'Having a Ball and Christmas Eve' are two novellas written in the costumbrista style, made popular in the mid-nineteenth century by the periodical press in which these sketches of contemporary manners were first published. The stories are a sensitive reflection of the effects of modernization brought by an authoritarian regime dedicated to order and progress. 'Christmas Eve' describes a volatile middle class in which people pursue pleasure and entertainment without regard to morality. 'Having a Ball' depicts women and their dedication to fashion. It is through them that Cuellar examines a society susceptible to foreign values, the importation of which radically altered the face of Mexico and its traditional customs.