The episode begins three days before Christmas, and Ray is buying cones of ice cream topped with candy canes for Otto and Reggie, as the start of their annual Christmas traditions, even though it is implied that Otto and Reggie do not actually like the ice cream he just bought. Ray is about to start reminiscing on the family's first Christmas in Ocean Shores when he suddenly spots a classic 10-foot longboard on display in a nearby store window and becomes absolutely entranced by it. After snapping out of his daze, Ray heads off to get the supplies for the paper chains he says he and his kids always make. Immediately after their dad leaves, though, Otto and Reggie express embarrassment at the idea of still making paper chains. Twister comes by, telling the siblings that he's walking Mrs. Maize's poodle while she's busy with her Christmas shopping. When he mentions that he's being paid $20 to walk dogs (he says it's a popular way to make extra money this time of the year), Reggie and Otto also decide to start offering a dog-walking service so they can make enough money to buy the longboard for their dad.
At the Rocket residence, the siblings, with help from Twister and Sam, begin setting up the business when Ray comes in with the Christmas decorations. While Otto and Twister help him bring them in, a photo album drops out of the box and Sam takes a look at it, noticing an old photo of Reggie and Otto on a mall Santa's lap. Ray begins to reminiscence on that Christmas, but the quartet, not comfortable with this, head out to start walking dogs. As they leave, Ray reminds Reggie and Otto that they have to make their annual gingerbread house and then sing the "Kringle Dingle Song" and dance the "antler dance" tonight, much to the pair's embarrassment. After a troublesome afternoon of walking their neighbors' dogs, Otto and Reggie come home late, hoping that their father got tired of waiting for them and went to bed early. However, they come in to see Ray having already decorated the house and singing and dancing the aforementioned song and dance. They tell him that they were gone too long because they got food poisoning.
The next morning, after they tell him they're feeling better, Ray reminds them that tonight is when they're going to watch his favorite Christmas TV special, Pinkie Pixie's Christmas Flapadoozy. Otto and Reggie aren't looking forward to that, but Reggie tells her brother that they're gonna have to watch it, since Christmas is so important to their dad. That afternoon, Otto, getting tired of the troubles of walking the dogs, finds a way to liven up the job by getting the dogs to chase beef jerky while pulling him on his skateboard, which Reggie and Twister also manage to do (Sam unfortunately does not have the same luck getting the dogs to pull him on his skateboard). That evening, Reggie figures that while they only have one more day to make enough money to buy the longboard, it should provide them with enough pay. But then they remember they're supposed to be watching Pinkie Pixie with their dad; when they arrive home, Ray tells them that he taped the special because they missed the broadcast. As they start watching the tape, Otto and Reggie mock the special, much to their dad's annoyance. He becomes even more annoyed with them when they say they want to give it a rest on these Christmas traditions of his, and he storms out, leaving the siblings hoping he'll feel better once they've given him the longboard.
Meanwhile, Tito Makani has been working as a department store Santa among many others in hopes of being the official Santa Claus of Ocean Shores' mayoral ball. However, he loses that position to Peterson and comes to visit Ray at the Shore Shack. Toto pours out about how much he wanted to continue his family's tradition of being Santa's Helper. Ray admits that he feels the same way regarding his kids not celebrating Christmas with him, saying he wishes he could get them to understand what's really important.
On Christmas Eve, Otto and Reggie find themselves doing their dog-walking service without Twister and Sam's help, due to Twister spending Christmas with his family and Sam going to buy a weed-butcher for his mom's present. To make matters worse, Reggie had to pay half of their earlier earnings due to an accident with a Christmas lights display, which may make getting the rest of the money needed for the longboard more difficult. As the dogs pull Otto and Reggie on their skateboards, they pass by several houses with other happy families enjoying Christmas together just like Ray wanted to do with them, and they feel guilty about this. Realizing that it's 4:00 PM, they get to work returning the dogs to their owners, with Reggie giving Otto the money-sack they've been holding onto, since the surfboard store is on the path he's taking. However, Otto runs into Lars and his gang, who challenge him to a dog-walking race. Otto, being in a hurry, refuses, but eventually accepts the challenge, only for him and Lars to both end up crashing into some signs and scattering all the dogs.
Otto and Reggie are stuck having to retrieve all the dogs that Otto lost, with Reggie chastising Otto for this. When they arrive at the Dullard residence, where Sam has just given his mom the weed-butcher, they ask for his help; luckily, Sam had anticipated such a possibility and installed a tracking device on each of the dogs. With Sam overseeing things from his room, Otto, Reggie, and Twister look for the dogs. After Twister brings Tito's dog to him, the dog informs Tito of the Rocket siblings' current dilemma. After Otto and Reggie finish gathering the dogs, Tito gives them a lift to the surfboard store, telling them that the customers for their dog-walking service have gathered to pay them there. After being paid the rest of the money by their customers (and a brief disaster where Otto mistakenly thinks he lost the money-sack Reggie gave him to hold onto earlier), Reggie and Otto manage to buy the longboard. Lt. Ryan, impressed by Tito's work, decides to let him be the official Santa for the mayor's ball after all.
Reggie and Otto arrive home, willing to celebrate Christmas with their dad, telling him he was right about it being all about traditions. Ray tells them, however, that the actual reason he's been doing all these traditions was in honor of his wife, who'd always loved these traditions when they were little, but what really mattered to her was that they kept spending time as a family. (This is notably a clue to the later revelation that Otto and Reggie's mother, Danielle, died prior to the events of the show.) Afterward, Reggie and Otto present him with the longboard. He then gives them a pair of gifts he'd planned to give them when they were old enough - for Otto, a Spanish gold coin that their mother found on a scuba expedition in a sunken wreck off the coast of Barbados; and for Reggie, a music box that their mother won in a women's surfing contest. The kids are touched with these gifts, and with that, they and their dad begin a new Christmas tradition - going surfing together on his new longboard.
Home video releases
- NickToons Christmas
- Rocket Power: The Complete Fourth Season
- Christmas Specials Wiki: A Rocket X-Mas
- "A Rocket X-Mas" at TV.com
- "A Rocket X-Mas" at the Big Cartoon DataBase