As we roll into the last few days before Christmas, it's time to share what our readers sent in for our "What the Fun Holiday" contest. It was a blast going through the submissions to see what our holiday experiences looked like.

Before we dig in to our contest winners, our first honorable mention is to David N, who shared with us "The Worm Before Christmas", a classic from 1988 that was new to us.

Our first runner up story comes from Mike. This is an Easter Tale, complete with a death, a resurrection, and thirty pieces of silver (or whatever amount you give highly paid consultants).

We had a workflow engine that severely needed to be rewritten. We brought in an outside consultant to rewrite it. For months, we heard how crappy the original code was and he didn't understand how it could even work. Every week, we would hear how he shaved large percentages of time off of the engine. He would brag "I cut 127% off of the processing time", then the following week another 42% and so on. All the while, bad-mouthing the current development staff.
We put his code into QA and all seemed to go well. We really thought we had a vastly improved workflow engine. Since there would be little to no volume on Easter weekend, we picked that Friday night to put his code into production.
All went well, until Saturday morning. None of the workflows were running properly and large chunks of logic was missing. The consultant assured us it was minor issue and instead of rolling back, we should leave it there and give him time to fix it. Saturday came and went with half a dozen 'fixes' that didn't fix anything. On Easter Sunday, I got a call that we were rolling everything back.
That was the easy part.
Now we had to identify which workflows were triggered and try to retrigger them. It was a SAAS operation and the DBs were multi-tenant as well. Needless to say, there was no Easter dinner for any of us. We spent Sunday and Monday undoing what he had done.
When we looked into his code, we saw that it code was only processing the workflows. But it didn't do any of the events based on the workflow outcome. So, his huge percentage gains didn't exist. Our huge percentage gain was showing him the door.
At least we didn't see the Easter Bunny, but this Easter Egg was more than enough.

When you're coming up on a big holiday break, there's always a push to get things done in time. No one wants to come back to a gigantic backlog after a holiday. That little push is a gift you give your team- but sometimes that gift isn't appreciated. B shares their story:

It was around the time of our favorite holiday: Christmas.
My employer was having a nice get together with all employees after work. It was scheduled at 5 p.m. If our work was done, we could share some holiday cheer with our peers.
As usual, I started quite early in the morning and worked hard to finish my project to earn my three weeks of holiday. I was nearly finished with my work at around 1 p.m.
Now, my co-worker, "Lou", knew about my long holiday and needed something finished before my leave so that he could continue to work on it. He estimated it should take me half an hour, one hour tops. So I wrapped up my current project in 15 minutes and started with Lou's top priority work. At 5.30 p.m I was not nearly finished an called him (his status in the booking system which tracks the working hours showed him online and working). No response from him. Another co-worker in his room told me he had already gone to the party an hour ago.
Being a professional, I wrote him an email with the current status and the next steps. By the time I got to the party it was 6.15 p.m and dear old Lou had already left. I drank some hot wine, chatted with my fellows and then went home enjoying Christmas with my family.
Now the real WTF was on my return, three weeks later. The first thing Lou told me when I saw him was and asked about the project was: "I did not have time for it.". I was speechless. He had 10 days to work on it, "made" me work longer than needed and all just to leave it to rot.
At least I learned not to believe his priorities. And it was the first drop that caused me to hunt for, and eventually get a better job.

Thanks so much to all our submitters. Mike and B, someone will be reaching out soon to get your prizes out to you, and tomorrow, we'll reveal our grand prize winner, and maybe kick off a new holiday tradition?

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