LET’S BE HONEST: Christmas was way better when you were a kid. You could eat all the food without caring about weight gain, you hadn’t yet learned to resent your family, and Christmas carols weren’t yet the soundtrack to Black Friday beatdowns. Oh…and SANTA.

So if you’re feeling Scrooge-y (or Grinch-y, or Heat Miser-y), try to remember just how good it used to be:

1. It started with realizing you would be getting a piece of chocolate every day for a month.
2. Hopefully followed by the very first snowfall of the year.

3. Which was quickly followed by the school cancellation dance.

4. So the next morning, you would run outside and do incredibly risky sledding stunts.

5. Which would immediately devolve into epic, neighborhood-wide snowball fights.

6. Then, when you came back inside, your mom would hand you a big cup of this:

7. And as you sipped it, you realized there were cookies. Everywhere.

8. Since there was no school, you were allowed to watch TV. For some reason, there was a channel dedicated to this:

9. But also Christmas specials.

10. Then, if roads were cleared, your parents took you to that one house that always went overboard on Christmas decorations.

11. If you were the performing sort, you’d get your friends to go out Christmas caroling.

12. And of course, you’d come home to hot chocolate and more Christmas specials.

13. Eventually, it became the most wonderful time of the year.

14. If you were lucky, your parents would take you into the city to see this:

15. Or out to the country to do this:

16. If not, it didn’t matter, as long as this was on the agenda:

17. Then, it was decoration time.

18. Followed by your older sister’s “weird” Christmas concert.

19. But to make up for it, your parents took you to the mall.

20. Finally, it was Christmas Eve.

21. So you sat by the fire and played games.

22. Oh, and also watched Christmas specials.

23. Then, you fell asleep waiting for this guy:

24. To wake up for the greatest moment of your life:

25. Followed by a delicious dinner with all of your family.

Merry Christmas, kid!

* Feature image by Joe Shlabotnik