December 24, 1988
|The Barclay family have forgotten the most important part of Christmas... Jesus! But when their house is robbed, the good people of Odyssey show them God's love.
Written By: Chandler
It's Christmas Eve! Whit's End is a madhouse as customers try to get in one more ice cream cone before Whit's End closes for Christmas. In my opinion, the first two scenes are well constructed and touch on several points. We hear Whit's distraction in the Christmas rush, Connie's excitement over celebrating Jesus' birth, Eugene's non-Christian observation of people's busyness in preparation for Christmas, Jimmy's materialism, and Eugene's lack of family. Also heard is another reference to a Eugene invention/modification as is frequent in early shows.
If you listen real carefully through headphones to the first couple scenes you can hear large parts of dialogue in the background from other shows. The first scene you can hear comes from "Back to School"; you can mainly hear Leslie (who also does Donna) talking in a scene where she's at Whit's End. Later on, you can hear the dialogue between Shirley and Jake in "Nothing to Fear". After that, you can once again hear lines from "Back to School" with Leslie and Cindy talking. Early on, you can hear someone who sounds like Jimmy say "Doing unto others." The line may possibly have come from "Doing Unto Others", an early show which features David Griffin (Jimmy) as Johnny, but is no longer available. As there is plenty of other stuff going on, there may very well be more lines that I'm missing, so be sure to listen carefully. :o)
Typically, I think of this as a Barclay show, but the show's focus doesn't shift to the Barclays until eleven minutes into it. We see a family excited about Christmas. The beautiful Christmas tree, giving and getting presents... there's only one thing missing--the celebration of Jesus' birth.
But the Barclays are rudely "awakened" by the discovery that they have been robbed on Christmas. All their presents are gone. As the family sits around bemoaning their loss, George and Mary realize they have been ignoring Jesus. George gets out his Bible to read the Christmas story. Just as he begins the doorbell rings. That's my only gripe (very minor) about this show. Just as the family starts to do what they should have already done, they are interrupted. I would have preferred that we hear George being the chapter and music bridge into his finishing it and then the doorbell ring. Anyway, in a wonderful ending, various people from around town bring presents, decorations, food, and firewood. Wonderful friends surround the Barclays. As Jimmy summed it up, "Merry Christmas!"
There's so much packed into this show, I certainly don't feel ripped--off. So many great little aspects to this episode: Jimmy and Eugene's various comments, Eugene's keychain, Jimmy's little kid enthusiasm. At the end, when Eugene (done by Will Ryan) brings the turkey, he asks, "They didn't steal your oven, did they?" Later, when Officer Harley (also done by Will Ryan) drops in for a surprise appearance, he asks, "They steal your fireplace too?" Lightning also makes a brief appearance just long enough to call Jimmy "Bimmy." And the list goes on. All that combined with the upbeat Christmas music makes this is one of my all-time favorite Christmas shows.
Listening carefully to the first couple scenes, you can hear background dialogue from other shows. First, Leslie talking in "Back to School"; second, Shirley and Jake in "Nothing to Fear"; and Leslie and Cindy in "Back to School."
During the wrap-around for this episode, Chris has some men deliver her Christmas tree. Their names are Fred and Barney, a reference to "The Flintstones."
The original concept for this episode dealt solely with Whit being too busy to enjoy Christmas. Chuck Bolte came up with the idea of the Barclays getting robbed, and Paul McCusker blended the two stories together.
After Connie hugs Whit and Tom in Whit's End, she tells Eugene, "I'd hug you too, but I don't have time for your explanation of the process." Ironically enough, in "Love is in the Air" almost 300 episodes later, it's Connie who is explaining hugs to Eugene!
This is one of the episodes that is released where David Harley is in it.
- Jared DeWhite
Connie says to Whit, "Your pastor called." Other episodes have referenced Connie and Whit attending the same church, so for her to phrase it that way doesn't make sense. She would have said something like, "Pastor Jones called."
- Odyssey fan
When the town comes to help the Barclays after they've been robbed, George says, "I've never seen anything like this before!" Jimmy remarks, "I saw something like this in a movie one time." This is a reference to the movie, It's a Wonderful Life
- Waluigi Freak 99
The two characters who help Chris with her tree in the opening skit are named Fred and Barney, and sound like the characters from the Flintstones with the same names.
(Referring to Eugene): Sometimes I'm not sure about that boy.