Holiday Horror Stories: When ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ Gets Weird

Some students are excited to go home and reunite with their families for the holidays. Others…not so much. Some families are notorious for having disastrous experiences at gatherings, so certain students may have some difficulty getting excited. On the bright side, holiday horror stories provide “remember when” fodder for the next time everyone convenes!  Here are five Chapman students who have had holiday gatherings go south.

The Wannabe Elf

My mom and I were decorating the fresh Christmas tree my dad and I picked the day before. It’s our tradition to put the star on the tree together. Because this tree was so tall, my mom insisted on getting the ladder to place the star instead of standing on the couch as I usually do. I decided with star in hand to leap for the top of the tree. In what turned out to be an epic Elf move, I took the whole tree with me on my way down.

-Sarah Kaino, junior communications and theater major.


The Drunk Reveal

My family get-togethers have always been a little crazy, as drinking is part of it. When I was 15, my extended family on my dad’s side came for Christmas Eve. The dinner was going great until my very intoxicated uncle spilled that he secretly dated my dad’s ex after college. My uncle thought it was hilarious but my dad started yelling at him, creating a screaming match between the two of them. My mom ended up storming out of the dining room and it was just silent for a good 10 minutes.

-Melissa Olsen, sophomore strategic corporate communication major.



Canine Christmas Saboteurs

My parents bought my siblings and I baskets filled with chocolate, cookies and all that good sweet stuff. Some of the treats were baked by my grandma from Japan so those baskets were really special. On Christmas morning, we woke up to chocolate… everywhere. My four dogs murdered the baskets, the crumbs and sweets stained all the carpets. My parents were not too happy about cleaning chocolate stains on Christmas.

-Stephanie Parish, freshman history major.


The Wandering Geese

My family and I were going to a ski resort the week before Christmas. We trudged through snow for 20 minutes to get to our resort cabin. The door for our cabin would not budge and we pushed on it for a good five minutes. When a woman opened the door, we realized we went to the wrong cabin. The woman didn’t even flinch when she saw all of us in puffy jackets standing outside her door. She invited us in for cocoa which was super nice! But after that, we realized we went the wrong way and had to walk another 40 minutes to get back to our cabin. By then we had lost all feeling in our toes, hands, and faces.

-Riley Kendall,  junior biochemistry major.


Extra Brandy for the Extra Family

My aunt was making sangria for Thanksgiving. Our family likes sangria and family get-togethers are a good excuse for it. Her recipe calls for brandy and she poured in a whole jug. But the pomegranate juice disguised the taste, so people drank it like fruit juice. My family tends to let out all their problems when they’re drunk. They rambled about their childhood and blamed each other for their present problems. Oh – and I threw up.  

-Axl Avenue, sophomore strategic and corporate communications major.



Julia Ha and Jasmine Liu

Leave a Reply