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.

Snow falling

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

Scene from Home Alone

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

Sledding accident

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

Camera hit by snowball

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

A mug of hot chocolate

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

Christmas cookies

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

Burning logs

9. But also Christmas specials.

A Christmas Story

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.

Charlie Brown Christmas

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

Scooby Doo

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

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

15. Or out to the country to do this:

Rabbit on the ice

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

Elf

17. Then, it was decoration time.

Christmas decorations

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

Christmas concert

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

Kramer as Santa

20. Finally, it was Christmas Eve.

Santa on Christmas Eve

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

Christmas cat

22. Oh, and also watched Christmas specials.

The Grinch

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

Santa Claus

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

Kids on Christmas morning

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

Harry Potter school

Merry Christmas, kid!

* Feature image by Joe Shlabotnik