Do you remember the Christmas when…

With all the focus on making Christmas magical, sometimes, just sometimes, things can go wrong… spectacularly wrong!


We started sharing our stories of merry mishaps around the office, as well as with our colleagues in America and we had a real giggle! We thought, wouldn’t it be nice to hear stories from our customers and their families? We bet there are some crackers out there! So, we’re inviting you to join our Christmas Made Better group on Facebook (click here), post YOUR Merry Mishap to the page, along with any photos you may have and let everyone share your funny Christmas memory.

We’ll read them all (over a cup of tea and mince pie) and choose 3 of our favourites to feature in a special blog post in December, we’ll even have them illustrated. Closing date for all Merry Mishaps is Friday December 15th at 12pm.

To get you started, here are some from around the office:

When… Jon drummed up some support
Picture the scene: 11.30pm Christmas Eve. Excited kids have finally gone to sleep and now the fun begins. My wife, Sarah, and I are ready to wrap the children’s gifts. I pop out to the garage to bring in our oldest daughter’s main gift – a drum kit, which needs assembling. I unpack the boxes. Funny. No instructions. I go through all the boxes again with a slight feeling of terror creeping over me. It’s made worse because it’s not simply a matter of putting the kit together, the drums need building from scratch, screw by screw. By now it is past midnight, and of course, there are no instructions online either.

I’m not a practical man, so the thought of spending the next few hours trying to build a set of drums with no instructions fills me with dread, but needs must! I grab the essentials, screwdrivers, allen keys, hammer, wine and get to work. I eventually get it figured out, and finish putting it together at about 5am!

We cover it in wrapping paper, and make our way to bed, exhausted and hoping to grab an hour or two of sleep before the children spring out of bed and the frenzy of present opening begins. The house is pitch black, and I walk towards the staircase. I’m not sure if it is exhaustion or wine, but I completely forget there is a thick wooden support beam in the middle of the study. I walk into it at a fairly good pace, hitting the beam with my forehead, nose and knee all at the same time.

This causes three things to happen. Firstly, the contact makes a huge thumping noise and shakes the upstairs of the house. Secondly I yell out and fall backwards almost knocking myself out. Thirdly the noise and vibrations wake the dogs and the children. Sarah, always sympathetic, is convulsed with laughter as I roll about on the floor in pain.

So my Christmas morning begins with a thumping headache, a bruised forehead and nose, and having had no sleep, that lovely fuzzy feeling of jetlag combined with the cacophony of noise as three young children tear through their gifts surrounded by two over excited dogs.

Fortunately the children provided the perfect cure for tiredness with their impromptu jamming session on the drum-kit, and my sons new electric guitar. I do not wish it could be Christmas every day!

Excited children on Christmas morningWhen… all Shani’s Christmases came at once

I have one from when I was very small – maybe 4 or 5 years old. My late father had a haulage business  and of course his lorries were always super-busy delivering around the Christmas peak times. I must have been aware it was close to Christmas – as you do – you see the stuff on TV and in the shops.

Early one morning (I was always the first up) I came downstairs to find boxes and boxes of toys stacked in our living room. OK, they were not wrapped in gift paper nor were they stacked under the tree – but hey! Who cares, when you’re that young, even a plain box is exciting. I ripped open one to find a beautiful doll, I tore into another and found a toy train, another with a teddy… another and another… getting more and more excited, squealing with joy!

I must have woken my father up who came rushing downstairs to find me surrounded by fabulous toys. “No! No! NOOOOOO!!!!! They’re not yours” he shouted as he started grabbing them back and stuffing them back into their boxes.

Turns out one of his lorries had been in the process of delivering to the toy store in town and had broken down. Not wanting to risk leaving the contents in the back of a broken down truck somewhere on the road, he had brought all the boxes home for safety! Hmmm…. not safe from me though!

Wet Christmas presentsWhen… Kris’ children really believed in Santa

I’ll never forget Christmas, 2006. We were living in a 100-year old house with a “rustic” basement and limited storage. Our only good hiding place was this scary, dark room with stone walls and water pipes overhead. My husband and I were ahead of the game that year and wrapped the gifts early. Great idea, right? Well, in theory.

When we went to retrieve the gifts that night, we were horrified. A switch of the light revealed a pile of wet and slightly warped, very sad looking presents. Between wet walls from the deluge of intermittent rain and heavy snow, and a newly discovered leaky pipe, we were left with a mess. Drooping bows, curled corners, smeared name tags… There was no way to re-wrap all of them since our supplies were gone, so we shrugged our shoulders, stacked the gifts under the tree and turned a fan on low to dry them out.

We climbed into bed to the sound of more rain and sleet hitting our windows. The kids woke us at 5:30am, ran ahead of us downstairs, but stopped in their tracks. Will, age 6, and Annie, age 4, stared at the pile of disheveled packages with their mouths opened wide. “Annie, look,” Will said, creeping forward and carefully lifting one of the packages with his sister’s water-smeared name tag. “The presents got wet in the sleigh,” he finished, face flushed with excitement. “Santa IS real!”