There was a distinct lack of festive cheer as a disastrous six-minute spell condemned Chester FC to a fourth home defeat of the season.
Macclesfield Town were well deserving of the three points which was secured with an Ian Sharps own goal and a contentious Kristian Dennis penalty.
The visitors dictated the first period, controlling possession and territory, and while the Blues had more of the ball after the break with a couple of decent chances, it would have been a Miracle on Bumpers Lane had Chester clawed back the two goal deficit.
There was not much between the sides early on but Macc went ahead on 25 minutes when Sharps attempted to clear Danny Rowe's cross but the defender contrived to slice the ball straight into the top corner past the despairing Jon Worsnop.
Macc's opener might have been fortunate been but the goal had been coming and it went from bad to worse on 31 minutes when referee Ian Hussin awarded the visitors a penalty having spotted a push from a corner.
His decision incensed the home fans but the National League's top scorer Dennis needed no second invitation to convert for his 20th goal of the season.
Chester mustered little in return and changes were required at half-time with Craig Mahon coming on for the start of the second period and John Rooney following before the hour.
Ryan Lloyd should have pulled one back when he steered Tom Shaw's cross wide from close range while Jon Worsnop's stunning stop at the other end prevented Dennis making it 3-0.
Macc keeper Shwan Jalal made routine saves from Danny Hattersley and John Rooney with the visitors working tirelessly to limit the Blues to a handful of openings.
The clearest chance came with 15 minutes left when the Silkmen failed to deal with a Ryan Higgins long throw and the ball fell for Hattersley but he blazed his shot over the crossbar from eight yards.
Midfield nightmares: There was so much wrong with the first-half performance it seems unfair to highlight one area but midfield was the biggest concern. Despite having three men in there and Macc being without Danny Whitaker and Paul Lewis, the Blues failed to get to grips with Paul Turnbull, Danny Whitehead and the excellent Danny Rowe. The latter in particular found time and space far too easily and ran the game in the opening 45 minutes. Chester have used various combinations in the middle of the park this season and seem no closer to finding the most effective one.
Can't blame the officials: There's no question referee Ian Hussin's display was one of the worst seen at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium this season but that can't excuse Chester's performance. Even before his controversial penalty decision, the official had made a series of odd calls and continued to do so throughout the game. The reaction of the players is usually a good indicator and both sides seem to be as confused as the manager and fans at some of his decisions, particularly the perceived foul from Ian Sharps for the penalty. But even so that can't hide another disappointing show from the Blues.
Chester FC: Worsnop, Higgins, Sharps (Mahon 46), Heneghan, Whitmore, Hunt, Shaw, George (Rooney 58), Lloyd (Hobson 75), Hattersley, Hannah.
Subs: Forth, Chapell.
Macclesfield Town: Jalal, Halls, Byrne, Pilkington, Fitzpatrick, Rowe, Turnbull, Whitehead (Diagne 80), Holroyd, Dennis, Sampson.
Subs: Branagan, Churchman, Cowan, Sutherland.
Goals: Sharps (own goal) 25, Dennis (pen) 31.
Referee: Ian Hussin (Merseyside).
Star man: Craig Mahon.
For all the talk about refereeing decisions, formations and unfortunate deflections, the fact is Chester produced a performance undeserving of taking something from the game.
Across the park Macclesfield were far better and in Danny Rowe had the contest's standout performer. Having not played on Boxing Day, the Blues should have been fitter, fresher and hungrier but it was the complete opposite.
Macc are a good outfit with some excellent individuals but Chester supporters would have expected far more from their side. It's typical of the campaign that, following an excellent performance last time out albeit against lesser opposition, this was one of the season's most disappointing.