How the Carlings Killed Christmas Eve

Christmas is a special time of year. It’s filled with love, peace, and most importantly, presents. I absolutely love this time of year. I get to take a break from school and be with the people I love most in the entire world. This year, I get to be home for three whole weeks! Woohoo!

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the chance we have to celebrate our Christmas traditions. Sure, we do the whole open-one-present-on-Christmas-Eve-Surprise!-it’s-matching-pajamas thing, but we have a few more that I’ve come to treasure over the years.

Little did I know that this Christmas…all that would change. *Cue dramatic music*

Apparently 2012 was the year we threw all our Christmas traditions out the window. We abandoned the very activities that made Christmas so special, and we did it without a care in the world.

Here’s how Christmas Eve is supposed to go:

On Christmas Eve, we gather around the table as a family and partake of delicious broccoli cheese soup in equally delicious bread bowls.


This year, however, some unidentified individual in the Carling family decided “To Heck with Tradition and Delicious Creamy Soups!” and we trekked unceremoniously to 5 Guys 15 minutes before they closed for the holiday. Needless to say, we were the recipients of a few glares as we had our “Christmas Eve Feast” (and I mean that loosely) as they closed up for the night.

Hey, I didn’t say it wasn’t delicious.

On Christmas Eve, we have a nice Christmas program in which we reenact the Christmas Story accompanied by the soft strains of a MoTab Christmas CD. 

Note: Not my family.

After reading a Christmas picture book carefully selected by my grandfather, we each unwrap a pair of pajamas and celebrate the rest of the evening in comfort in the form of brand-new flannel.

No, we do not get footie pajamas, but if anyone wants to find me a pair, I wouldn’t say no.

In 2012, though, we went straight to the jammies, opened a present my parents had apparently already known about, and proceeded to watch our brand-new copy of Brave right then and there (in new-flannel comfort, of course.)

I want her hair.

On Christmas Eve, our final activity of the evening is to observe the soft light of the luminarias lining the street from our front window and welcome Christmas with warmth in our hearts and new jammies on our legs.

Note: Not my street

Apparently my street is too lame to do luminarias anymore, though, so our house was the only one with the fun glowing lights in our front yard. But it’s just not the same when it’s a random patch of brown bags with dumb little tea lights. So after we admired our luminarias for a few moments, we threw fireworks in them and watched them blow up.

Take that, dumb neighbors.

This is what they looked like. Minus the Eiffel Tower.

Through the whole night, I was questioning everything I had ever known. The thought kept running through my head–Who are these people? And what have they done with my Christmas Eve traditions?

Other than mash them into a snowball and chuck them at my poor hopeful heart, that is.

Even though this Christmas Eve was dramatically different than the one I’ve come to treasure, I realized something important–

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

Just kidding. That's what the Grinch learned. 

I learned that all that matters is that I'm with the people I love most in the whole world. 

And it was a Merry Christmas indeed.

(Pretend like my dad’s in the picture.)