This holiday season, when the eggnog has gotten to Aunt Maude and Grandpa attacks the metric system as a tool of the devil, please savor it: Your Yuletide could be as bad as these. From a rocker boyfriend bashing his guitar on the dinner table to jerk neighbors setting fire to your house, here are some notable holiday incidents you’ll be glad weren’t yours.
A New Year’s Blowout:
Hatfields and McCoys
With the law on the Hatfields’ heels, family patriarch Devil Anse spent Christmas Day of 1887 plotting a covert attack on his nemesis, Randall McCoy, who, he told his family, “has got to die.” On New Year’s Day, nine Hatfields in masks surrounded the McCoy cabin, shot two of them dead, set everything ablaze, and left Randall’s wife for dead in the grass. One Hatfield lost three fingers to a gunshot.
Bad First Impressions:
Keith Richards and Patti Hansen
For their first Thanksgiving, in 1980, Hansen, then a 24-year-old Vogue model, brought home her international-pop-star boyfriend. Drug-addled and on edge about meeting Staten Island Lutherans, the Stones guitarist arrived with “a bottle of vodka or Jack Daniel’s,” plied them with a flamenco-guitar riff, then inexplicably “went berserk,” he writes in his memoir, smashing the guitar on his future in-laws’ dinner table.
Home Alone for Christmas:
Nursing a nasty breakup, Warhol spent the 1980 holidays in his East 66th Street townhouse, designed by the ex, which had begun accumulating a grossly unfestive number of shopping bags and cookie jars, receptacles for his collecting mania. He denied being depressed, but empty vodka bottles encircled his bed. In a Christmas Day diary entry, he grieved, “It was the coldest day ever,” adding he hadn’t slept “because I was alone in the house.”
A Turkey Day Brawl:
Berry’s 2012 Thanksgiving began with a fistfight between then-boyfriend Olivier Martinez and her ex, model Gabriel Aubry, who was dropping their 4-year-old off at Mommy’s for the holiday. Martinez intercepted Aubry, who was in a protracted custody battle with Berry, and the two men wrestled to the ground in the driveway.
John Tyler and son
At an 1842 White House Christmas party, says historian Robert Watson, the 52-year-old president, a recent widower, and his son John Jr. flirted “shamelessly” with Julia Gardiner. The young lady’s parents were miffed, and the eight Tyler children mortified. President Tyler married the 24-year-old Gardiner a year and a half later at a White House ceremony.
A Christmas Eve Surprise:
Lohan began Christmas Week 2008 with a glass-shattering, obscenity-laced screaming match with then-girlfriend Samantha Ronson that maybe led to Ronson’s hospitalization “for exhaustion.” Three days later, on Christmas Eve, Lohan took to MySpace to announce that her dad had fathered a love child. “He cheated on my mother and that really sucks … MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!” she wrote to fans. Not a moper, she also plugged Britney Spears’s new album, Circus, recommending “Shattered Glass.”