By Christmas Eve 1776, the city of New York had fallen, the Continental Congress had fled Philadelphia and General George Washington's ragtag Continental Army had just barely survived the single most hellish commute in New Jersey history. The rebellion was off to such a disastrous start that, hell, even the Canadians were schooling the U.S. in warfare.
Fortunately, we all know that Washington was able to stave off defeat by heroically crossing the Delaware to win key victories at Trenton and Princeton. The Colonies would live to see the new year.
"Wool stockings and typhus for everyone!"
Of course, for every heroic Hail Mary play, there's a defense that has screwed the pooch. What was regarded as a miracle for the Colonies was a disaster for the British.