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.