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Holiday Disasters: Homeowners' Tales of Their Worst Yuletide Nightmares

A Wet 'n' Wild Christmas

"Just before Christmas dinner last year, when all the decorations were making the house so festive, we heard a howling scream from my 4-year-old niece, who had her fingers slammed in the door.

While assessing whether she needed to go to emergency -- and she did, four hours in hospital emergency, missing Christmas dinner -- I caught some appetizers on fire, and while carrying the tray to the sink, I badly burnt my fingers.

My brother-in-law and I managed to cook dinner while our wives were at the hospital, and it wasn't until after dinner, while we were sitting around the tree drinking wine, congratulating ourselves on successfully 'doing Christmas,' that we realized that my 5-year-old son had plugged a shower drain with an ornamental Christmas plate and had made good progress on successfully flooding the basement.

A large part of the evening after the kids went to bed was spent drying out the basement ceiling with a hair dryer -- some watermarks remain that we haven't fixed yet -- and some soggy carpet required a high-powered vacuum to absorb the water."

John Lyotier Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Don't Let This Happen to You

Well, what can we say? Make sure all ornamental Christmas plates -- and children -- are accounted for.
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