Take your eyes off your mischievous pet for just one second, and your tree's newest ornament could be your cat.
"Last year our 6-month-old kitten, Ebay, took a flying leap into our Christmas tree," writes Meredith of Austin, Minn. "He not only knocked the tree over but caused all the water in the tree stand to spill on the floor."
After a recent MSNBC.com story about pets creating holiday chaos, readers wrote in with their own stories about their own pets that made Christmas a little messier.
"Our pit bull, Blackie, thinks that the pine tree in the living room was brought in so he doesn't have to get cold going out to use the bathroom," writes Stephanie of Christiansburg, Va.
Keep reading for more responses (but keep an eye on your pet).
My kitty, Maggie Mae gets into the spirit of Christmas by stealing baby Jesus for 2 years now. Her first Christmas last year she took a cloth Jesus from a home-made nativity. This year she stole a chalk Jesus and hid it in my husband's shoe. Now she resorts to the ceramic Jesus, the only one she can reach!
— Roxann, Johnstown, Pa.
We had a boxer that one year decided the Christmas tree had been up long enough and needed to be removed. So, while we were away at work, she knocked the tree down, dragged it through the house to her dog door and proceeded to get it stuck halfway in the house and half outside. I had to cut it up with a saw to remove it from the dog door. The trail of pine needles from the living room to the dog door was also fun to clean up.
— Lance, Denver
My sister spent all day readying her home for a holiday get together that evening. After filling the candy dishes and placing them on the end tables, my sister jumped in the shower. She came downstairs and she blamed her husband for eating all of the Hershey kisses from the candy dishes. He denied being involved. Soon enough, they discovered that their dogs had eaten the candy, wrappers and all.
One Christmas, at my in-laws' house, their standard poodle had a heyday. We spent a long time tying Hershey Kisses all over the little tree that rested in the bay window in the family room. Well, when we returned from shopping, there were not only no Kisses on the tree whatsoever but there were no papers to find around either. She would not enter that room at all the whole season. She just knew that she should not have done that. ... She still looks at that tree each year out of the sides of her eyes.
— Becky, Glenview, Ill.
"One year we put up our live tree and our ferret, Bo, went straight for it. Before we could stop him, he had gone through the water dish, and up the branches," she writes. "By the time we got him out, he was stiff with pine sap and needles. It took forever to get the sap off his fur with warm Crisco. Now, we use an artificial tree."
— Maudie, Upland, Calif.
As a puppy, Maxie treated us to a chewed-up red apple ornament. We caught him red-pawed with the ink on his lips and paws. After cleaning up the mess we laughed for days.
— Darrell and Karen, Royersford, Pa.
Last year our 6-month-old kitten, Ebay, took a flying leap into our Christmas tree. He not only knocked the tree over but caused all the water in the tree stand to spill on the floor. It was a rather large and heavy tree and I ended up stuck holding the tree calling my daughters to call their dad because I couldn't lift it any higher. Luckily a friend stopped by unexpected and helped me lift the tree. The tree did not survive the trauma and promptly died. (Since we had cut it down two days before we knew it was fresh.) ... In the end, everything was fine. He must have learned his lesson though — he never did it again and hasn't tried this year either.
— Meredith, Austin, Minn.
After school I came home to Ray, my cat, playing soccer with my cheap plastic Christmas ornaments, and the Christmas knocked down. Not to mention he tore up all the tissue paper out of the gifts, and was playing in the sacks. So I bought I big Christmas sack with his own tissue paper to play with. He loves it.
— Craig, Pratt, Kan.
We were never able to catch our beloved Rosie taking the ornament, but every year she would take just one, tear it up and leave it near the tree. It was always one I had made and no longer had the pattern for.
— Jo, Mich.
Many years ago we were getting the turkey ready and had it on the kitchen table. For some reason everyone had left the room and as we returned, there was Mimi, a sealpoint Siamese up on the table with one end of a leg in her mouth, trying to drag this turkey off. You could see the look on her face, she thought she had struck gold.
— Roberta, Salton Sea Beach, Calif.
It was a few days before Christmas and my husband and I had gone out for dinner. When we arrived back home, we noticed bits of wrapping paper and pieces of boxes strewn about the house. It turned out that my husband, because he knew I loved chocolate-covered cherries, had bought two boxes for me and wrapped them up and put them under the tree. ... The dog ate both boxes. Right away I could tell the dog didn't feel good. She was shaking and I wrapped a blanket around her and was holding her on my lap. I was just going to call the vet when she stopped shaking and opened her mouth and spewed chocolate covered cherry vomit all over me and the couch and the blanket. I got up to go clean myself off and the dog jumped down and proceeded to spew all over our brand new two week old carpeting that we had gotten just in time for the holidays. Never did get that stain out. The dog was perfectly fine after that. But that took away my appetite for chocolate-covered cherries.
— Karol, Circle Pines, Minn.