The kids were naughty, Dad put the presents on eBay (search) instead of under the tree — and Mom's been crying ever since. Now, even the tree's down.
Saturday morning was sure not to be very jolly for three brothers — 9, 11 and 15 — who didn't straighten up when their father told them Santa (search) wasn't too pleased with their fighting, cuss words and obscene gestures.
Dad and Mom had warned their sons that the Nintendo DS video system — and the three games that go with it — were headed for the auction block if they didn't get their act together.
"No kidding. Three undeserving boys have crossed the line. Tonight we sat down and showed them what they WILL NOT get for Christmas this year. I'll be taking the tree down tomorrow," the man announced in his eBay posting.
"If you don't buy them, we'll return them to the store," the seller known online as magumbo_2000 reported on the site.
Thursday night, the auction wound down with bidding at $465.01 — below the price the man had set. He said he would probably list the items again.
A single day of particularly bad behavior set the Christmas crackdown in motion.
"These are normally really good kids," said Dad, who asked the Houston Chronicle (search) not to reveal his name. Dad even admits he and Mom are partly to blame for being too lax at times.
But enough was enough. The warning of an impending sale came earlier in the week at a sit-down between offspring and parents.
"We told them they were destroying each other and the calm and peace in the household. It had to stop," said the man, who did tell the paper that he works as an information technology specialist and lives in Pasadena.
The boys pledged to be nice, but were back to their old ways the next morning.
That night, Dad announced that he would indeed be putting $700 in video games up for sale on eBay. The oldest boy double-dared his dad to make good on his word.
Dad said Mom has been in tears since the showdown.
"I don't do it outwardly," he said, "but I'm crying on the inside."