For some reason, I had in my head that this episode was just ok and kinda fine. I really have no idea why I thought this. Watching it last night, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. In fact, I continued to laugh through the entire episode. Perhaps it’s because I had this false impression in my head and therefore hadn’t watched this in years that made me enjoy it so much. I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, when I was trying to decide what episode of HIMYM to watch for the Christmas Challenge, I was disappointed when I realized this was really the first Christmas episode. I’m glad I was pleasantly surprised.
Here’s a little of what happened. Marshall is out finishing his schoolin’ while Lily and Ted are setting up a winter wonderland in the apartment. But when Lily finds an old answering machine with a message from Ted calling her a bad word (granted, from when Marshall and Lily were broken up), a fight ensues, and Lily steals all the decorations — and Christmas, by extension.
The episode was all in good fun, with the usual euphemisms to cover up what was really said (“grinch” instead of the word that shall remain nameless). There’s a good side plot of Barney’s being sick and Robin’s taking care of him (even though he denies it and tries to remain his awesome self), and even Marshall becomes his own Santa by helping a delivery man deliver all the packages in the back of his truck. Considering that Marshall did get the boring role of law school work in this episode, it was a nice surprise to have him featured in a funny montage in the end.
And, of course, it was heartwarming. After Ted flees the city so Lily can give Marshall the Christmas he deserves (and she stole), she saw that Ted really was his friend after all. Years in the making, he suggested a gift for Lily that she’s wanted ever since she was a little girl: an easy-bake oven. It reiterated that they really were friends, even in the tough times.
Really, the part that I thought was great about this episode — and it’s more about the show’s overarching story than the Christmas theme — was Ted’s declaration that when that Lily left last summer, she left him, too. She didn’t just hurt Marshall. She hurt Ted when she left for California, and he didn’t even get an apology. And I don’t think she apologized in this episode either. That hurt ends up getting tucked away in the series, or perhaps the Christmas spirit made it disappear. I’m not sure. But either way, Lily bring Ted a beer to Staten Island, and we all end happily.
Recommendation: I enjoyed it, and I’m glad I rediscovered it. You should, too.