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6 Holiday Mishaps That Prove Everything Will Be Okay

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    If Christmas carols were an accurate representation of what the season is like, we'd be spending the month sleigh-riding through snow-dusted lanes, sipping eggnog by a roaring hearth, and — like magic — meeting attractive strangers beneath sprigs of mistletoe. IRL, you're more likely to find us sleeping off a holiday-party hangover or dashing around a pharmacy on our way to a celebration, hunting for anything that might pass as a secret-snowflake gift. Not exactly lyric-worthy.

    While the major discrepancies between our real-life holiday experiences and the songs we can't stop humming can sometimes make us feel like we're doing it all wrong (walking in a winter wonderland sounds far superior to slogging through snow and slush), we also know that even the most "whoops" moments can take a turn for the best. So, as a friendly reminder that these mishaps occasionally have a way of turning into our favorite, cherished memories, we teamed up with Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments and asked R29ers and readers alike to submit their true stories of holiday fails turned successes. Grab a candy cane and read the best of the best; you're about to find yourself in some seriously good company.

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    "When I was a teenager, my grandma had a hard time shopping for me, resulting in some hilariously bad guesses at what I might like. (The worst offender was a Spam cookbook.) Since then, it's become our tradition to try and top each other with the worst gifts ever. Have you ever given your grandma a bright-purple, velour Santa suit? Or a signed, framed photo of the Jersey Shore cast? I have."

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    "One Christmas, I somehow managed to get it together and have all my gifts wrapped and ready days in advance. I couldn't wait to head home to Maine and impress my family with my thoughtfully selected array. I was going to be a hero.

    "But when my brother came to pick me up, I was, of course, running late. Frazzled, I threw on some clothes, loaded the bags with the gifts into my arms, and started down five flights of stairs. That's when I tripped, and the presents proceeded down two flights on their own — my heart dropped at the sound of vases breaking. And that was the year I gave my family broken glass for Christmas. But hey, since then no one gives me a hard time about assembling my gifts the night before."

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    "Since my dad always goes to the supermarket late on Christmas Eve to find 'bargains,' we don't have a traditional Christmas meal — what we eat has historically varied. A lot. One year, he left the shopping for so late that there weren't many options, so we ended up having a BBQ on Christmas Day. I remember us all peering out of the window, watching him standing outside in the cold grilling burgers. Now we do it every year. At least we know what we're going to eat!"

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    "Last year, my very unreliable Tinder crush invited me to a New Year's Eve party, but, of course, accidentally gave me the wrong address, then didn't pick up his phone. Luckily, the apartment I arrived at was also having a party, and a great one at that. I stayed and ended up meeting my current boyfriend. Fate!"

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    "Late at night a couple of days before Christmas, after everyone had gone to sleep, my family's crazy cats tried to climb the Christmas tree and knocked it flat over. Almost every single ornament shattered, including the ones my siblings and I handmade in elementary school. We all ran downstairs, and everyone started crying. Then, we started laughing hysterically. It took hours to clean up the millions of little pieces, but the next day, we went crazy shopping for all new ornaments for each other, and my super-crafty mom somehow managed to repair the homemade ones. Thanks, kitties."