"My favorite Christmas memory must have happened after I was fifteen since we were living in a house we moved to just before I turned that age.

Anyway, we had two dogs at this point. An evil genius and her much larger (and slightly more biddable) assistant. The evil genius was a beagle and would stop at nothing to eat too much. Her assistant was a retriever and didn’t mind a meal either.

Our house had a sort of open-plan kitchen/outdoor dining area, where we had all the tables set (this was in Australia, so it was summer) and everyone was going to sit. My mom had put some nibbles on plates just inside the house, so we could all have snacks while we waited for the rest of the family to arrive. Behind us, in the kitchen, sat the Christmas puddings and other things on relatively high benches.

You can probably see where this is going.

As the meal began, we heard a massive bang from inside the kitchen. My mom went running back inside and found the sound had come from a barstool which had fallen over next to the bench. The barstool, by the way, had been on the other side of the room when we had set things up.

On top of the bench was one of the plates the puddings had been on. It was intact but doing the sort of wobbling that plates do if things have been taken off them rapidly. No pudding. No dogs.

Thankfully, there were more than enough other puddings to go around (we always over-cater, because it’s Christmas). The dogs eventually emerged about an hour later looking slightly unwell and unsteady on their legs.

Quite how they’d organized themselves to move a heavy barstool across the room, and then climb on it (it was too high for them to have simply hoisted themselves up), much less liberate the pudding without damaging the plate, remained a mystery."