Peace on Earth
The Barclays forget the true meaning of Christmas.
It's the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and Whit's End is bustling with customers. Connie, Eugene, and especially Whit are rushing around frantically. He has packages left to wrap, phone calls to family members to make, church programs to participate in, and the Barclay family to visit. Tom comes in and literally makes Whit slow down. The customers slowly dissipate, and Whit and Tom enjoy the splendor and quiet of freshly fallen snow on Odyssey.
After the church services that evening, Whit and Eugene visit with the Barclay family. George boasts of the wonderful Christmas they've prepared for the kids that year, while Jimmy obsesses over his presents. Whit tries to remind them of the reason for the season, just as he was reminded earlier by Tom. George assures Whit that they always take a few moments during the day to read the Christmas story. Then Mary brings in hot chocolate, mugs are lifted, and good wishes are shared by all.
The next morning, George and Mary are awakened by Jimmy and Donna, who want to get downstairs and open some presents. The family rises and goes downstairs — only to find an empty living room! They've been robbed — cleaned out completely! The thieves even took their Christmas dinner!
The family is upset and gloomy until George reminds them that God kept them safe through the ordeal. They still have each other. The family decides to make the best of this bad situation, and George pulls out his Bible. He starts to read the Christmas story.
Then, the citizens of Odyssey show up and show them God's love.
- Why did Tom want Whit to slow down?
- Why was Connie so eager to celebrate Christmas?
- How does your family celebrate Christmas?
Heard in episode
Mentioned in episode
|Jana Whittaker-Dowd||John Whittaker|
|Jenny Whittaker-Dowd||John Whittaker|
|Monty Whittaker||John Whittaker|
|Leonard Meltsner||Eugene Meltsner|
|June Kendall||Connie Kendall|
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] During the broadcast intro for this episode, Chris has some men deliver her Christmas tree. Their names are Fred and Barney, a reference to The Flintstones. These characters would later reappear in the episode intros for #98: “The Visitors” and #116: “Isaac the Benevolent”.
- 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.
- Paul McCusker would later note the importance of his episode in defining the relationship of accountability that Whit and Tom would be shown to have with each other as the series progressed, pointing out that Tom was the only one who could get away with chastising Whit as he does in this episode. This would later be seen in episodes such as #462: “The W.E.”.
- David Harley's twenty-five episode absence is mentioned in his brief cameo appearance when George asks him, "What are you doing here?"
- Listen carefully during the first few scenes for background dialogue from other shows: first, Leslie and Cindy Hanson talking in #43: “Back to School”; second, Shirley Zigler and Jake Barns in #10: “Nothing to Fear”.
- 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 it in a movie once." This is a reference to the movie It's a Wonderful Life.
- Main article: List of It’s a Wonderful Life References
- This is the first episode to reference Eugene's long-lost family — a plot that would be explored in the later arc in which Eugene searches for his father.
- Eugene mentions that he invented a "solar dishwasher" in this episode.
- AIO Update: Read
Tom Riley: Whit, sometimes I'm not sure about that boy.
Tom Riley: John Avery Whittaker, now I want you to stop for a minute. You're goin' like a house afire. It's just not like you to get caught up in this Christmas rush.