The latest installment to The Michael J. Fox Show appropriately titled Christmas, centers on a competition between Mike and Annie. After kissing under a ribbon tied bunch of broccolini, as opposed to traditional mistletoe, we learn the couple celebrated their first Christmas with salami and a loaf of Semolina French bread. In an effort to improve future gift giving, they try to make the gifts for each subsequent year better than the last. Eve, their headstrong daughter, wants no part of Christmas, and is annoyed by her parent’s friendly match.
On the other hand, Ian is determined to preserve the holiday spirit of his little brother, Graham. Since Ian didn’t receive the Matchbox car he wanted as a child, he starts making every effort to obtain the Space Fish his brother asks for. Meanwhile, his father is convinced he has a nice gift for Annie, a turtle necklace. However, after receiving a monogrammed briefcase from his producer Kay, he’s forced to give her a more meaningful gift than the Starbucks gift card he had purchased for her. And, you guessed it; she gets the necklace, forcing Mike to enlist Eve’s help to pick-up another turtle necklace for Annie.
While Annie’s gift was given away, Mike’s arrives at their home, in the form of the legendary Sting. After Mike learns he has to anchor the evening news, Annie is forced to entertain “Mr. Sting,” as she calls him. Sting plays the role well, constantly quoting songs, while learning Annie isn’t the least bit familiar with his music.
Now, cue the lessons. The one thing the writers of The Michael J. Fox Show consistently do well, in every episode, is writing each character to have an epiphany, a lesson of sorts. After some careful planning from Annie, Ian is eventually led to a man who has a Space Fish, which is apparently a hot item. Ian isn’t only given a Space Fish from a man who looks like a traditional Santa Claus; he also receives a Matchbox car, what he wanted all those years ago. He assumes his mom is behind the set-up, but she never admits it. Ian was so determined for his little brother to continue to believe in Saint Nick and the magic of Christmas; instead, he is the one whose faith is restored.
Eve isn’t able to deliver another turtle necklace to her dad, but what she does bring forth is incredibly meaningful. After Annie brings Sting to the news station, Mike doesn’t think he can possibly have a gift to measure up to hers. However, when she opens the present Eve delivers, she finds salami and a loaf of Semolina bread. It isn’t jewelry, it isn’t a popular singer. It’s a symbol of love, a recollection of memories. Seeing the joy the gift brought to her mother makes Eve realize the holiday season isn’t so bad.
The episode began as a competition, but in the end, while the tunes of Sting filled the NBC newsroom, they all learned Christmas isn’t about the gifts. It shouldn’t be a battle of who can give the best present; it should be a celebration of family. Bravo to NBC for sending the right message this holiday season.