Over the years, I’ve had plenty of holiday fails. Like the time I tried to to be “the fun mom” and do holiday photos in fleece onesies. It wasn’t particularly cold that year and the kids were sweltering inside them, making it impossible to get anyone to smile.

Another year, I decided to surprise my kids with a small tree the day before Christmas. Mike and I are Jewish and were brought up only celebrating Hanukkah, so this would be our first Christmas tree ever. My husband wasn’t really on board with the idea, and said if I wanted a tree, I had to get it on my own. He didn’t want to be involved. So, I went to the local nursery and bought a small potted tree, called it a Hanukah Bush and thought we would create a new tradition of planting the bush in our yard after the holidays were over. Then while dragging it into the house on my own, I tripped over the front step, dropped it on my foot and practically broke my toe. My kids ran into the room to see their mother doubled over on the floor screaming, next to a pile of dirt and a toppled bush. Not exactly the holiday surprise I was hoping to give them.

This year, we had a holiday party, but since most of our clothes are still in storage thanks to our renovation, I didn’t have anything to wear. I borrowed a dress from my friend Emily, but realized the day before the event, I didn’t have the correct undergarments to wear underneath. This is very important stuff! I also needed an evening bag and tights for the kids. After having a minor meltdown, I realized it would be the perfect opportunity to use TaskRabbit. I put everything on hold at Bloomingdales and had a Tasker pick it up and deliver it right to my door. Crisis averted!

I asked you guys to tell me your best holiday fail stories for the chance to win a $100 TaskRabbit credit for some extra help with pre-party cleaning, tree decorating or last-minute shopping runs. Here are the funniest responses!

20 Holiday Fails from Remarkably Average Parents:

1) “One Christmas Eve, when I was young, my little brother and I both heard a loud noise coming from the living room. We got out of bed and tiptoed down the hallway, to discover our dad vacuuming the floor. He told us that the reindeer got into the house and pooped on the carpet. Of course we believed the story. Years later, he revealed that he accidentally knocked the tree over when setting up our presents around the tree.” – Cathy B

2) “I was hosting Christmas dinner and while checking the turkey, the whole casserole dish slid out of oven and shattered on the floor. My turkey, oh my poor turkey, had little shards of glass all over! My cousin came to the rescue, blew away the shards and brushed others off  and said, ‘It’s still good!’ But everyone was too scared to eat it at dinner.” – Jung V

3) “A few years back, when my husband and I were dating, he bought a ring (THE ring!), wrapped it in a box and put it under the tree. Come Christmas Day, we were watching as everyone opened up their gifts. I watched as his dad picked up a box, opened it, and looked down at the gift he had just opened. Realizing what it was, he silently passed over it to my (now) husband, with an “uh oh” expression on his face. My (now) husband looked down into the box, and with no expression or words, handed it to me as-is. I saw a ring, and thanked him, confused. Then, later in the car, as we drove to my parents’ house, he looked at me and said, “that was supposed to be an engagement ring you know.” Perfect proposal, right?!” – Caitlin P

4) “When my daughter was just 12 months and learning to walk, we went to my mother-in-law’s house for the holidays, which was totally not baby proofed. Turns out her kitchen oven, and all its controls, were at eye height for a 12 month-old just learning to walk. We all found that out the hard way at Thanksgiving dinner, when the oven temperature was turned up to 450 degrees the turkey was finished way, way, way before any of the other items are completed.” – Methurt

5) “We went out as a family and cut down a tree. Two days later, our cat started attacking the tree. We realized it was covered with praying mantis babies. There were hundreds of them. We dragged our infested tree out of the house in the middle of the night a week before Christmas. It was horrible and I still have nightmares about it!” – Ryan C

6) “My daughter is a November baby. I figured I’d do Christmas cards that doubled as our birth announcement that year. I got a Santa basket with old sleigh props. Easy, right? Well, the basket fell over, despite being weighted down and out rolls my two week old. Then I put her in the sleigh, she fell asleep and I snapped my pic. Well, apparently, she peed, but I didn’t realize until I printed out the pictures. You could see drips falling. No card went out!” – Andrea M

7) “When I was six years-old, my mom decided not to wrap our Christmas presents and just placed them in neatly stacked piles under the tree instead. Some of her siblings did this with their kids, and told her how nice it was not to deal with clean up on Christmas morning. Well. When my brothers and I walked down the stairs, we were absolutely HORRIFIED to see that Santa ‘forgot’ to wrap our presents. I’m pretty sure we all cried. Every year from then on, when we wrote our letters to Santa, we would make sure to include a note politely reminding him to make sure he wrapped the gifts. Later, when I found out about Santa, my mom said that was the biggest mistake she ever made and we each reminded her of it every year.” – Allie

8) “My mom got my first born a ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornament. She was so excited to hang it on the tree until I pointed out that she had the wrong year on it! My daughter was born in 2013, not 2014. I was cracking up while my poor mom was almost in tears, she was so upset. We still have it and never bothered correcting it. I love it just the way it is!” – Tara R

9) “My friend was getting ready to go out, while her older son and husband were busy playing with their new PlayStation. She yelled down to make sure they were including her four-year-old in their game too. The husband shouted back, ‘He’s fine! He’s pouring himself some chooclate milk! My friend yelled back that they don’t have chocolate milk. That’s when they realized he had gotten into her husband’s Christmas Bailey’s! He was pouring it into a cup and taking sips! He was okay but napped most of the day. They refer to it as their Christmas miracle!” – Lauren E

10) “I tried to be a good mom and do that thing where you have your kids unwrap a Christmas book each night for 25 nights. As soon as I turned my back, they opened them all of them at once.” – Suzanne L

11) “Two years ago, my 15 year-old daughter opened a box and looked at me strangely. I was confused until she turned it around to show me. Her present was full of empty boxes. I started laughing hysterically, because I had been wondering what happened to all my gift boxes the night before. I unintentionally wrapped them all in one big box!” – Victoria K

12) “Just after we finished decorating our tree, we lit a fire in the fireplace to sit back and enjoy. It started to get smoky, so I decided to crack the window next to the fireplace, which was behind the tree. Well, my big butt ended up knocking over the tree, landing on top of my then three-year-old and dangerously close to the open, burning fireplace, dumping all of the lights and ornaments in the process. My kid, now 11, still laughs about how I almost crushed him, almost set the house on fire, and wrecked the tree all in one move.” – Sara B

13) “My husband is a chef, and I’m a terrible cook. This thanksgiving, we bought a frozen turkey for the first time ever. While he was at work, I decided it would be a great idea to defrost the turkey so it was ready to go for him. I put the turkey in the sink, and put running water over it, like I’ve seen my husband do a million times before. I went about my day like normal, and didn’t return to the kitchen for another 2 hours. That’s when I found out that I had placed the turkey in such a way that it had closed off the drain in the sink! The sink filled up, overflowed and had been running for TWO HOURS. Our kitchen was totally flooded. Oh, and on top of that, I was defrosting the turkey with hot water, so it was basically boiling for those two hours and we couldn’t use it anymore. And that, is why I never, ever, ever cook.” – Kearsten N

14) “One year, before Christmas, my husband and I were taking out our tree ornaments, when I remarked to him that it was a good thing the bulbs were plastic, so that our three-year-old daughter would be safe if one of them fell. He told me that they were in fact NOT plastic, and I vehemently disagreed. To prove how sure I was that the bulbs in question were plastic, I threw one against the wall in front of me with a, “Look! See?” Well, it shattered, and apparently, wasn’t plastic after all. My husband got to give me his smug “I told you so” look. Still haunts my Christmas dreams to this day.” – Leah L

15) “This was back when my dad was a long haul trucker and it was just me, my sister, and my mom at home. I was in my late teens and my sister is a couple of years younger. Being the strong, independent women we were, we went to get the Christmas tree while dad was on the road, so that the house would be decorated when he got back. We got it home successfully, but the trunk was a few inches too long for the tree stand. No biggie. Dad is a tool junkie, so I went to his shop to grab a little circular saw. Half an hour later, my sister and I are in the front yard going to town on the tree, but the saw isn’t working properly. Plumes of thick, black, sap-tinged smoke are coming from the stump, while I saw, and saw, and saw some more. It took forever, but finally, the too-long bit of trunk falls to the ground in a thunk of success. My sister goes to inspect and says it doesn’t look normal, and she’s right— the trunk is as smooth as a glass coaster. Apparently, instead of a saw, I had grabbed a grinder/sander thing, and we’d ‘sawed’ through the trunk, leaving a perfectly pore-less stump. Okay. But a pore-less stump won’t soak up water. We’re resourceful, independent women, remember. Out come the ice picks, carving forks, and a hammer, and my sisters and I spent another half hour pounding holes so that the poor tree wouldn’t dry out and die. The whole thing was hilarious, the tree made it through New Year’s without turning into a fire hazard, and dad got a home depot gift card in his stocking to replace the tool we’d completely destroyed. Good times.” – Ashley J

16) “Last year I arranged for Santa Claus to come to my house on Christmas Eve so my boys, 5 and 7, could ‘catch him.’ They went to sleep at their normal time of 7:30pm and I had Santa arrive at 9PM. He made a racket as instructed but the kids didn’t wake up. So, I went into their rooms to shake them awake and told them there was something going on downstairs they needed to see. They still didn’t want to get up, so I had to practically drag them out of bed. They went downstairs and WERE NOT IMPRESSED that Santa was in their living room. They were tired and pissed and refused to speak to him!!! Poor Santa came all that way for nothing.” – Erika T

17) “We were living in a rental apartment after moving to another state, and were scheduled to move to our new house two days after Christmas, so everything was in boxes. I saw our local Boston Market was advertising holiday meals, so I planned on just picking that up for Christmas dinner. Except, when I drove over there on Dec 25th, they were closed! We ended up having Christmas dinner at IHOP, as it was the only place open! Just us and 120 of our closest friends!” – Jennifer L

18) “My husband tried to be ‘helpful’ one year when the kids were little and sent out all our holiday cards himself. He found our address list from our wedding three years before. Without checking with me, he just printed the cards and sent them out, exactly how it was set up three years ago. People had moved, people had died, people had broken up, gotten divorced, gotten married, etc. We laugh about it now.” – Katie E

19) “For the first year of my son’s life, he couldn’t sleep unless he was touching me. Well, during one late night slumber, I realized that I needed to order holiday cards before the sale ended at midnight. I was totally sleep deprived and the site kept on crashing because of heavy traffic. So I finally get in, quickly select the photo, type in our info and press order, all while my youngest is sleeping on my lap. A few minutes later, I had a funny feeling that I missed something, and yep! I forgot to include my son’s name on our holiday card! All while he was sleeping on top of me!” – Karen B

20) “Years ago, we got a new supervisor at work. He was a nice man, who moved his family from another state for his job. Fast forward a few years and his wife leaves him, his kids have nothing to do with him and he is living in a halfway house. My mother, my sister and I all work with him. I feel bad for him so I invite him to our Thanksgiving dinner. I never dreamed he’d show up. Well, in the middle of dinner, there’s a knock at the door. It’s him and his friend… TOTALLY SMASHED. The friend just walks in to living room, sits down and falls asleep. Our supervisor sits at the table and proceeds to drink all the wine, really nice expensive wine brought by my brother-in-law. I will never live that down.” – Tracie T

And the winner is…

#5 from Ryan C with the praying mantis story!

Congratulations! You won a $100 TaskRabbit credit, which you can use to make your life a little easier this holiday season. People usually use Taskers to run errands or assemble furniture, but they can also hang your Christmas lights, assemble toys, clean up before company comes over, deliver you a pair of Spanx for your next holiday party, or drag a bug infested tree out of the house in the middle of night. Oh my goodness what those people probably would have given to have someone else take care of that for them!!!! I’m going to have nightmares now too.

Please email allie@mommyshorts.com to claim your prize. If you didn’t win, you can still get $10 off your first task by using the code MOMMYSHORTS here. Valid now through January 5th!


This post was sponsored by TaskRabbit, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!