Kiley’s Playlist



Kiley Wellendorf | Blogger

01. The Stable Song – Gregory Alan Isakov

I grew up a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, proud Christmas baby. Having a birthday a few days shy of this magical season meant that Santa was a regular visitor at my birthday parties with my family. I remember sitting perched on the stool, eyes still wet from getting emotional during “Happy Birthday” and hearing the swing of the door and the sound of bells. Santa would make his way into our living room, and I would start obnoxiously crying because I was so happy. There is something wonderful about the way the lights are perched up downtown on Main Street in Carroll or how snowfall at night makes you spin in a circle and wish you were in a movie. I’m in love with the holiday season; decorating cookies, building snowmen, and watching “A Christmas Story” on repeat was how I celebrated this wonderful time of the year. As I grew older, the same sense of familiarity still continues to fill the air and the excitement of waking up early in the morning to open up presents will always consume me. As a Dec. 21 baby, I’m built for snowfall, slipping in the ice, and ripping into as many presents as possible.

02. Christmastime – The Smashing Pumpkins

Even though my credit card should have been cut in half months before, I somehow found myself searching endlessly for presents that would surprise my family members the moment they saw them. A movie featuring Matthew McConaughey for my mom, something about cars for my dad, and a gift that would make Ben burst out laughing the moment he opened it. I remember zoning out on a card to get my grandma and hearing people around the story wish everyone a happy holiday. As a freshman in college, being home during this time literally ripped my heart out because I got a completely filled version of what it feels like to live at home again. I legitimately started crying in the middle of store because I was a little bit overdramatic and a little bit overwhelmed with how quick the holidays can bring individuals together. (Please don’t say, “Merry Christmas” to me when I’m searching for gifts in Wal-Mart again – I do not need another cliché meltdown.)

03. Christmas Lights – Yellowcard

One of my absolute favorite Christmases I ever celebrated was the year I got my license and somehow made it around town without getting into an accident. My friends and I would pile into my old suburban, and we would blast music, gather our window painters, and write messages on our friends’ windows at night. (Those who had license, so, Nick.) Surrounded by McDonalds coffee and my best friends, I could have stayed in that moment for years and never get sick of it. I wouldn’t take back our muddy shoes, frozen noses, or wet coats for a second. What’s it like to feel that young again?

04. The Christmas Waltz – She & Him

My heart jumps at the thought of macaroni and cheese corn, prime rib, and plates full of buns fresh out of the oven. It’s always been a tradition to have both of my parents make an amazing meal for us after we open up presents that morning. Ben and I have always had a contest with seeing who can wake up the earliest to open gifts, and every year my mom has slept in later than we’ve expected. My mom is the most wonderful person in the world because our Christmas tree sits empty until about five in the morning on Christmas when all of our presents are dispersed all over the room. When Ben and I were little, we used to wake up so early and freak out once we saw that the tree was empty. The moment we drag our parents out of bed, coffee, kids sparking juice, and strawberries to put in your sparkling kids “wine” are dispersed throughout the kitchen. I usually always end up with a stomach ache before my drink is finished, and I always have to push Emmett away from knocking it over. Within a matter of minutes, our living room is covered in wrapping paper and presents. It’s the most beautiful feeling in the world, and once we’re over by eight in the morning, we all lounge around in our Christmas Eve pajamas all day.

This Christmas baby can’t wait to get back into our habits!

Graphic by Krystal Schulte