Festive Fiascos: Zoomer Readers Share Their Most Hilarious Holiday Mishaps

Holiday Mishaps

From disastrous dinners to a Christmas present that quite literally "went down the drain," Zoomer readers share some of their most hilarious holiday mishaps. Photo: Kai Wiechmann/Getty Images

It’s the happiest time of the year, but it’s also one of the most hectic.

Whether we’re hunting for that ultra-thoughtful gift in the lead up to the big day or hosting the all-important family Christmas dinner, our quest for perfection around the holiday season knows no bounds.

Meanwhile, the pressure, combined with the chaos of the season, often create the perfect storm for the most epic holiday disasters.

One of the most memorable in our family happened at the 11th hour, just before Christmas dinner was served. My grandmother’s decades-long streak of hosting holiday dinners for a family of 20-plus without error ended in tears after she used Coffee Mate to thicken the gravy instead of flour.

Thankfully — as was the case with “Gravygate” in our family — even what seems like the most crushing holiday blunders at the time can become comical family anecdotes with the passage of time.

Here, to stave off some of the stress of the festive season, we take a look at some of our readers’ most hilarious holiday mishaps, as shared on EverythingZoomer’s Facebook Page in 2022.


Taking the Cake


Gayda Jackson: “There was no room in the fridge for the dessert that year. There were 14 of us for Christmas dinner, so we had bought a pretty large cake. It looked delicious. I think it was coffee caramel with lots of fresh cream. We decided to put it out on the balcony. It was certainly cold enough, so it should be fine. So out it went in it’s big white box.

We always have a break between the main course and dessert. Mainly to clear the table and make the coffee. George decided he’d have a smoke. The rules are no smoking in the apartment, so off he went to the balcony. He opened the sliding door and walked out planting his size 11 shoe firmly on the cake box. The poor man was mortified. We brought the box inside, gingerly opened the lid and apart from the fact that it looked like a sad, squashed version of itself, it was edible. We still laugh about it.”


Betta Not Cry


Lori Bushell: “I was so proud of myself for keeping a betta fish alive for 3 days before Christmas as a gift for my 6 yr old grandson and could NOT wait to see his reaction.

I had asked his mom and dad to call when they were on their way (5 min) so I could put the fish in a clean bowl of water. I was very carefully straining the water over the bathroom sink…..Andddddddddd down the drain he went….I was sobbing when the family arrived, everyone else started laughing hysterically. Hubby had even went to check the sink trap…gone.

Later that day we were playing cards. My son came out of the washroom and says ‘I was washing my hands and all I could hear was ‘help me! help me!!!!” And the tears and laughter hit again.”


Beginner’s “Luck”


Leila Davidson: “As a new young bride I decided to take on the task of inviting the extended family for Christmas. The turkey was huge … much too big for our oven, but could be squeezed into an old stove in our basement, left there by the previous owners.

The turkey did not fit into any of my roasters so I purchased an aluminum foil one. Went to check on it at some point, just before the guests were to arrive. I pulled it out with a great deal of effort and the foil bottom caught on the rack. A hole developed, the juices gushed out and before I could get myself organized, the oven and the turkey caught on fire…. just as the doorbell rang to announce the first arrivals. My oven was on fire, the turkey was frying, my oven gloves were charred and I was missing my eyelashes and part of my bangs. Merry Christmas!”


Festive Seasoning


Helen M Deveaux: “An old friend of mine decided that she was going to cook the turkey this year, which was generous because she had never cooked a turkey before. The turkey looked delicious when it was done and we carved it and it tasted a little odd and a bit like paper. God bless her, she forgot to take out the bag of giblets.”

Mildred Shipman: “When the children were growing up we would have a family meeting a couple weeks before Christmas and everyone got to say one item they wanted for Christmas dinner. One year, our then 4-year-old wanted
wieners, so Christmas day, about 30 minutes before taking the turkey out of the oven, I popped the wieners in the roaster to cook!

Well we had BBQ turkey, as the flavour from the wieners were absorbed into the turkey.”

Charlene Leger Barron: “I once tried to thicken gravy with icing sugar thinking it was flour, couldn’t understand why the gravy wouldn’t thicken.”

Katherine Anne Condon: “Christmas dinner at my sisters. The table was covered with goodness. We all stood up from the table after dinner and the whole thing collapsed into the middle. All the food, wine and dishes on the floor. I’ll never forget that one.”


The Pets Who Stole Christmas


Julie Mortlock: “On Christmas Eve, I was preparing a bouillabaisse and left all the very lovely and expensive seafood to thaw in the sink. We enjoyed cocktails in the living room. Cat was caught stealing said seafood but too late. We ordered in. He dined like a king for weeks. Merry Christmas dear old Tigger.”

Nancy Lyons: “The dog didn’t eat the turkey, but he did eat the seven, yes seven, apple pies that my Mom had made for dessert and for us to take home. We laugh now, but it was upsetting at the time.”


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