The first story in the anthology is called "Wings and Things"; we started off with Mike and Gordo using what Lynn thinks are sports terms to highlight the fact that their peewee hockey team has a tournament scheduled for the Holidays. Simultaneously, Lizzie and Dawn are one-upping one another about the fairy pixie-dust angel costumes they're wearing for a school Christmas play which is to be held at almost the same time as the hockey game. This leads Elly, who the strip established as a hockey mom, wondering how hard it could be to do so (way to remember your own strip, Lynn) and John, who's been established as Lizzie's go-to parent, wondering why he's at a play he'd attend anyway. Add in a heavy-handed aside about jackass sports dads and we've got an arc that could have appeared in the strip.
The same thing could be said about "Farley-la-la-la." (Cute title, eh?) This is owing to the fact that the plotline is set into creaking motion by their idiotic refusal to watch what the poor dim beast eats. After gobbling down a whole bunch of stuff dogs just shouldn't have such as cookies, candy, eggnog and wrapping paper, the poor animal gets an upset stomach and they cannot figure out what's wrong with him or why he's in that state. Also, John is called away on an emergency after a humorless sequence involving an electric nose-hair trimmer and, after about a minute of his not understanding what his patient is saying, finds that the man's wife is a vet. Add in the same lecture from the garbage gastritis arc and a conclusion to a running gag about Mike playing a prank with binoculars and we're ready for the last segment.
Said last segment is called "Eggnog and Nutmeg" and is all about Elly getting her panties in a bunch because Christmas traditions are changing faster than she'd like. The whole mess is touched off by her whining to Jim and John that they might just have to drink their eggnog without nutmeg. They're okay with that but she's depressed because nothing will ever be the same again, WAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! We then transition to her talking about some ornament an absent Mike gave her before her starting to freak because Liz is playing an aerobics tape; when April breaks the damned thing by accident, Elly is in despair!! This world wherein things change without her prior approval has left her in despair!!! Anyways, John reassures the children that Elly is really pissed at the changing times and not them while Jim and Elly commiserate because Marian is in the Great Crawl Space In The Sky and not sharing Christmas with them in person while Mike is scheduled to arrive in the afternoon. After an irritating sequence wherein Elly tries starting the revolting new tradition of the Christmas eggnogsicle, we transit to next morning where we find that Mike had arrived earlier than expected and decided to surprise everyone. After another aggravating sequence in which the Delicate Genius grumbled because his expected eggnog and cookies were not as expected, Elly delivers the stupid moral about other people who aren't her have to expand their horizons.
The neat thing is that all three stories could, as I said, have been been part of the strip. We have the Pattersons being idiot pet owners, Elly screaming and whining about nothing, John being an inept dentist, Mike being an entitled dick, Jim as the only sane man, Liz getting all huffy and April being the focus of cute-kid humor. We even get self-serving morals that present deeply-flawed people as role models for all of us.