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Boy sitting on the floor next to a Christmas tree. | Source: Getty Images
Boy sitting on the floor next to a Christmas tree. | Source: Getty Images

Teen Boy Refuses to Spend Holidays with Family until Ambulance Takes His Dad Away on Christmas – Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Nov 25, 2022
08:15 P.M.

A teen boy snapped at his family for bugging him when he wanted to play games and spend time with his friend. However, his friend told him something that broke his heart, so he went home to apologize, but it might have been too late.

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"Chris! Come down for dinner!" Chris heard the grating voice of his mother calling him for Thanksgiving dinner. He rolled his eyes and focused on his game until he listened to his friend, Gary, through the headphones.

"Hey, man. I understand if you have to leave for dinner," Gary said.

"No way. Let's keep playing!" Chris refused, pushing the buttons on his controller excitedly.

However, his game was interrupted by his mother, Suzanne, who burst through his door.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Young man, I've been yelling at you for ten minutes already. Come down for dinner right now, or we won't leave anything for you," she said, her hands on her waist.

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"Mom! Mom!" he yelled, but no sound came. Suddenly, the house phone rang, and he answered it. It was his mother with some news that almost stopped his heart.

"Whatever, I'll eat grilled cheese later," Chris scoffed, not even turning to look at her.

"Are you serious? Chris, it's Thanksgiving. Turn off that game and listen to me," Suzanne said, but her son ignored her, so she took the controller off his hand.

"MOM!" he yelled.

"Go down for Thanksgiving right now. This is a time to spend with family, talk, and be close to one another. You know we're not going to be here forever. Grandma is getting old too, and she would love to see you. Our cousins are here, too, and no one has even seen you. That's just rude, Chris," Suzanne said, her tone stern but still reasonable.

"For God's sake! You think I want to spend a whole dinner with all those people talking about how grateful we all are for our lives and whatever? That's a nightmare for me!" Chris said, frowning at his mother. He grabbed his headphones and threw them on the floor.

"Chris!" Suzanne yelled, offended.

"I'm going to Gary's to keep playing without these stupid distractions!" the teen boy said, grabbing his jacket from the bed.

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He stomped down the stairs and ignored everyone's calls and greetings.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Chris, where in God's name are you going?" his father, Max, called out. But Chris ignored him, put his shoes on by the door, and walked out, slamming the door.

He reached Gary's house, and they played video games all day and night. Gary ordered pizza for them because he lived with his aunt, a nurse at the local hospital who couldn't take the shift off Thanksgiving. Gary didn't mind because she was not exactly the most nurturing person or a good cook. Additionally, it was just the two of them.

"Hey, are you sure you don't want to return home? I bet your mom saved you some dinner, and she's a great cook. I tried her cupcakes at the bake sale, and they were the bomb," Gary suggested when he hung up the phone with the pizza place.

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"Nah, man. Pizza sounds awesome, and I would rather spend time here than with my nagging mom, dad, and grandma. Worse, my aunt is all about family and babies and stuff. It's so stupid," Chris shook his head and continued playing, not realizing his friend disapproved with a frown.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

***

Christmas time arrived earlier than expected. Unfortunately, Gary's PlayStation died for some weird reason, and he took it for repairs. But that meant Chris didn't have his buddy to play with online. So, he had to invite him over on Christmas day.

"I warn you. My mom is going to nag and interrupt and everything else. So, just ignore her, and you'll be good," Chris said as they arrived at the house.

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"Ok…" Gary shrugged. Although he had met Chris's mother several times, she had always been lovely.

"Hey, guys! Gary, I'm glad you came. You guys can make gingerbread cookies with me. Wouldn't that be fun?" Suzanne turned as the boys entered, shaking the snow from their shoes and removing their jackets.

It was a typical Christmas day in their town in Wyoming, and the idea of gingerbread cookies sounded fantastic to Gary, who had not spent a proper holiday with family in many years. He smiled and was about to say yes when Chris spoke up.

"No way, Mom. We're not here to bake. I told you Gary came here to play games. Let's go, man," Chris said, and Gary's shoulders hunched because he couldn't tell his friend that he wanted to bake with his mom.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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That would be weird, right? he thought and went upstairs with his buddy. They sat on his floor, started the game, and spent hours on it. However, Gary was still happy. The house was slowly permeated with the smell of cookies in the oven, which was terrific.

A few hours later, Max knocked on the door and came inside.

"Hey, guys. A fresh blanket of snow just fell, and I was wondering if you guys would like to go sledding outside," Chris's father asked, smiling in joy.

Gary's eyes widened in delight, and he nodded, but Chris grumpily shook his head. "Dad! I told everyone we would be playing games all day. Who wants to go outside, get wet, and play like little kids? Eww, right, Gary?" he looked to his buddy for reassurance, but Gary could only shrug.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Chris, you're missing out on the best time in the world. My brothers and I went sledding all the time, and it's some of the best memories we have ever had," Max added, still cheerful while trying to make them excited about playing in the snow.

"We said no, Dad! Jeez, you're so embarrassing!" Chris snapped, turning back to the screen.

Gary had no idea why his friend spoke to his parents like that. Despite being cooped up in this room for hours, they had not nagged them all afternoon. They were both incredibly nice, although Chris spoke to them like trash, and he couldn't believe it.

However, Chris's words finally made Max frown. "You're going to spend the rest of your life on that machine? That's fine by me. But you're alienating yourself from this family and treating us like nothing, even in front of your friends. Your mother and I are nothing but nice to you, and yet, you snap and sulk and mop," Max began, but Chris sighed as he interrupted his dad.

"Oh, God. Spare me the stupid lecture about family and whatever. I don't care. The moment I turn 18, I'm out of this house," Chris said scornfully, his nose scrunched and his forehead wrinkled.

Gary stayed quiet through the exchange, but his friend's father seemed to have had enough. "You know what? I'm taking that PlayStation away! You can leave and do whatever you want at 18, but you're getting out of this room and helping your mother clean up the kitchen! You can't speak to me like that. I am your father! I, at least, deserve your respect!" Max spoke loudly and sternly.

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Chris threw his controller at the wall, and Gary would be surprised if it didn't break. "Come on, man!" his friend called, and they exited the bedroom.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Where are you going? You're not leaving this house!" Max shouted, but Chris walked faster as he headed downstairs and toward the door.

Gary just followed numbly and put his shoes and jacket back on.

"What's going on?" his sweet mother asked, looking between her husband and son.

"I'm leaving because Dad said we have to leave the room. But that doesn't mean we have to play with you in the snow. Let's go, Gary," Chris responded angrily, and they went out the door.

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***

The two teens walked around, and Gary wanted to say something but had to listen to Chris ranting about his parents for several minutes. Although Chris was his friend, Gary couldn't understand where all this anger came from.

"Can you believe them?" Chris asked, finally shutting up and looking for Gary's opinion but primarily for his agreement.

"Well," Gary sighed. "Actually, Chris. I couldn't believe you."

"Me?" Chris asked in shock.

"Yeah, you. Man, your parents are so nice. Your mom literally just asked you if you wanted to bake cookies with her. And you acted like she was asking you to give up your kidney. What was so wrong with her question?" Gary continued, his shoulders going up.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"I… well, I don't know," Chris said, stumped.

"And then your dad asks if you want to go sledding in the snow. Man, I thought I was dreaming. Your parents are offering you a Christmas card kinda life, and you just yell at them. The worst… is that they barely get angry. I wouldn't dare speak to my aunt like that. She's not bad, but she's much stricter because she doesn't have much time to be around me," Gary explained, trying to make his friend see reason.

"I wish I could live like you. Always alone in your house. It's my biggest dream!" Chris started losing his temper.

"I would kill to have your life with your parents and your entire family gathering for Christmas and Thanksgiving," Gary's voice also rose. "My parents died when I was 8, dude! That means I was old enough to remember how great our holidays were. My mom didn't bake gingerbread cookies, but she made the best pumpkin pie ever. My dad didn't like the snow very much, but he loved sitting with me to tell me stories from all the books he read."

Chris remained quiet because his friend was not done.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"They died before I could truly appreciate what they had, but I know they loved spending time with me, and sometimes, my aunt came by when she wasn't busy. Our family was small and simple, and we didn't have a lot, but we had everything, and one day, it was gone. I had to live with my aunt, who is always too busy, and it's been worse after the pandemic. I was alone all the time! I would've killed to have your Thanksgiving, killed to bake cookies, killed to play in the snow with your dad. You just yelled, treated them like trash, and acted like they're the worst thing to ever happen to you!" Gary finished his rant with a red face and moist eyes but refused to let his friend see his pain.

Chris was utterly frozen. His eyes darted around as he couldn't look at his friend. But he placed his hands in his pockets and quietly said, "I didn't know you felt that way. I mean… I know your parents died, but I… didn't know that I was acting like this with my parents. I didn't realize."

"Well, now you know. Go home and apologize or forget about being my friend. I can't take your attitude anymore," Gary said, shaking his head and walking away.

Chris watched as his friend's silhouette faded, and he stayed frozen until it started to snow again, so he decided to go home.

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Surprisingly, no one was there.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Mom! Mom!" he yelled, but no sound came. Suddenly, the house phone rang, and he answered it. It was his mother with some news that almost stopped his heart.

"Chris, your father collapsed when you left. I had to call 911 and come with him in the ambulance. You didn't take your phone! We're at the hospital. Use my credit card to call an Uber and come here… I mean, if you want," Suzanne said and hung up.

Chris closed his eyes as he set the phone down. Chris hated that his mother thought he wouldn't want to be there for his father at the hospital. And he realized that Gary was right. Chris treated his parents like trash, so why would they want him around? But he grabbed his phone, called a taxi, and rushed to the hospital.

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Luckily, it was nothing major. Max collapsed from some stress, and Suzanne and Chris breathed with relief. Max was discharged the next day, and he seemed perfectly healthy again.

When they got home, Chris ran to his father, hugging his waist and crying his eyes out. He cried like he hadn't since he was very young. His sobs rocked their bodies powerfully, and Suzanne's eyes watered immediately at the scene. She got closer and joined their hug.

"I'm so sorry, Mom. I'm so sorry, Dad. I'm sorry. Can we bake cookies and go sledding soon? Can we have another Christmas dinner? Please, I'll do everything. I'm so sorry," Chris finally uttered when his sobs stopped. His face was wet and dirty, but he didn't care. "I'm so glad you're both fine. I'll be a good son. I promise!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Of course, we can do all that, son," Max said, nodding eagerly and resisting the urge to cry.

After a while, they separated, and Suzanne made them all grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. They started talking, and Chris told his parents what Gary had said.

"I can't promise I won't be moody, but I'm so sorry. I'll do better," the teen finished, munching on his food, and Suzanne grabbed her husband's hand.

"We forgive you, darling. Let's plan what we want to do for our second Christmas this year. Do you want to invite the family?" she added, changing the topic to clear the mood.

They discussed everything, and Chris suggested inviting Gary and his aunt.

Two days later, they scheduled their dinner, and the family arrived, as well as his buddy with his aunt, Fiona, who managed to get the day off from the hospital. Chris helped his mother to cook and clean the entire day.

After dinner, they all went outside and built snowmen while laughing, and someone started a snowball fight at some point. Chris smiled as Gary threw one ball directly to his face. It was the best time he had had in a long time.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

PlayStation was nothing compared to this. Although I hope my dad gives it back, Chris thought sheepishly.

What can we learn from this story?

  • You never know what can happen, so don't waste your time when you can spend it with the people you love. Chris hated being around his family until his friend gave him a huge wake-up call.
  • The best memories of your life won't be in front of a screen. While playing video games can be amazing, you'll regret not balancing your time better.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a boy who refused to come to his grandfather's house for Christmas for many years. He returned one day to find the home in ruins.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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