A Christmas Conundrum

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#581: “A Christmas Conundrum”
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Luke 6:38
38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
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Chris Anthony
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Kathy Buchanan
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Tales of a Small-Town Thug
A Christmas Conundrum
“A Christmas Conundrum” is episode #581 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Kathy Buchanan, and originally aired on December 10, 2005.


Due to a comedy of errors, the Whit's End crew get the wrong ideas of what their friends are getting them for Christmas and try to outdo each other.


It's time for the annual Christmas gift exchange among the Whit's End employees and friends. Grady McKay comes to Whit's End looking for employment so he can buy an alarm clock for his mom. Unfortunately, Whit's End has no open positions, so Grady has to look elsewhere.

Among the employees, Whit wants to buy Connie the car she’s had her eye on, so he sends Eugene to the dealership. Connie gets wind of his visit and thinks Eugene is buying her a car. She tries to match him with an equally expensive gift...by sending Tom to the Electric Palace to buy the stereo Eugene has been eying.

Eugene sees Tom with the stereo and assumes he bought it. Eugene sends Whit to Tom's house to find out what Tom wants for Christmas. He wants a vacuum, but then assumes Whit is buying it for him. In turn, Tom buys Whit an expensive watch for Christmas.

At the gift exchange, everyone gets what they expected but not from the expected person. Everyone learns a valuable lesson about appreciation, contentment, and the importance of the heart in giving gifts. After the gift exchange, Eugene applies that lesson by giving his new stereo to Grady as a present for his mom.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think Connie, Eugene, and Tom were being considerate when they got the gifts?
  2. Do you think when they got the gifts, they were doing it more for the sake of themselves?
    • Why or why not?
  3. Do you think it was kind of Eugene to give up his gift to Grady?
    • Why or why not?


Role Voice Actor
Bart Rathbone Walker Edmiston
Connie Kendall Katie Leigh
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
Grady McKay Jordan Orr
John Whittaker Paul Herlinger
Tom Riley Walker Edmiston


  • Whit says "Christmas isn't about who owes who what." This may be a reference to "The Dick Van Dyke Show" episode "Who Owes Who What?".
  • Eugene actually calls Tom Riley 'Tom'. Usually he calls him, "Mr. Riley".
  • According to the AIO Team at Focus on the Family, there was originally supposed to be a short subplot about Tom's five-legged dog named Cheddar in this episode.



Tom Riley: Connie, there are two people in this conversation, and you're not both of them!

Connie Kendall: Someone even threw a doughnut at me, cream filled!
Eugene Meltsner: Have you had a mechanic examine it? I mean, not the doughnut, but the vehicle?

Connie Kendall: But I got you a cheese basket, and it was on clearance.
Tom Riley: I was wondering why this Swiss was so crunchy!

Connie Kendall: If I didn't have my alarm clock, I'd be late every day.
Eugene Meltsner: You are late every day!

Eugene Meltsner: Miss Kendall...
Connie Kendall: Yeah?
Eugene Meltsner: I'm speechless! This is the last thing I was expecting from you, it does humble me a bit as I merely purchased a scarf for you, which was certainly bought from the heart but, not nearly as elaborate as this generous gift for which I don't know how to thank you.
Tom Riley: For bein' speechless, a lot of words sure came out!

Eugene Meltsner: Well, luckily, rush hour in Odyssey consists of a truck, a bike, and a dog with a limp!

Connie Kendall: Excuse me, but I am not late every day, Eugene.
Eugene Meltsner: You were late today, Connie.
Connie Kendall: My car stalled.
Eugene Meltsner: And yesterday?
Connie Kendall: My curling iron caught on fire.
Eugene Meltsner: Mm-hmm, and, uh, the day before?
Connie Kendall: My conditioner wouldn’t rinse!
Eugene Meltsner: And the day before that?