The Day After Christmas
It's the day after Christmas, and Annie McNeal is bored, despite the fact that she got everything she wanted — and more — for the holiday. She wanders into Whit's End looking for something to do. Annie finds Whit hard at work preparing boxes of food for the poor people at Foster Creek ghetto. Whit asks if Annie would like to help, and she agrees.
At Foster Creek, Annie meets a young boy named Tommy who lures her out on the dangerous streets — against Whit's orders. When the two kids are spotted by a gang, The Locos, Tommy runs off, while Annie is pulled into a house by old Mrs. Rossini, the local crazy lady. Only, Annie soon learns that Mrs. Rossini isn't crazy. She's a lonely widow who is pleased to have company for the first time in years. She and Annie have a delightful afternoon tea, and Mrs. Rossini tells Annie about her life, describing how the Lord has brought her through some very difficult times.
Suddenly, The Locos show up again. They smash Mrs. Rossini's windows and threaten to break into the house. But the gang disappears as quickly as they came — thanks to some quick thinking by Whit, who shows up with several deputies from the sheriff's department. They all head back to Pastor Clarence Pike's church for a delicious day-after-Christmas lunch, where Whit informs Tommy and Annie that since their disobedience led to the broken windows, they'll have to work to replace them.
Tommy is disappointed, but Annie doesn't mind. She's glad to have something worthwhile to do with her time. Her afternoon with Mrs. Rossini has taught her a valuable lesson: The fun of getting Christmas presents can quickly disappear, but the excitement of giving lasts all year long.
- Why do you think Annie got bored so quickly with her Christmas presents?
- Why didn't Whit want Tommy and Annie to leave the church?
- Mrs. Rossini said her faith in God got her through some very difficult times. Can you think of times when your faith helped you?
Heard in episode
|Annie McNeal||Tiffany Song|
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
|Pastor Clarence Pike||Bob Luttrell|
|Teresa Rossini||Joan Gerber|
- This is the first episode to take place away from Odyssey: Episodes That Take Place Away from Odyssey.
- The title is a spoof of the phrase "'twas the night before Christmas." On top of that, the poem Chris Anthony reads at the beginning was borrowed from the 'twas the night before Christmas poem (with the words changed).
- The "Betty Buckskin" doll described by the young girl in the opening wrap is a spoof of the Teddy Ruxpin animatronic toys popular in the 1980s.
- Mrs. Rossini calls her location "Forest Creek" instead of "Foster Creek."
Annie McNeal: Uh, well, can I ask you... uh... well...
Mrs. Rossini: If I had such a good family, and with all I had going for me, how come I ended up in a broken-down shack in Forest Creek? Isn’t that the gist of it?
Annie McNeal: I didn’t mean to be rude. I'm sorry.
Mrs. Rossini: Oh, no, no. You weren’t rude, child. I was rude. You were just naturally curious, that’s all.