BOUNTIFUL -- They were hoping for Santa and his reindeer but instead got a five-foot buck inside their house. It happened late Christmas Eve, and the family caught home video of the deer trampling over a pile of presents.
"When you're waiting for Santa and his sleigh and his reindeer to come and land on your roof, and he comes through your basement window, we're not gonna forget it," said Casey Keller.
The Keller family thinks the buck tripped on a basement window-well and just couldn't get himself out again.
They say he struggled in the master bedroom for a while, trampling over some furniture and running into a doorway. The room he ended up in was the one place where the family was keeping most of the Christmas presents.
Marla Keller was putting the kids to bed when the deer apparently tripped and fell into a basement window well.
"I heard crashing, I heard the window go," said Marla Keller. "I looked down through the big window behind the Christmas tree, and couldn't see anything. Then all of a sudden, I heard hooves - and antlers."
Casey Keller says at first they thought the buck was just trapped in the window well.
"My husband came in and ran downstairs and opened the door, and then shut it really fast, and started screaming," Marla said.
For about two hours family members took their turns peeking through the door and taking pictures as they waited for wildlife officers to help get the deer out. Casey says at one point the buck looked at the camera and then turned around towards the desk.
"They're all laughing that there's a deer in the house, and i'm freaking out," Marla said. "I had all of Christmas, down in that bedroom. All organized, all prepared."
They did end up with a few crushed boxes, but luckily the presents inside were just fine. As far as these kids were concerned, Christmas was a success.
"I think we went to bed at 5:00 a.m. And the kids woke up two hours later, ready for Christmas. I Was afraid I was going to go into labor today, but it's all good," Marla said.
At least they'll have something to talk about for years to come.
Officers with the Division of Wildlife Resources eventually came to help. They did have to put the deer down to get him out. Coincidentally, Casey said that later on that night he was driving just down the street from his house when another deer jumped in front of him, colliding with his car.