"Christmas 2015. My parent's car, with all our gifts in the trunk, was robbed. We found out Christmas morning when they went out to bring in the gifts and put them under the tree. The criminals got my Xbox One and three brand new games, plus like a €100 of art supplies. I had to drop out of art school because I had no art supplies. My little brother was 3 years old and I remember him saying, 'Where are all the presents?' Luckily, our parents had bought him this big Lego city set that they had hidden in the garage for a few weeks, so he played with that while we all just distracted him with Christmas films and chocolate for breakfast. Money was very tight that year and my parents had been saving up months to get us those things. I remember my mom coming to me and telling me what happened and her choking up and repeating, 'I'm sorry sweetie, you deserved all those things.' We filed a police report but nothing came of it. We also told our other family members that the car broke down and we didn't want to chance driving over for dinner."
"I had a bad case of Scarlet Fever that lasted from Thanksgiving to just after Christmas. I was in the second 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 to just die. I had lost a lot of weight, and the rash that Scarlet Fever presents with was itchy huge burning welts from my face to my groin and all over my behind and feet. I was severely dehydrated, I threw up almost every day, and my mom had to force-feed me the penicillin. My fever was so high from time to time that I would hallucinate and I think I also sleepwalked. 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 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. On Christmas day I still wasn't better, 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 told me the fever would last about a week or two, and when it didn't stop they almost hospitalized me. They ended up letting me go home, where I stayed until I got better."
"Being in jail. A few years back I was arrested in November. All the other inmates reassured me that my parents would bail me out before Christmas, and I was completely convinced that they would. However, once Christmas rolled around, I was still there. I was stuck listening to Christmas pop on VH1 and being around other people who hated themselves for being locked up on Christmas day. At least they gave us better food for Christmas, but that's not saying much as the normal food we got was terrible."
"Christmas Eve 2016, my boyfriend picks me up to go to his family's get together. I'm excited and decked out in a new sweater, and have a bottle of some nice French stuff to give to his mom. On the drive, he goes, 'Today might be a little sad. My uncle was hit by a car about an hour ago and has a lot of brain damage. He was flown to a hospital.' It was terrible and tragic, but I had hope that he would pull through and survive and we could still have a decent day. Then as we were about a minute from his house, he gets a call that his uncle didn't make it. Boyfriend stays strong, says 'okay,' and doesn't break down or anything and says he'll be home soon. He tells me he wants me to stay with him and support him and his family during this awful day. It was really, really hard and the whole family was upset. The man was a great guy. Turned out he was intentionally killed by a wasted guy who swerved to hit him.
As if that isn't bad enough, the next day is Christmas and I'm at home with my parents, and tragedy decided to strike our family as well. Christmas will never be the same for me.