People From Around The World Share Their Saddest Christmas Stories

People From Around The World Share Their Saddest Christmas Stories

When fall comes around, everyone starts thinking about Christmas. People are getting their shopping lists ready and picking up items for their parties. For kids, this is the perfect opportunity to show off how good they've been during the year.

Unfortunately, Christmas can also bring some very sad and tragic episodes. We're not talking about getting the wrong size of clothes or the wrong video game system, either. Many times, people encounter terrible family situations, illness, or death. Anyone who watches the news will hear about something horrific happening during the holiday. Having to deal with a terrible scenario is something no one expects during such a joyous season. Unfortunately, the hardships of life can't simply take a holiday break.

The following people recently shared their saddest Christmas stories, in the hope of inspiring others to persevere through hard times.


45. Bringing Family Closer Together

Last December, I was getting ready to celebrate Christmas with my family over webcam, like I had done the past few years when I get a call from my family. They told me I should try and come home as soon as possible because my grandfather was in the hospital and it wasn't looking good.

To get emergency leave, I had to get a statement from the Red Cross. They contacted me and my supervisor, saying the yes my grandfather was in the hospital, and it looked like he had about 24-48 hours. I immediately bought a plane ticket for that night. The ticket was the cheapest one available at $2,100 and was the only one I could afford.

I had a five-hour layover in LA before flying to Boston. When I landed in LA, I called my mother who was with my grandfather. She put the phone up next to his ear -- he couldn't talk, but he could hear me. I told him that I was on my way and I would be there soon. My mother said that he nodded when I said that. After I was done talking to everyone, I had to go get some food, so I hung up.

However about an hour later, the phone rang. It was my mom. My grandfather had passed. I had not been able to get there, I wasn't even close. Now, I know that there is nothing that I could have done differently to get there faster, but I will always feel guilty about it.

I did end up coming home for Christmas, but the reason I was home made me wish it had never happened and that I had spent another Christmas on a computer screen. My grandfather was like a second father to me, and I will miss him a lot. But I will honor him by following my dreams. He was just as stubborn as I am, and was always gardening, getting ready for winter, chopping and stacking wood, no matter how he felt.

It was the worst Christmas that I have ever had, but I spent it with my family and had a good time. Which is what he would have wanted. Heck, he would call me a wuss if I didn't have a good time. Sorry I couldn't make it home for you Gramps.


44. Some Horrible Reminders

My dad was like Father Christmas to me. He struggled a lot with depression and Christmas was one of the few times when my family was truly happy. Dad loved Christmas. In September, he would start preparing ideas for foods and making preserves. He would even put together a menu for our dinner.

When I woke up on Christmas morning at 16, I didn't know why but everything felt wrong. Nothing was really unusual. Dad was being his usual goofy self, calling my brother and I downstairs to see if Santa had come -- even though we were both way too old for that. I was walking out of our living room as he walked in. Suddenly, he collapsed into my arms.

He died of a massive heart attack. A few days before his death, he told me that whatever happens, I should always keep Christmas special. It has been 10 years and I feel guilty that I can't keep that promise. When shops start selling Christmas products and people start posting countdowns, I just see him there again trying to hold himself up before collapsing into me.


Steven Depolo/Flickr

43. Preventing A Tragedy

Around the 10th of December, I noticed my cat was acting funny when I woke up in the morning. He was ignoring me instead of begging for food and meowing to wake me up, so I went to stroke him. He made that weird cat growl sound and hissed at me. I thought nothing of it and I went to work as usual.

But worry got the better of me. During my lunch break, I came home to check on him, and I heard him crying in his litter tray. Then he came out, and to get my attention he squatted down in front of me. That's when I noticed drops of blood on the floor, trailing behind him.

I rushed him to the vet and found out he has a urinary tract obstruction, and his bladder had swollen significantly. This is why he growled when I stroked him in the morning, as it was painful for him to be touched on the body. The vet had to flush out his tract to get rid of the grit and crystals that had formed and put a catheter in him. We had to take him to the overnight vet for constant monitoring throughout the night.

Five days of staying at the regular vet during the day and overnight emergency vet during the nights, and a £3,500 vet bill later, he was on the mend, and able to finally come home with us (albeit a bit battered and bruised where he had forced the cone off his head, ripped out two catheters, and had to be put on a drip a couple of times).

It took him a while to grow back his fur and for the bruises on his nose to disappear, but he's been right as rain since. Will have to feed him rather expensive cat food for the rest of his life, but he's worth every penny.



42. Holiday In The Hospital

Just last year, my stepdad's mother had surgery for a tumor. The surgery went really badly, and she was admitted to hospice with a week or so to live. This was the last week of November. Anyway, three weeks later she's still kicking.

I got called into work, and she lives in a different city. So my family all went to visit her and I had to stay back and catsit and work. I worked 12 hours Christmas Day, not knowing if she would make it through the day. She did. And since then she has actually recovered to live a normal life -- at least until the tumor gets too big again.


41. Bringing The Mood Down

I had to do a death notification on Christmas Eve. A man in his late 60's had had heart surgery in November. At about 3:00 on December 24th he was at his physical therapist's when he suffered a massive heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where he died during surgery. The hospital (supposedly) couldn't reach his wife so they asked my police department to make the notification.

There were plates of food on the table (for the Christmas Eve family gathering), a huge pile of presents under the tree, and pictures of kids and grandkids all around. I had to tell the woman that her husband was dead, call her son and priest, and then wait with her in middle of what was supposed to have been an extra special Christmas.


40. You Are Cordially Univited

My kids were seven and four at the time. My parents lived 1,000 miles away and my wife was fighting with hers.

Every year, my wife’s uncle invites everyone over on Christmas Day and goes all out for the little kids, and my kids loved it. But my mother-in-law told him and everyone else to uninvite us or she would not go. So on Christmas Day we get the call that we are not invited because she does not want us there or to see her grandkids. My wife was very sad but we made the best of it.


39. Won't Be A "Next Time"

My dad had a brain aneurysm on December 22nd last year. I didn't get to see him very often, but my sister and I were extremely lucky to spend a couple of hours with him the night before. We had spicy chicken bites for dinner and watched a movie together. Not quite closure, but I'm glad I had the chance to make one last fond memory with him. My brother didn't even get that. He decided not to come because he was playing a game. There's always next time, right? He'll probably regret that for the rest of his life.


38. Back To Back Christmas Horror

My ex-fiance dumped me less than a week before Christmas. Just sent me an email calling everything off, not just the wedding, everything. It was like the world fell out from under me. We'd dated for six years, and been through a lot. He was one of the few constants in my life. The next year, my aunt died at Christmas. She was 60 and had been sick since the time she was 12.




37. No Room At The Inn

The hotel I booked for my partner and I was double-booked and we had no room for the night on Christmas Eve. It was raining and storming and we were in an unknown town and had nowhere else to stay, so we both tried to sleep in the back of my Fiat 500. A very sore back and awful night sleep was not what we wanted for Christmas.


36. Leaving On A Jet Plane

My mother had to fly to Ukraine on Christmas Eve because her brother had died. I remember hearing her crying very hard and waking up. She came into my room and told me the news. I never had a relationship with my uncle, so I just held her really close. Then I said goodbye and went to sleep again. My little brother was really sad when he woke up and mom wasn't there.


35. It's What They Wanted, Though

Every Christmas for the past couple of years, my mom and I have always ended up fighting about literally anything. One year she went on a trip before the holidays and asked me to put the Christmas tree up, but she told me to wait on putting the ornaments on so we could do it together. She came home from her trip and then yelled at me for not doing it and then told me to take the tree down. I've spent Christmas in my room or at other people's houses, feeling crappy. It's another one of those holidays that could pass by and I'd be happy about it.


34. You're A Mean One

Someone went full Grinch once, about 12 years ago, broke into my sister's house and stole all their Christmas gifts (and nothing else) from under their tree. Thankfully, they were still broke newly-weds and there wasn't anything terribly expensive, but, it was still pretty crappy. My brother-in-law had a ring made from one of my grandmother's diamonds, and he had hidden the wrapped box inside the branches of the tree and it was the only gift they didn't steal.


33. Constant Back And Forth

My parents split up on Dec 23, just two days before Christmas. What made it worse is that our family was currently visiting New Zealand (we had moved from New Zealand to Switzerland three years ago) and we were staying with my mum's parents, so my dad went to the city his family was in (three hours away) for the rest of the trip and us kids spent alternating weeks in each of the cities. It was still nice to be back there and see my friends though.


32. Passed With Flying Colors

I was dealing with pneumonia for a month in 2014. Bedridden, coughing up so much mucus and blood. Binged-watched My Little Pony. It was torture. Mom said enough is enough and took me to the emergency room on Christmas Eve. There the nurse gave me the flu test. You know in ancient Egypt when people got mummified and a stick went up their nose to grab a chunk of their brain? Thats the flu test. Most painful second of my life. Well, that and the six or seven times I coughed so hard I felt my innards moved inside my body. I told the nurse this but she didn't believe me.


31. No Home On Christmas

My parents’ house was foreclosed. The date the bank wanted us out of the house was on Christmas Eve. I was a sophomore in college and living on my own, but I spent my Christmas break helping my parents pack up my childhood home. It was messed up, and we didn’t have a Christmas that year. It really hurt a lot, and even the next Christmas wasn’t the same. This was about five years ago, and things are better now, but it was rough.


30. Dog Days Are Over

My dog died four days before Christmas of 2015. I used to love Christmas. Now I loathe it and actively avoid it at all costs. That dog meant the world to me and I can never ever get him back. Every time Christmas season rolls around (like right now) and the stores start putting stuff out, it kills me. Two years he’s been gone and it still feels like he left me yesterday.

29. No Bouquets In Sight

My transplanted kidney was slowly failing for its whole five and half years, but it finally quit on December 23, a day before I was supposed to leave for a warm family Christmas trip and nine days before I was to be maid of honor for my best friend's destination wedding.

The family was already at the destination, so they cut their trip short and came back; my husband's family cancelled their plans and looked after our pets. My husband didn’t leave my side. I spent a month in the hospital recovering and being trained on home dialysis (the hospital was three hours from our house).

I spent the day of my friend's wedding crying in my hospital bed, wishing I was there. The other bridesmaids sent me pictures and texts all day long. I was still on dialysis the next Christmas, but at least I didn’t have to spend it in a hospital bed. I got my second transplant this past February and already have the best Christmas planned with all the friends and family who had given up their plans that Christmas two years ago!


28. Losing An Old Friend

My cat, who had been around since the day I was born, died on Christmas day when I was 11 years old. Christmas Eve was difficult because we knew she wasn’t doing well and the next morning after opening presents my mom decided it was best to take her to the vet and have her put down because she couldn’t even walk anymore.

It was really hard because I had never known a life without that cat and I remember feeling dread and worry all Christmas Eve in fear that she wouldn’t make it. She did live a long and happy 19 years, but I still miss her to this day.


27. An Uncomfortable Time To Want Out

My mom asked dad for a divorce on Christmas Eve. She was planning on waiting until after the holidays but they got in a fight and she let it out. I already knew a divorce was in the works but my twin and dad were blindsided (she swore me to secrecy). We still went as a family that night to my dad's parents' house. It was pretty crappy all around since my uncles and aunts were all mean to my mom. My sister was withdrawn the whole evening. Sadly, I don’t even remember what my dad was like that night.


26. Plenty More Fish In The Sea

When I was in high school, I had a boyfriend who I was really into and he was going to come over and spend Christmas Eve with me and my family. We were having some issues earlier that month but nothing too bad. Then, a couple of days before Christmas Eve, we got into a big fight over something stupid. We made up a day later. Christmas Eve came around and he texted me saying he couldn’t do it anymore and he dumped me on Christmas Eve. That was a pretty lousy Christmas.



25. Told You So

I have a friend, one of those guys that falls off the face of the earth when he has a girlfriend. He had gotten married, a wedding I was pointedly not invited to. Then I get a call on Christmas Eve. She met someone else, he had to move out NOW. So after like three years of no contact, I went and helped him move back to his mom's. He was crushed, and not only did he have to move home but his mom and brother wouldn't help because they had "told him this was going to happen."


24. A Legitimate Reason For Avoiding The Holidays

My mom never had any Christmas spirit. One Christmas, she was just being grumpy and I jokingly said, “Mom you're a real-life Grinch, where’s your Christmas spirit? Relax and have fun and stop fighting with everyone.” I was being sarcastic and joking, but she replied with, "You want to know why I have no Christmas spirit? When I was five my dad came home blitzed, threw all the Christmas presents in the fireplace and threw the Christmas tree out on the front lawn. THAT'S WHY I HAVE NO CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!"

I never met my grandfather, I always knew he was a jerk... but that’s deep space cold.


23. Ashes To Ashes

My house burned down a week before Christmas my freshman year in high school. Needless to say, I was a different kid before and after the event. It changed the course of my high school experience, not just that Christmas. We’re doing great now, though, so all is well that ends well!


22. One Hectic December

In September of 2013, my son was born. In early November 2013, we went to visit my dad, who had terminal lung cancer, and that was the last time we saw him. About a week after that, my husband basically collapsed and it turned out his intestines had holes in them, so he had emergency surgery. In December of 2013, my dad died. A few days after that, my husband ended up on life support.

On Christmas eve, I was sat down and told I might need to get his papers in order because it was likely he'd be gone within the year. I've never really been able to process the loss of my dad because of what came after. I had a three-month-old baby and a frightened four-year-old to keep safe. I still go to text my dad, or I see something I want to buy for him, or someone with his build or hair color and I can't breathe. Thankfully, my husband recovered.

21. Making A Rough Decision

There were only two presents under the Christmas when I was eight -- both of them were for me. We were broke and my parents chose me over them. That absolutely crushed me as a kid and made me feel ashamed to be so poor. Years later, I cashed in the money I saved up and got them gifts too, even though we were better-off financially at that point and could afford to get everyone gifts.

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20. One Last Celebration

My brother had sarcoma. He had been through a lot -- chemo, an intense surgery, a bone marrow transplant. Our dad had been diagnosed with leukemia and suffered irreversible brain damage from his treatment, so he is in a wheelchair. He is also a very large man, about 380 pounds and six feet tall. I quit my job and moved in with my parents to help my mom. My sister was home from her senior year of college.

My brother woke up on Christmas morning with an extremely high fever. Mom shook my sister and I awake at 6 a.m. to tell us they were leaving for the hospital. She did not wake up my father to inform him. She left that to my sister and I. We were only 24 and 20. Our dad got angry and violent with us. We spent the day alone with our raging brain injury patient, looking at the wrapped presents under the tree, trying to figure out what parts of Christmas dinner we could freeze.

The hospice service at the hospital let our brother come home for one day a month later on to "celebrate Christmas". My sister went back to school. My mom lived at the hospital with my brother. I watched dad. My brother never left the hospital again. He died there at 23 years old the following April.


19. Pain Behind The Smile

When I was about seven years old my grandad died late at night on Christmas Eve. My parents didn't want to "ruin Christmas" so my Mum tried to keep it together all day for our benefit after what was obviously a horrible night for her. She finally broke down over Christmas dinner and my dad took me and my brother into another room to break the news. Huge respect for her for showing that strength.


18. Washed Away Memories

My sister's house was broken into and trashed just before Christmas. The thieves took her gifts, along with those for her husband and kids plus all those she'd bought or made for extended family and friends. Then to add insult to injury they unwrapped everything in a bit of waste ground around the corner and dumped the paper along with the gifts they didn't want. So all the handmade things ended up dumped in the rain.


17. A Christmas Mourning

My granny died on Christmas day. She'd had cancer for about 18 months, but by this point we'd long since known it was terminal. My dad, sister, and I were at our house (we were teenagers, mum and dad wanted to keep Christmas as normal as possible) and my mum was with my granny 50 miles away. For whatever reason, I woke up at like 3 am and went to get a glass of water, and I went downstairs and my mum was in the kitchen, just staring at the kettle. I said, "She's gone, isn't she?" and she burst into tears. Christmas has never really been the same since.


16. No Exchange For Life

In our tight-knit group of family and friends, one of those friends was in a fatal car accident on a road we travel every day. On Christmas Eve, while we were at my in-laws doing their annual secret Santa gift exchange dinner and get together, several people received phone calls being told their friend and roommate had passed. Odds are, he was on his way to my in-laws to wish them and everyone he knew a Merry Christmas in person, as was his way. Shattered a bunch of people's lives that day. Shouldn't happen at Christmas.


15. Some Unexpected Guests

My favorite aunt has suffered from an auto-immune disease that affects her spine (she experiences severely painful “attacks” and cannot move without the help of powerful pain killers). She has suffered from this disease for as long as I can remember. This Christmas, 2016, we all had a normal and wonderful Christmas, but the day after, which is also my aunt’s birthday, she had a horrible “attack” and had to be taken away in an ambulance. Picture five firemen and women (we live close to a fire station) running into our house with a stretcher and machines, surrounded by Christmas decorations and presents strewn about. Seriously depressing way to end the holidays.


14. Cheapskate On Christmas

A friend of my parents, a father of two, was a ridiculous Scrooge. He sought out any opportunity to save money or, even better still, not spend any at all.

So this guy came over to my parents for Christmas one year, and my parents asked where his kids and wife were. He told us that he had threatened the kids weeks before, when they were misbehaving, with not buying them any Christmas presents if they didn't stop. They didn't, so he stayed true to his word. The kids and wife were a bit upset, so he told them to stay at home and he went to Christmas dinner at my parents' house alone.

We all knew that him not buying presents had nothing to do with misbehavior, it was simply an excuse not to spend any money. My parents actually told him he was being quite cruel, but he didn't care. Plus, he was getting a free meal out of my parents, so to him, it would have been a double bonus.



13. A Tough Confession To Make

The night before Christmas, when I was about 10 years old, my parents had to sit us kids down and confess that Santa didn't exist because we didn't have enough money for more than one present each and they didn't want us to think we had been bad kids. I remember my dad breaking down crying, saying it'd had been a crappy year. It was the hardest time I ever had not crying because I knew it'd only make it worse for him to have us crying too. Christmas really hasn't been the same since then; he feels like he failed us. That was a year of growing up for sure, and the first and only time I've ever seen him cry.

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12. One Less Seat To Fill

My former landlord (a nice, relatively healthy/fit 54-year-old woman) was at work, walking upstairs to get some Christmas decorations for their upcoming work Christmas party, and collapsed in the stairwell. She had a massive "cardiac event." This happened last year on December 16 and although I wasn't super close to her, my Christmas was gloomy because I couldn't stop thinking of her husband, kids, and grandkids who had to go forward and endure Christmas festivities without her so soon.


11. Christmas Cancelled In This House

My mom's second husband was a prolific and celebrated jerk who HATED anything he could not control. One year, on Christmas Eve, his only teenage daughter was being a brat to him because she was a teenage girl. After she told him off for something, his response was to rip the Christmas tree out of the stand and throw it out into the yard, ornaments and lights attached. He did this in front of my grandparents and the rest of my extended family.


10. There's A Fever Coming

I had a bad case Scarlet Fever that lasted (between illness and recovery) from Thanksgiving to just after Christmas. I was in 2nd grade at the time, and one of the few things I remember was my mom holding me over the toilet trying not to cry while I begged and pleaded with her to tell Santa that all I wanted for Christmas was for this sickness to go away or just to die.

During my illness, I had lost a lot of weight and the rash that Scarlet Fever presents with was itchy huge. I was severely dehydrated, I threw up almost every day and my mom had to force-feed me the penicillin (which I will never forget the taste or smell of, I had the chalky horse pills). My fever was so high from time to time that I would hallucinate and I was also sleepwalking.

When you have Scarlet Fever and it starts to go away, your skin starts peeling like a sunburn. My skin pretty much fell off or slid off like in a horror movie. I think I stopped believing in Santa and God after that, because I prayed to both that I had been so good all year and I promised I would clean my room every day and get straight As for the rest of my life and I would be the best kid ever if I could just get better. But on Christmas day I still wasn't well, and I just wanted to go outside and lay in the snow until I went to sleep.

When I first got the diagnosis, my doctor had me in a tent in a room and kept calling in different people, I assume med students, to poke and prod at me and take pictures of me and I had to have my throat swabbed a bunch of times. They told me it would last about a week or two, and when it didn't stop they almost hospitalized me but they ended up letting me go home. I don't remember why or if they changed my meds or anything but I was home for most of the duration of the sickness.


9. Flowers For A Broken Heart

We went to watch The Hobbit on Christmas Eve in San Francisco. On the way back home, we had to take the subway home and saw a lady at the station bawling her eyes out. We nded up talking to her and found out that her fiancé of four years had left her for another woman. He had told her as he was walking her to the subway station for her to go home. He immediately left and didn’t look back. I felt bad for the lady and bought her some flowers.


8. Coming Home To Tragedy

My cat, who I'd had for 10 years, died on Christmas eve 2012. I'd rushed her to two different vets when she fell ill that morning, the second vet said she'd be okay, gave her fluids and sent her home with medication. She died that night while I was at work, which was then at Walmart. I spent my rent money trying to save her, and didn't. I wish I'd simply let her pass comfortably, but none of the vets said it was that bad, when in retrospect, it absolutely was.

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7. Hard To Breathe

As I was on my way to buy some cheap ramen and popcorn (because that's all I could afford) to celebrate Christmas, passing by houses seeing families being joyful and happy made me tear up. As I went back to my apartment, I played Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas song on my phone to at least have some Christmassy vibes in my boring room while eating the ramen and popcorn and try to call my friends to greet them some Merry Christmas. Then my breathing started to get bad, that's when my asthma attacked. Luckily, I found an extra inhaler that saved my life.

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6. Cherish The Memories

My grandma passed away on Christmas Eve when I was a kid. She only went into the hospital for a broken hip, but it turns out she fell in the first place due to a tumor on her pituitary gland. She died a week or so later. Grandma always said she didn't want to die near Christmas because she had so many great Christmas memories with all the family -- honestly it was just the WORST.

I could never have fathomed a more silent and broken holiday. Now we just like to look back and think of all the happy times at Christmas, like when she tripped and pulled the tree down on herself while decorating it, or when she did a "pass the parcel" game but forgot that her CD player couldn't pause a song!


5. Discarded On Christmas

I was working, I think two years ago (I'm an RN) on Christmas Eve. We received a patient through the ER. When I received the report from the ER, it didn't sound like anything was wrong with him. The nurse gave a huge sigh and said, "His dad dropped him off at his mother's skilled nursing facility."

His dad just couldn't take care of him anymore (the patient was in his 40's but autistic and needed a caregiver at all times) so he dropped him off where his mother was getting chemotherapy treatments. But the facility obviously couldn't take him, so they drove him to the closest ER.

The poor thing! He was so confused, hurt, and lost. And he was severely autistic. He couldn't speak, and every time we tried to work with him he would try to hit us and scream so loudly. It was the saddest thing I'd ever seen -- and to think his dad abandoned him on Christmas Eve.

4. Three Simple Words

Every year, my mom’s grandma stays at our house for Christmas. Her husband passed almost 30 years ago, and most of her/our family is estranged after fighting pretty nastily over details of his will. She was 85 that year and was super proud of her excellent health — would always brag that she’d never had to take medication other than a multivitamin in her life.

Like usual, Great Grandma comes to our house, and we make fudge, listen to Christmas music, etc. She loves games — for decades, she’s started out each morning with a pastry and a round of Solitaire — and we were all gathered around the table playing one of her favorite card games. I was sitting to her left, my mom sitting left of me, around the dining room table. We’re playing the game and I look over at her and she’s weirdly frozen, a faint smile on her face. I was confused, just staring at her. My mom looked at her and screamed, jumping over me and grabbing her.

She’s yelling, “Gram! Gram!” and starts sobbing. My brain connects that something awful is happening and I call 911. I was so calm, I don’t know how I did it. My mom was literally screaming next to me. I tell the dispatcher we need an ambulance, my grandma has had a stroke or something. I’m giving them information and as I’m on the phone, I kneel down next to my gram, who hasn’t moved. She still has this frozen half-smile on her face and her eyes are glazed over. I looked in her eyes, put my hand on hers, and mouthed “I love you.”

I watched her eyes unglaze for a second; they looked like someone was behind them, and she mouthed it back: “I love you.” T hen she went completely unresponsive again. I kept talking to the dispatcher but it was so surreal. Without doubt, I thought those were her last words to me or to anyone. To make an already long story short, her blood sugar went out of whack and she had an unresponsive episode.

After Christmas, she started having more issues and her health has started failing. She’s not allowed to eat her morning pastries and she doesn’t have the energy to play Solitaire anymore. It’s really hard to watch, and we think this might be her last Christmas. But we were really lucky to have gotten her back that day. We all really thought she was dying. And I will never forget how it felt to watch her come out of the episode for a few seconds to tell me she loved me.


3. Right Out The Door

After being married for one day shy of six months, my husband informed me he wanted a divorce and kicked me out of the house on Christmas Eve. He stood in the doorway and watched while I put all of my things into my car. I was too ashamed to tell my family since they all told me not to marry him, so I went over to my aunt's house as planned for typical Christmas Eve festivities and told them he had to stay home because he had a fever. Later that night, I broke down and told my mom and I ended up staying with her for a while until I found a new place to live.


2. The Hardest Phone Call

My grandmother had been suffering from chronic issues -- strokes, dementia. It wasn't looking too good, and the last time I'd seen her had been two years prior after she had been put into one of those old people's homes, which was enough to depress even 10-year-old me.

Anyway, we had a whole bunch of family over at my place for Christmas and I, being the 12-year-old on Christmas morning, was up at like 6 a.m., really raring to get to the gift giving. Everyone else was still asleep when the phone rang, so I picked it up, hoping it wouldn't disturb their rest of the family.

"Is this the Anon residence?" a voice asked.

I said yes, no idea the storm that was about to hit me.

"Yes... this is -old person home- and we regret to inform you that -Anon's grandmother- passed away early this morning. If you could call back at your earliest convenience, that would be great. Happy holidays." She hung up and I ended up having to tell my dad that his mom had died on Christmas morning.


1. The Sound Of Silence

Mom accidentally dropped the turkey when making Christmas dinner. It was still in its pan, even after being dropped, just some drippings spilled out, so not much harm done. Dad yells at her for not being careful, she yells at him for distracting her. The argument escalates until she just up and walks out of the house. A few hours later, he quietly sends one of my siblings out to go find her. We ate dinner in bone-chilling silence.