Holiday Entertaining

7 Holiday-Party Horror Stories

Should a drink spill or chutney make its way onto your new sofa, at least you can take heart knowing that you sidestepped these more dramatic disasters.

Woman after partyImage Source, Getty IMages

“The House Reeked of Eggs.”

The day of a Christmas party, we had a clogged sink in our kitchen. It cleared after a few hours of snaking, but our place smelled like rotten eggs for the first hour of the party.
Elizabeth Zielinski
Chantilly, Virginia


“My Wedding China Came Crashing Down.”

When I opened my hutch to get a wineglass during a Christmas party, the shelf gave out, sending all my wedding china smashing to the tile floor below.
Melissa Lunn Douglas
Phoenix, Arizona


“Fondue Explosion!”

For a fondue party, I accidentally put baking soda into the pot instead of cornstarch. It started bubbling up and over the pot like a yellow volcano.
Kristin Anderson
Croton-on-Hudson, New York


“The Christmas Tree Fell Over.”

My mom loves to recount the time our tree toppled onto some guests, spilling drinks on the gifts. Now we tie the tree to the window frame with fishing line.
Chelsea Lancaster
Cromwell, Connecticut


“My Guest Puked.”

In the middle of my party, one of the guests got sick and couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time. Her Champagne punch came back up—all over my carpeting. As a holiday gift, she rented me a steam cleaner.
Ryan Langam
Dallas, Texas


“The Toilet Overflowed.”

Two hours before guests were to arrive for a Christmas Eve gathering, the toilet directly above the kitchen overflowed and water began flooding the bathroom and kitchen. In a rush to get everything under control, my son came zooming through the house with a sopping-wet mop over his shoulder—dripping directly over three baking days’ worth of cookies, pies, and biscotti.
Lynda Johns Cafardi
Montoursville, Pennsylvania


“A Four-Year-Old Crashed My Party.”

We hosted a cocktail party late in the evening, and one of my husband’s coworkers showed up with his daughter. I had to scramble to find something for the little one to eat, since her mother was appalled that I had nothing child-friendly on the buffet. When the kid finally got sleepy, the parents wanted to move her upstairs into one of our bedrooms so they could stay and party.
Brianne DeRosa
Cranston, Rhode Island

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Quick Tip

Blue ice cube tray

A few days before a party, start making ice and storing it in baggies in the freezer.