, a horrible crash came from the dining room. I tried not to keep from smiling, but I could feel a Grinch-like curling of my lips. Everyone ran into the dining room, whereupon I heard wails of despair. People were yelling at poor Otis. The Grinch curl grew.
Sauntering into the dining room I was greeted by the sight of Otis on the floor, surrounded by spilled food and the table cloth all around. It seemed that he managed to pull down all of the food by the tablecloth. I often wondered if he did this on purpose, or if it all fell as he tried to climb up onto the table.
The Grinch curl exploded into full-blown laughter. I just couldn’t stop laughing, especially as I saw Otis tear into the turkey as quickly as he could. The holiday meal was ruined.
My former MIL started calling different places in town to see if she could find anything open.
We ended up going to a health food restaurant. Health food. It was horrible, and easily the worst holiday meal I’ve ever had.”
“We Were In Our New Family Car When Tragedy Struck”
“I was nine years old and my brother was seven when our folks decided to take us to Florida to visit our grandparents for the holidays.
Everything was going great when our trip first began. My brother and I had never been on a trip before, and we were in our new family car when tragedy struck. We were in a car accident around the Baltimore area, and we were hit by a driver who was going over ninety miles per hour. The other driver was not wearing a seat belt, and he hit our vehicle broadside. It caused both of our vehicles to spin three hundred and sixty degrees, and our car crumpled like a pretzel. It took the firemen over one hour to pry my family and me out of our vehicle.
My brother and father suffered from bruised and cracked ribs, and had multiple cuts from shattered glass. My mother suffered from a fractured hip and dislocated shoulder, and she had massive bruises everywhere. I ended up with three broken ribs and a broken collar bone, facial lacerations, and bruising. My family spent the night in a hospital in Baltimore, and the local police and fire departments arranged a hotel and meals for us until a family member in Florida could pick us up.
Everything in our car was a total loss. The gifts we had in the trunk were destroyed, but the hospital staff collected money and bought replacement gifts for us kids. I thought it was the worst holiday ever. We were all hurt, and the accident left us with horrible memories. However, we were still able to find hope amid a terrible holiday because we found people who cared.
When we finally made it to Florida, it was a couple of days past the holidays due to the accident. I didn’t care about being late, I was just excited to hug my grandparents. The best gifts were those replacement gifts from the hospital staff. As a kid, this holiday seemed awful. However, as an adult, it taught me a valuable lesson and positively shaped my life. I learned how hope lives even in the worst of times, and love dwells in the hearts of strangers.”
“My MIL Was A Vile Human Being”
“This happened a couple of years ago. I had a miscarriage a few days before the holiday, and I was released from the hospital on December 24th. My then-husband and I were beyond grieving and were not in the mood to celebrate the holiday season. I was feeling truly awful from surgery earlier in the day, and I honestly just wanted to be alone with my husband.
Every holiday, my former in-laws had a fancy party. They invited friends and neighbors, and the following day was always for family. My mother-in-law insisted my husband and I still show up. We both explained that under the circumstances, we didn’t feel up to attending.
However, my evil MIL wasn’t having it. She threw a total fit and kept insisting we attend the party.
I asked her, ‘Can I at least wear comfy clothing instead of getting all dolled up? You have to understand, I just had surgery.’
To my surprise, she agreed.
When my husband and I arrived, I was helped over to the couch. My brother-in-law came over, gave me a big hug, and kissed me on top of my head. Three older neighbor women who I had never met were seated nearby eating cookies on fancy plates.
One of the women asked, ‘What is wrong with you?’
I softy answered, ‘I just had surgery earlier.’
My MIL crossed to the middle of the room and announced, ‘She just lost her baby yesterday.’
It was too much for me. I didn’t know who my MIL thought she was to disclose my private information, and I needed to leave. Check, please.
As my husband and I were leaving, she berated my husband for not having shaved before he came over. I never forgave my MIL for this night, and I still haven’t. My MIL later told me I didn’t have a right to grieve about my lost baby since I went on to have a successful pregnancy.
My MIL was a vile human being, and this was only one of the awful things she did before my husband and I divorced.”
The Scummy Sister
“This incident happened about twenty-five years ago. My brother was newly married, and his wife had the opportunity to spend her first holiday season with our family.
I had an older sister who was incredibly rude, insecure, and nasty. My sister was always jealous of younger, attractive women.
Anyway, after my family opened their gifts, the new sister-in-law was attempting to be helpful by gathering all of the torn paper, smashed bows, and ribbons on the floor from the gifts. She threw everything into a big trash bag.
My nasty sister went over to her, grabbed the trash bag, and hissed, ‘In my family, we save the bows on the presents! What do you think you are doing?’
My sister said this in such a mean and seething manner, it set off the new SIL, who promptly reacted by asking, ‘I was just trying to help! Who do you think you are?’
Then, the holiday party erupted into complete chaos.
Suddenly, my brother was by his wife’s side and yelling at my sister. My sister’s weak husband put himself in the middle and defended his wife. My other brothers ganged up on the weak brother-in-law and there was yelling, screaming, and reckless fighting. I simply sat back and watched the events unfold from a distance.
The holiday spirit of this day was ruined. However, the event created a comical story among other family members for years to come.
This sister also ruined other family get-togethers over the years, too. One year, she ruined my birthday celebration with her snotty, condescending, and adversarial ways. She caused a scene because my brother’s friend came over to the house.
My mother was so upset, she picked up the beautiful birthday cake she made herself and threw it onto the ground screaming, ‘Happy birthday!’
These events have survived over the years in the family lore. Thankfully, this particular sister hasn’t spoken to me in the last seven years. This sister also causes scenes at restaurants, and she even has made a waitress cry. She has always been so mean and nasty and has even scared little kids on our block when they were younger. I honestly wish I could understand what made my sister behave in this manner.
My life is much less drama-filled without my sister in it. Unsurprisingly, the holiday season has been much better without my sister in it, too.”
“I Wish I Wouldn’t Have Let It Go On For So Long”
“My family never fought on the holidays for one simple reason. I simply never allowed it!
My ex-husband thought the holidays were the perfect time to air out all grievances, make everyone angry, call people names, and tell each person in the family exactly what he despised about them.
He would start with me, first thing in the morning, then on to the kids, then on to any family members I had coming over. Then, my ex-husband would call his family members and loudly complain about how awful his day had been.
He would say, ‘I hate being here! I am surrounded by people I don’t like all day.’
Then, my ex-husband would sneak downstairs to call his current side-piece to complain about how much he would rather be with her with nobody else around. After I would find out, he would offer a half-hearted apology, sit down on the couch, and fall asleep. I honestly couldn’t believe that I put up with his disgusting behavior. Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t let it go on for so long.
When my ex-husband moved out, my mother decided to take over as the resident family member with a bad attitude. She would chew out my kids for every little thing they might have done she didn’t like.
Finally, about a year after my ex moved out, my mother’s behavior became worse.
I told my mother, ‘I have had enough of holiday drama and unpleasantness. Nobody is allowed to ruin my holiday ever again! If anyone has an attitude or a problem, they can leave!’
Occasionally, I ordered people to leave holiday functions when they couldn’t be nice. Because I was serious about my statement, my family didn’t have to worry about holiday drama anymore. It just never happened.”
The Stomach Flu Surprise
“The first holiday season my now-husband and I spent together was truly awful. This situation occurred five months before we married.
I wanted my husband to meet my extended family. For context, my mother was the oldest of ten children, so there were a lot of people to meet. While it seemed like a lot of people to meet, my family was fairly easygoing. I knew my husband could handle it.
The visiting day arrived, and we drove two hours to visit my mother’s family. My grandmother had a serious fall n a week or two prior and broke a few bones in her face, so my mom and her sibling had to watch her like a hawk. My grandmother wasn’t allowed to lift anything or move around a lot, so the situation was already tense.
The same night, my husband and I drove back to my parent’s house. The next day, we were supposed to drive six hours to visit my father’s family. Well, my nephew and brother-in-law woke up with violent stomach flu. So, my sister, her family, and my father stayed behind and came up the next day. My husband and I took our daughter and my mother. We were all squished into a tiny car, the weather wasn’t the best, and of course, it got dark early in the winter, which didn’t help the situation.
The next day, our daughter got the stomach flu. Once my daughter got sick, I knew my husband and I was doomed. The day after, I got sick, as did my mother, some of my brothers, and my father’s family. I don’t think anyone had a great holiday.
To top it off, my husband didn’t care for holiday gatherings anyways, and he found it hard to be around many people for long periods.
We don’t go visit all of the extended family for the holidays anymore. If we visit anyone for the holidays, it is usually my parents. Thankfully, my husband and I never experienced a holiday season worse than our first.”
“Our Family Holiday Visit Was A Doozy”
“I had this memory blocked off from my stream of consciousness until this past holiday.
This incident happened during my first marriage to my ex-husband. We married in late December, and four of our close friends were present. My ex-husband’s family lived half of a country away and didn’t have money to visit. My mother was too wrapped up in her own life to attend. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t the wedding I wanted or expected to have.
The following holiday season arrived, and my ex-husband’s father received a hefty insurance settlement of over one million bucks. My ex-husband and I saved up for airfare and were going to stay with his mother and sister over the holidays. His parents divorced years previously, but my ex-husband’s father wanted to remarry. Since my father-in-law was now a millionaire, my ex-husband’s mother wanted to remarry him. Would could blame her?
Well, my FIL picked up a nasty drinking habit and became quite mean, so this meant our family holiday visit was a doozy.
My ex-husband and I spent our days and evenings huddled in the bedroom with his sister with the door locked. We had to talk in low voices and hope my FIL would finally pass out or lose interest in threatening us. After he finally passed out, my ex-husband and I escaped to a local Holiday Inn for the remainder of our trip. I was upset, as I was looking forward to spending time with my ex-husband’s mother and sister.
Shortly after the trip, I discovered my ex-husband adopted the same parenting style as his father. We divorced, and I remarried a man who is my best friend. My ex is divorced from his second wife after having many children, and he will be paying child support until he is sixty-five years old. I couldn’t say I felt bad.
Luckily, I never had another crazy holiday season after my ex-husband and I divorced.”
“It Put Everyone In The Family On Edge”
“The holiday season used to always be great. However, after my daughter’s divorce, everything began to change. Her ex-husband started to behave terribly toward her and the children, and it tore them up. The children just turned nineteen, twenty-two, and twenty-four, so they have been able to make their own decisions about their father. All three children have stated they wanted nothing to do with him.
Yet, as any holiday rolled around, the children’s father decided it was time to try to contact them again. Unfortunately for the children, this was more stressful than it was beneficial.
His contact typically goes like this, ‘I think it is time you stop being angry at me. If you don’t get in contact with me now, I won’t speak to you ever again.’
He never apologized to the children, and the contacts showed he didn’t change at all. In my daughter’s ex-husband’s opinion, he did nothing wrong, and it was my family’s fault they didn’t want to see him.
The children always became extremely upset when their father contacted them because he made their lives awful. Contacting them brought up all of those old feelings and fears. Their father often tried to stop by the house and drop off a ‘gift’ for the kids, which was usually a sappy card and a spiritual book.
The children were strong in their faith, but they understood their father was simply trying to manipulate them. They were smart enough t understand that until he recognized his culpability for their feelings towards him, there wouldn’t be any ‘healing.’
So, holidays always had a shadow of, ‘When is he going to show up,’ surrounding them.
It put everyone in the family on edge. This feeling lessened as the children got older, but the holiday season never truly felt normal anymore. We did have golden moments when we forgot about my daughter’s ex-husband, and we all just enjoyed each other’s presence. I knew these moments meant a lot to my daughter and my grandchildren.
I think what kept my family going is knowing that if we were going to truly heal and move on, we had to start appreciating our closeness and make holidays wonderful again.”
The Deviled Egg Dispute
“At a holiday party a couple of years ago, a family member switched our deviled eggs around.
She took all of mine out of my container, replaced them with hers, and put mine in her container. She claimed my deviled eggs were hers after someone commented on a previous function about how bland and boring her eggs were.
When other family members asked her what the ‘secret’ ingredient in the deviled eggs was, she claimed she just stumbled upon a recipe, and that the recipe was a secret.
She finally got caught when someone asked her if they contained a certain ingredient, and she replied ‘No! Who would ever add that to deviled eggs? How gross!’
The person who asked had a violent allergic reaction because the eggs did contain the said ingredient. She was more than happy to place the blame on me afterward, as our relative was taken away from the holiday party by ambulance and spent the remainder of the holiday in the hospital. I felt so bad for her. My family member who claimed the eggs were hers hasn’t taken the blame for the situation to this day.
No, I still wouldn’t give up the secret ingredient in my deviled eggs.”
“The Room Went Silent And All Eyes Turned To My Uncle”
“A few years ago, my family held a holiday party at my grandparent’s house. My uncle arrived late, and by then, all of the food had gotten cold.
So, my uncle did what anyone else would have done in the same situation. He made a plate of food and went to heat it in the microwave.
My sister ran into the kitchen and yelled, ‘You can’t put those plates in the microwave!’ she continued, ‘The plates say they are flammable on the bottom!’
My uncle simply laughed and replied, ‘What’s the worst that could happen? I think it will be fine.’
Well, my entire family found out approximately twelve seconds later when the microwave emitted a loud, ‘bang!’
We looked into the kitchen, and the microwave had gone up in flames and quite literally jumped off of the shelf.
The room went silent for a second and all eyes turned to my uncle. Then, everyone rushed to put the fire out. The microwave itself was broken beyond repair.
You could bet he found out what the worst that could happen was. At least my grandparents got a new microwave courtesy of my uncle. I learned a lesson at this holiday party, and it was to always listen to the warning labels on plates.”
“Everyone Was Truly Terrified Of Him”
“My father ruined quite a few holiday seasons, as well as birthdays. It never failed. His behavior was always angry, condescending, and rude.
He would always find absolutely anything to start an argument about during our family holidays. I couldn’t remember anything specific, except for a party for my daughter.
We had a party at my father’s house, and my daughter was fifteen years old. So, there we were, having cake and ice cream. The kids were talking and laughing, as normal people do.
My father came into the dining room and asked angrily, ‘What is everyone laughing about in here?’
Nobody responded. I thought everyone was truly terrified of him.
Then, he proceeded to loudly yell, ‘Okay, everyone needs to get out of my house, now!’
He continued his tirade as we all gathered everything up to leave. It was how things normally went in my family. The most ironic part? At the time, he had everyone at his community center believing he was a pastor.