Do you remember any holiday disasters from your life? Although they may have seemed like an epic failure at the time, they’re now hopefully the source of belly laughter and fond memories. Here are a few holiday disaster-turned-memory stories for when you’re tempted to take life too seriously.
“John and I got married during the holidays 25 years ago,” says Kathy Schleier. “We went to Canada for our honeymoon to ride the transcontinental railway from Edmonton to Vancouver. Our first night in Edmonton, the fire alarm went off at 3AM and we had to stand outside in 20 below weather while they checked the hotel. This should have been a sign.
“Our train to Vancouver arrived two hours late because kids in Montreal were playing chicken on the tracks. Halfway to Vancouver, the front engine of the train froze and stopped. Then it lost power to heat water and cook, so no meals were served in the dining room.
“We finally arrived in Vancouver, much later than scheduled, picked up our rental car and drove to our hotel. The next day, we planned to visit Victoria. As we were pulling into our hotel, it started snowing. We had heard Vancouver got very little snow. That night we had a record snowfall and everything shut down. So much for our visit to Victoria! We look back now and laugh, but it was not funny at the time. We were really disappointed.”
The Schleiers finally made it to Victoria to celebrate their 23rd anniversary.
Susan Bosworth recalled several years ago when their extended family gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving.
“We spent the day playing games and catching up,” says Bosworth. “A beautiful table was set. Everyone found their place at the table, and the food was laid out. My mom opened the oven door to a raw turkey. She forgot to turn on the oven. The funniest part is that no one noticed that the smell of turkey was NOT in the air!”
In 1976, Gene Blair was a new 2nd lieutenant in the Army. He and his wife, Vicki, were stationed in Germany.
“I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and more, all sitting on top of the stove and counter ready to eat,” says Mrs. Blair. “I turned around to put ice in our glasses and heard an explosion! Then, I turned back around and my pumpkin pie was sliding down into the hot burner. I had neglected to turn it off after cooking the green beans. The pie plate had shattered out from under the pie and covered every bit of food in sight! We threw it all in the trash, put on our coats and went to the mess hall. We spent our first Thanksgiving with 200 men. They thanked us for coming and we knew it was where we were supposed to be.”
Even the best laid holiday plans can go south between now and the new year. Keep calm, carry on and remember the importance of relationships. When things get a little crazy, remind yourself that you’re just creating great memories for future holiday celebrations!