The holidays are supposed to be just like the joyful, cozy pictures of fireside smiles and perfect cookies that we see in magazines… But we all know that in real life, they can turn awkward and hysterical faster than you can say “Oh Santa!” Have you ever experienced a less-than-perfect holiday? The SYM team shares some of their most memorable mishaps.
Turkey Got Runover by a Grandma
“A couple of days before Thanksgiving, Grandma was driving down a country road around dusk. A turkey made a fateful decision to cross the road — and met my Grandma’s Oldsmobile head-on. The downside was the turkey did not make it. On the upside, Grandma was fine, the Oldsmobile didn’t have any serious damage… And by the time we peeled the turkey off the grill, it was cleaned and plucked. Yes, we did eat it!” – Shane Bradley, Midland
The Tree That Wasn’t Quite Right
“Once upon a time, we used to have real Christmas trees at the house. One fateful year changed that tradition. That year’s tree was a little askew, and I came home from work to find that it had fallen over during the day. Ornaments everywhere, water all over, and the soaking red tree skirt bled through the white carpet. And, to top it off, as I was carrying the tree out of the house, I ran into the door — which knocked me backwards three feet. It was December 15, and our last real Christmas tree was at the end of the driveway in the trash. That day, we bought a brand-new artificial tree. Never again.” – Rick Harrison, Indianapolis
A Tradition Born
“When I was little, I unwrapped a gift of a can of peas and carrots from my Aunt and Uncle. Being young and well brought-up, I thought it was a sincere gift and thanked them profusely. Of course, they thought it was hilarious, especially because the real gift (a Hot Wheels truck) was waiting for me in the next room all along. The funniest part is, I am not sure I would have remembered the truck had it not been for the peas and carrots. To this day, we often include a can of peas and carrots in family gifts for fun.” – Evan Stark, Mishawaka
Holiday Baker No More!
“When my husband and I were first married, everyone asked me to bring rolls to family holiday gatherings. Naturally, I set out to prove that I was capable of more than just buying some rolls at the store. I found a complicated recipe for home-made rolls from scratch, bought yeast, and dusted off my KitchenAid. I worked so hard measuring everything just right, kneading the dough, patiently letting it rise… Unfortunately, I must have had the wrong kind of yeast, because the rolls turned out terrible. To this day, I am no longer asked to bring rolls to family holidays. They have downgraded me to soda and napkins.” –Sydney Cale, Fort Wayne
A Jolly Careful Christmas
“One Christmas, my grandpa got me a Swiss army knife. I was very excited. My dad took one look at that knife and, as I was getting it out of the package, said, “Don’t cut yourself!” at least four times. Naturally, I got the knife out of the box, looked it over, folded the big blade out, and proceeded to slice my finger. Needless to say, dad took the knife away immediately, and I did not get it back until the new year.” –Tyler Todd, Winona Lake
All I Want for Christmas is Power
“A few years ago, we were planning to spend Christmas with my in-laws. Right before the holiday, their rural town got hit by a blizzard, and the power went out for 6 days. My mother-in-law still insisted that we follow the plan and come out to their house and would not hear of joining us at our house (where we had both heat and electricity). Christmas dinner that year was ham cooked on a grill outside in the snow, and the sides were whatever could be cooked on her gas stovetop. We were warm enough thanks to a wood burning stove. It was not the most glamorous holiday, but it was definitely the most memorable!” –Natalie Deatsman, Midland
“I started a tradition with my little cousins, where I would wrap their Christmas presents in the most outrageous way possible. I am talking layers, post-it notes, toilet paper, duct tape, streamers — anything to make it take forever for them to open the gift. This went on for a few years, until one of them got me back. He wrapped dollar bills in saran wrap inside of a box covered in zip ties. I accepted that challenge and got the prize. Thankfully, no other pranks have occurred since.” –Mitch Kennedy, Midland
Picture a Christmas
“For as long as I can remember, we would take a traditional family picture around the Christmas tree. Every time, someone in the picture would be crying for whatever reason: we were little, we were tired, we wanted to open the gifts instead of posing for a picture, we did not get everything we wanted… The list goes on. Now that we are all adults, we recreate a picture of us pouting and crying around the tree just for fun.” –Kelly Furnivall, Winona Lake
“My wife’s family decided to skip the stress of Thanksgiving food preparation and ordered a full holiday dinner from Bob Evans as a last-minute shortcut. It’s safe to say that everyone’s expectations were pretty low, but were floored when we discovered that they had forgotten to deliver the turkey! The men in the family still complain about the horrors of “The vegetarian Thanksgiving”… Although I have to admit, the stuffing was pretty good!” –Derek Weed, Indianapolis
We all wish you the very best in the upcoming holidays, especially in the moments that aren’t so picture-perfect! They often make the best memories.
2021 SYM Financial Employee Edition