It’s the holiday season, a time of year when we flood social media with our best stories and photos while searching online for ideas to make the little touches around our home that much more memorable. We most often see people in heartwarming moments, because that is what we choose to share. But as we know, life is not only a collection of harmonious celebrations. Behind lovely family photos are often stories of angst. With each Pinterest success there are many hidden disasters.
Today, rather than dazzle you with my greatness, I am choosing to share some of my best holiday fails. My history with yuletide missteps extends back to my childhood when I sang “these eggshells are stale” at the top of my lungs at Mass because that was what I thought was being sung instead of “in excelsis deo.” Since then I have taken my share of festive stumbles, some figuratively (exploding cornbread) and some literally (down the steps with a cup of coffee and presents in hand). For the sake of brevity, I will share just a few.
Let’s start with my first New Year’s Eve as an official adult. Living with my then boyfriend/now husband in our very own apartment on the West Coast, I decided to invite a few friends over for dinner. Feeling homesick for my family, I decided to try a big seafood dinner like I remembered from childhood. I made enough to feed an army. Not having sufficient food storage containers yet, I attempted to clean up by cramming vast amounts of linguini with clams down the garbage disposal. Once everyone left, I turned on the dishwasher and hit the sack. Around 2 AM we heard the flood. Out in the kitchen, the sink was overflowing with slimy, buttery, noodle-infused clam water. Not only did I have insufficient food storage, but I also had insufficient cleaning supplies. My wonderful BF/future hubby when out to a 24 hour drug store to buy mops, buckets, rubber gloves and whatever else we could use to deal with the mess. We were up most of the night, ringing in the new year while wringing out seafood soaked dish rags.
Yet I am not one to be deterred! As the years went on, I continued to attempt to grow into a domestic goddess. One year for a friend’s Christmas party, I decided that I wanted to make hot buttered rum for everyone. How adult! Hot winter beverages to enjoy over board games by a fire! I imagined everyone ooo’ing and aaahhh’ing. I followed the direction to make the creamy butter concoction and scooped the thick substance into mugs while adding a dollop of rum and water. I thought it seemed odd to be so paste-like. Was this what everyone always loved at winter? It wasn’t until after the party that I realized I switched the proportions. I was supposed to add a dollop of the butter mixture into a glass of rum and water, not the other way around. I essentially served my friends a cholesterol bomb in a mug that wouldn’t even get them buzzed, and those lovely people attempted to choke it down.
My can-do attitude continued into the era of having children. When my first son was born, I really wanted to get some newborn photos for Christmas cards. Everyone always has such lovely pictures of babies in dapper outfits wishing you happy holidays. However, I was so spent with being a new mom that dealing with getting a photographer seemed out of reach, so I thought I would just take photos myself. I figured I’d throw a sheet over some cushions, prop up the baby, and get at least one winning photo. I can do that, right? Wrong. So, so wrong.
I have never hesitated to hire a professional photographer since.
You can see my pattern. Despite my best efforts, things just don’t seem to always come together as I intend. I most often share the good moments with everyone, but know that there is always a gag reel that far exceeds the main feature.
I will leave you with one more story. Last year, a friend gave me a bag filled with Christmas gifts. One day during a rare quiet moment, I pulled out what appeared to be a lovely confection. It was soft and white with peppermint accents, and I couldn’t wait to try it. I had been so busy, and I wasn’t going to share this with anyone. It was just for me. I took a big bite and then realized my friend didn’t give me candy. She gave me a bath bomb. Foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog, I started yelling “It’s soap! It’s soap!” to no one in particular, as I was home alone with my shame.
However your holidays come together this year, I hope your highs outnumber your lows. But if they don’t, come back, re-read this and know I am off somewhere doing something ridiculous.
What have been some of your best holiday fails?
This has been an original post for World Moms Blog by Tara B.
Photo credit for broken Christmas ornament to Laura Bittner. This photo has a creative commons attribute license.
Photo credit of baby to author.