It wouldn't be Christmas for the Blues if it didn't involve a sleigh ride somewhere, and this year it was the mammoth trip to the New Lawn to face Forest Green Rovers.
With Jon Mellish missing through suspension that meant a return to the starting eleven for Gime Toure, with the team otherwise unchanged from last Saturday.
The hosts were on the attack immediately and Adams showed awareness to take the ball under control as Riley stopped the initial move. Bailey arrived to steam through the middle, unmarked, and the pass to send him on his way was inch perfect. He let one go but his 17-yard goal bound effort was deflected wide of the upright by a superbly timed challenge from Anderton.
United responded with a good spell which saw them keep the green shirts pegged back. Guy was typically strong in midfield as he won a 50:50 challenge, and his pass to Toure eventually brought a long throw from Kayode.
He didn't disappoint as his dipper caused all kinds of confusion, and a blocked volley from the penalty spot from Bennett screwed kindly to Toure. He punted it with venom but McGee somehow made the point blank save.
Rovers were awarded a disputed free kick tight by the right hand touchline just before the quarter hour and Cadden swung it into the danger area. Stokes was up to meet it but his header was dealt with by Hayden.
Toure had a shot charged down when another Kayode launch sat up in front of him, and Alessandra clipped one over the bar from distance as the visitors stayed on the front foot.
United were a whisker away on 25 minutes when Alessandra poked the ball to Toure. He spread play with an out-pass to Armer, and his left-footed cross was met by a leap from Kayode. McGee was stranded as it dropped just the wrong side of the post.
It was the Cumbrians who asked the next question when a huge kick forward was nicked the way of Alessandra. He took a touch, on the edge of the box, before a lob left the keeper rooted to the spot. He was relieved to see it angle over his bar.
There was incident at the other end when Cadden floated another precise free kick into the mix. It evaded everybody and it was left to bounce harmlessly behind.
Good work from Toure put the away team back on the attack, and he won a corner which Guy delivered. Kayode was wrestled to the floor by Matt, when Armer put it back in, and the shot on the turn from the 22-yard free kick from Alessandra left Adams with plenty to think about as he took it full on in the unmentionables.
Both sides went for it and a cross from Cadden had to be put away by Anderton in front of his own nets, and Matt was pulled up for a foul as he tussled for the resulting corner.
Tenacity from Riley saw him come away with the ball just before the break, but his shot on the run curled wide as it gathered pace.
Into the second half and a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning accompanied the starting whistle, as did a Carlisle corner. The slightest of touches from Stokes was enough to prevent a shot from Kayode as the ball zipped in.
The Carlisle striker was at the other end to help out with the defending when Cadden flighted a cross at Matt. A sweep of the boot took the ball to safety.
United had a Toure goal chalked off on 51 minutes when Hayden was judged to have climbed on his man when he put a deep Guy corner back into the mix.
A flurry of crosses followed from the visitors and that saw them put good pressure on as Guy peppered the area. McGee twice punched, but he was at his best when he spread himself to parry a 12-yard thunderbolt from Riley as he worked his way through into a shooting area.
Midfielder Joe Riley was there again as a storm from the heavens descended on the New Lawn, but a stinger from distance was just wide with the keeper well beaten on this occasion.
Things opened up for Matt temporarily at the away end as Rovers countered, but Farman went full length to beat a swirling effort away.
Armer defended excellently as Adams centred, on the run out wide, in what was a good period for Rovers. He needed to get there first as two strikers converged in an attempt to put the loose pieces into the back of the net.
Fortune favoured United as Collins was suddenly presented with an opening inside the box. He kept it low and he couldn't believe his eyes as it smashed back off the base of the upright before skittering across the face of the empty goal.
It somehow stayed out, and Carlisle immediately moved forward with Anderton in attendance. His delivery took a deflection, but Armer was there to recover the attempted clearance. His neat through ball found Toure, and he dropped a shoulder before sending it low. He also couldn't believe it as the ball angled past the post.
Superb agility from Farman saw him pull off a wonder save as Collins went one way, then the other. A rasper was headng into the roof of the net until the keeper adjusted his body to get a hand to the ball.
It was a set piece that was the undoing of United on 76 minutes when a high ball was kept alive. It came to Matt, just two yards out, and he was able to send the ball over the line as he dropped to the floor with his back to the target.
Matt put a header over moments later, when Cadden beat his man to pick him out, and the visitors were almost caught on the break when Rovers broke in numbers from a misplaced free kick. Farman saved at the feet of Collins as he burst through, and he was up quickly to gather the attempted curler from Adams.
Forest Green Rovers - Matt (76)
Forest Green Rovers - Ricgardson (50)
Carlisle United - Alessandra (19), Riley (44), Farman (50), Charters (90)
Forest Green Rovers - McGee, Bernard, Sweeney, Stokes (c), Adams, Collins (Winchester 90), Cadden, Matt, Bailey (Whitehouse 75), Godwin-Malife, Richardson. Subs - Thomas (gk), Stevens, Moore-Taylor, Young, Wagstaff.
Carlisle United - Farman, Armer, Hayden, Bennett, Anderton (c), Riley, Guy, Patrick (Reilly 79), Toure (Charters 85), Alessandra, Kayode. Subs - Norman (gk), Hunt, Dixon, Furman, Obiero.
Referee - Alan Young
Assistant Referee 1 - Joe Clark
Assistant Referee 2 - Conor Farrell
Fourth Official - Kevin Johnson
Attendance - 920