We've unwrapped each of your terrible tales of yuletide terror like a little gifts and we wouldn't return any of them. Our stocking was suitably full of familial dysfunction, but only one of your tales can be our favorite.

But before we get to the big winner, we want to recognize some of the standout stories from the collection. We made up the titles, but we certainly couldn't invent drama this epic. Click on the link to see the comment from the original post. Congrats to everyone. You're all winners and you will have your reward in heaven. You will spend eternity together trying to figure out which one is the most fucked up.

But, ladies and gentlemen, there can only be one winner, and that story had a little bit of everything. There is a great, flamboyant hero, the quest for a perfect holiday, a horrible villian, a secret revealed, and some sweet, dirty redemption. Yes, BettyCrocker, your tale—Betty Crocker and The Chamber of Gay Secrets—is the winner. Here is the full story, for all those who missed it:

A Merry Christmas outing, and we didn't go anywhere! Yet, I jingled all the way.

Christmas 1984, and your young Crocker was but a young pup of 17. I had a waitering job that paid really well – enough to pay my most of tuition at the fancy Episco-school-ademy I'd been packed off to, and keep me well supplied with Sperry Topsider loafers and skinny ties. I got demerits if I wore the ties to school, but I loved them. My grades were good, though, and my parents had no cause for complaint.

I'd known I was gay since before I was 7. I'd casually looked up from a book I was reading and told Mom I was going to marry a fireman. The lesson gleaned from this was that it was better to look at the firemen quietly. The topic was verboten. It literally sent Mom into a rage. Dad wasn't much better, despite having a gay pal at work. A parade of normal-looking straight friends and pretty girls kept peace in the kingdom.

And yet… the incessant wails of Morrissey and Robert Smith were not a clue, because my parents liked them too. My transformation of our property into a verdant suburban oasis of roses and perennials was inadmissible evidence. There were a LOT of Clinique For Men potions and tubes of Lancome in my bathroom – yawn.

I'd taken over putting up the Christmas tree, too, and carefully culled out anything tacky. I gaily wrapped presents and helped make dinner, and when Christmas Eve arrived, the result would have given Martha Stewart a well-deserved hop in the ass. The place looked great – candles, flowers, pine and poinsettias.
So! Both sets of grandparents, 2 aunts and uncles, various in-laws and cousins descended on the ancestral family split-level, about 40 people in all.

Ever been in one of those?

They're designed to separate living areas by function. There's a high-ceilinged entry foyer, which leads to a main-level formal living room, dining room and kitchen. Ours also had a powder room and a sunporch. Six steps up from the foyer were four bedrooms and three baths. Six steps down from the foyer was a family room, Dad's home office, and another bathroom. There was a basement under that which is brightly lit but haunted as hell. (That's another post.)

The architecture was my undoing. That, and the fact that my sister is a bitch. See, the levels are separated… but stand in the right spot and speak loud enough and everyone in the house will know you have Locust Valley Lockjaw.

Everyone loved how I'd rearranged everything so that there was ample seating for everyone. They scarfed my hors d'ouvres like manna from heaven. I could hear "Oh, that Crocker really outdid himself this year!" and one aunt seriously told me she would stake me in a catering business if I wanted her to. I was even allowed some champagne between walking around with trays.

My parents were quietly bragging about me, and it was driving Catherine wild. This is probably why she took it upon herself to guzzle three glasses of wine, march into the acoustic hell of the foyer, and snarl: "Yeah, queers are REAL good at making a dump into fantasyland! To be sure it carried, she repeated it, louder, then laughed like the Sorority Girl From Hell she became.

The only sound was Perry Como.

Every head spun in my direction, and I happened to be straightening an arrangement of holly and roses. In my plaid pants. With my collar popped. And my free hand unfortunately on my hip.

If you ever want to find out what your family really thinks of you, just get outed in front of all of them whilst doing something stereotypically gay. Their faces will tell you all you need to know. You won't need a camera, because you'll never forget what they look like.

The parade of people coming up from the family room level was interesting, too. At least one BabyGay cousin had a grin for me, and Aunt Catering Business gave my shoulder a squeeze.

The rest of the evening was awkward, to say the least, and some of my family didn't even say goodbye to me. In fact, things were never the same after that.

All was not lost, and I suppose I owe my sister a debt of gratitude. Before school started up again, I began a torrid and deliciously wrestle-y faire l'amour with the gorgeous proto-guido lineman I was tutoring in English Lit. He shaved and had a car and I was smitten. It lasted until we went to our respective colleges.

See, by leaving me with so little to lose, bitchy Catherine and that damn pretentious architect gave me Anthony.

Congratulations, BettyCrocker. You've earned your $50 bottle of fancy champagne for New Year's Eve. We hope you can drink the pain away. Email us to redeem your prize.