The Christmas season is, without a doubt, one of the craziest times of the year. There never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything before the big day, and when December 25th finally rolls around, the chaos comes to a boiling point. Little cousins are running around asking someone to open up their brand-new easy bake oven. Wrapping paper and elusive twist ties are strewn about the place. Your weird uncle is too busy talking about the Christmas party he went to last week to pass you the mashed potatoes.
It’s like we’ve finally broken the seventh seal of hell, and Satan is upon us. Ho ho ho!!
If your Christmas doesn’t look something like this, I’m equally impressed and confused. I know my Christmas is always busy, with my family and I jumping around to three different houses throughout the day. We have an incredibly strict itinerary to adhere to, and we don’t stop until all the presents have been opened and all the relatives have been visited. Here’s a quick look into my wildly busy and shenanigan-filled Christmas Day:
4:00 PM, Christmas Eve:
I know it’s not exactly on Christmas, but four in the afternoon on Christmas Eve is really when all the action begins. At exactly four, my parents and I are sitting in St. John the Baptist Church, waiting for Jesus to be born. Alright, we’re not really waiting for Jesus to be born; we’re just waiting to see how badly my dad butchers classic hymns like “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” We listen to the priest give a holly jolly homily, and I try to avoid all the people I went to middle school with.
10:00 PM, Christmas Eve:
After Church, my parents and I either go out to a nice restaurant or go home and eat chicken pot pie. Then, you’ll probably catch us on the couch watching a Christmas movie. Sometimes, we watch It’s A Wonderful Life. If my dad gets his way, we’re watching Scrooged with Bill Murray and his golden dancing girls. My mom usually shoots that down real fast. After that, it’s time to leave some cookies for Santa—that’s right, Santa still likes a midnight snack after all these years. Around 10, I’ll head up to bed so my mom can start laying out an extravagant display of gifts underneath the Christmas tree.
1:00 AM, Christmas Morning:
I wake up in the middle of the night because I’m an excited little bean and just can’t wait for Christmas.
3:00 AM, Christmas Morning:
I wake up again because now I’m anxious and I wonder if my mom really did get me a life-sized Baby Groot from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
4:32 AM, Christmas Morning:
Ugh, I just can’t wait for it to be an appropriate time to wake up my parents and open gifts. Also, I can hear my dog snoring in the other room and ohmygod, how can one Beagle make so much noise?
5:30 AM, Christmas Morning:
I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. There will be no more sleep had. It’s time to get this Christmas day started. Ever-so-not-quietly, I’ll get up out of bed and fire up all of my Christmas lights in my room. Then, I pull out my laptop and queue up the same Christmas special I watch every Christmas morning at 5:30: “The Christmas Special” from the Cartoon Network Show Regular Show. Basically, it’s a wacky show about a bluebird (Mordecai) and a raccoon (Rigby) who are best friends and work at this park with characters like a gumball machine, a big bubblegum bubble, and a ghost who has a high-five sprouting out of his head. In the special, Mordecai and Rigby must destroy a magical present made by Santa before the evil elf Quilgin can use it to destroy Christmas.
7:00 AM, Christmas Morning:
It’s finally time. After several hours of restless sleep and butterflies in my stomach, I mosey over to my parents’ room. With a Christmas song blaring through the tinny speaker of my phone, I begin to sing my parents awake. That’s right: I’m 19 and I still have to go wake up my parents and get them downstairs in a timely manner. Honestly, I think they secretly enjoy it, even though it takes my dad a whole fifteen minutes to get out from under the covers.
7:30 AM-10 AM, Christmas Morning:
Presents are opened (my mom really did get me life-sized Baby Groot). Laughs are had. Fake nails are busted trying to open up elusively-taped boxes. I glue my fake nail back on using super glue I find down in the basement. My mom makes chocolate chip scones for breakfast, and I pack down three of them despite the big lunch we’re about to have in a few hours. We all put on our nice Christmas outfits and get ready for the day ahead. Invariably, I get stuck helping my dad pack the car full of Christmas presents.
11:00 AM-3:00 PM, Christmas Day:
My parents and I drive on over to my grandmother’s house to see my mom’s side of the family. My Grammy always makes a huge lunch for everyone, which we all usually help out with anyways. My uncle makes the gravy. I whip up some potatoes with my little cousins as taste-testers. My aunt watches the rolls in the oven to make sure they don’t burn. It’s a whole un-coordinated system that somehow manages to come together every time. Before lunch, my uncle says grace, and we toast to all of those in our family who have passed. After we all eat and share fun stories of Christmas past, as well as some family gossip, it’s time to open presents. We all get lost in a sea of wrapping paper, tape, and gifts. Then, it’s time for dessert before my parents and I set off to our next destination.
3:30 PM-8:00 PM, Christmas Night:
From my grandmother’s house, we head all the way to Ipswich, MA, to see my step-grandmother, whom I call Nana Becky. Ipswich is practically woodland country in MA so it’s always fun and slightly terrifying to drive through the windy, wintry roads to her house. On the car ride there, I usually try and take a nap to recharge the old batteries. It almost never works, though, because while I’m in an absolute turkey-induced coma, I’m still way too high off the Christmas adrenaline to stop. At my Nana Becky’s, we open presents from her and play with her adorable, fluffy, wholesome Cocker Spaniel named Muffins. After presents, we always are treated to a nice dinner of cold cuts and chips. I usually just end up eating the chips; they’re so addictive. After chowing on those and some cookies from earlier, we sit around the table and have some good, honest talk with one another. Soon enough, though, we’re all yawning, and by then, we know it’s time to call it a night.
9:30 PM, Christmas Night:
The pajamas are on. The final Christmas special of the season plays on our TV. My parents and I sit in the living room together, taking inventory of the day. What did we all get? What sort of shenanigans went on? Who had who for the secret Santa? We ponder over the chaotic state of the living room, with all of our presents opened that morning still littering the floor. My dog tries to steal tissue paper from the lingering presents.
My Dad and our dog Gracie looking under the couch for some errant wrapping paper on Christmas
It’s Christmas as it should be: spent with loving family all day long.