One in this comedy series about an "average" middle-aged wife in a small Indiana town who struggles with her husband, an often-frustrating job, and the raising of three children. In this episode, the family picks out a Christmas tree – synthetic, thanks to Sue's allergies – and Frankie grows overwhelmed by the amount of holiday-prep work ahead of her. Brick finds himself absorbed in a "fascinating" Christmas letter from a vague acquaintance, and Axl and Danny end up in a strange argument about the classic animated TV special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as they attempt to make some extra cash by setting up neighbors' holiday displays. Brick chats on the phone with the family from the letter, feeling that they have more "catching up" to do, and Mike, finding that their Christmas tree is inexplicably missing its top, is exasperated when the replacement turns out to be pink, not green. Frankie decides that there is no point to her usual strenuous Christmas preparations and opts to spend her time relaxing instead, though her shocked children are sure that one of them is to blame for her unprecedented behavior. They attempt to apologize for their unknown faux pas, but she assures them that they are not at fault and she has simply chosen not to overdo it this year.

Mike runs around town attempting to track down a last-second tree, and Axl and Danny decide that Darrin must watch "Rudolph" and serve as tiebreaker by deciding whether "King Moonracer" is in fact a toy or not. Brick decides to write his own Christmas letter, but Mike forbids him from sharing the family's many embarrassing mishaps and setbacks, and Axl advises his brother to simply lie and invent some brag-worthy tales. Mike hits another dead end when the store clerk refuses to sell the display tree, and their neighbor Nancy is appalled when Frankie tries to convince her of the joy of abandoning one's complicated Christmas "duties." An anxious Darrin finally declares that King Moonracer is indeed a toy, and the three friends bury the hatchet by making snow angels in the yard. Frankie seems content with her two-toned tree and her "unconventional Christmas" – until Mike casually reveals that he never truly celebrated the holiday until meeting her, at which point she changes her mind and lavishly decorates the house overnight. The kids are thrilled to awaken to a traditional Christmas morning, and Frankie admits that the holiday always "sucks you back in." includes commercials and promos.


  • DATE: 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:29:59
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 123118
  • GENRE: Comedy
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Christmas
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV series, 2009-2018
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - MasterCard credit cards^TV - Commercials - Duracell Quantum batteries^TV - Commercials - Kay Jewelers^TV - Commercials - Vicks NyQuil cold medication^TV - Commercials - Exxon Mobile energy quiz^TV - Commercials - Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet^TV - Commercials - Puffs Plus Lotion tissues^TV - Commercials - Target stores^TV - Commercials - Merrill Edge and Bank of America financial services^TV - Commercials - Wells Fargo banks^TV - Commercials - Best Buy stores^TV - Commercials - Ferrero Rocher gourmet chocolates^TV - Commercials - Tamiflu influenza medicine^TV - Commercials - Arm & Hammer cat litter^TV - Commercials - Kohl's stores^TV - Promos - "Backstage with Disney on Broadway"^TV - Promos - "Fresh Off the Boat"^TV - Promos - "The Goldbergs"^TV - Promos - "The Taste"^TV - Promos - "Barbara Walters: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014"^TV - Promos - "Galavant"^TV - Promos - "A Charlie Brown Christmas"


  • Deann Heline … Executive Producer, Created by
  • Eileen Heisler … Executive Producer, Created by
  • Tim Hobert … Co-Executive Producer
  • Jana Hunter … Co-Executive Producer
  • Mitch Hunter … Co-Executive Producer
  • Robin Shorr … Co-Executive Producer
  • Ilana Wernick … Co-Executive Producer
  • Katy Ballard … Supervising Producer
  • Roy Brown … Supervising Producer, Writer
  • Werner Walian … Producer
  • Ashley Korman … Co-Producer
  • Melissa Parent Connolly … Associate Producer
  • Korby Siamis … Consulting Producer
  • Rich Dahm … Consulting Producer
  • Lee Shallat Chemel … Director
  • Joey Newman … Music by
  • Patricia Heaton … Cast, Frankie Heck
  • Neil Flynn … Cast, Mike Heck
  • Charlie McDermott … Cast, Axl Heck
  • Eden Sher … Cast, Sue Heck
  • Atticus Shaffer … Cast, Brick Heck
  • John Gammon … Cast, Darrin
  • Beau Wirick … Cast, Sean Donahue
  • Jen Ray … Cast, Nancy Donahue
  • Ely Henry … Cast, Danny