Plot: When Timmy discovers that many people didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas, he decides to share his magic with everyone in Dimmsdale – he wishes that Cosmo and Wanda would deliver a special coupon worth one wish to everyone. This new ‘Wishmas’ is a big hit – a little too big. Vicky uses her wish to ask for one million wishes, which everyone nabs up. The excessive wishing overloads the Big Wand, causing a shut down.
When Jorgen receives happy reception from children, he takes this opportunity to take Christmas away from Santa, disliking that he gets credit for giving toys to children by using fairy magic every year. No one cares about Christmas anymore – they just want Wishmas.
Meanwhile, Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves move into Timmy’s house now that he’s out of a job. They drive everyone, particularly Timmy’s mom, nuts because of their crazy behavior and constantly eating milk and cookies.
Jorgen blocks every attempt to return Santa back to his former Christmas glory, wanting to keep Christmas for himself. Is there any way Timmy can get Christmas back and end this Wishmas nightmare?
Breakdown: Welcome to this year’s A Very Animated Holiday Special, everyone! We’ve got a lot of holiday cheer to go over this year, so let’s dive in!
This Christmas special aired right after I starting paying much less attention to FOP, which I like to call the Post-Poof era. I don’t really have much against Poof, but his appearance definitely felt like the first instance of jumping the shark – something everyone pretty much deduced. Introduce a baby if you want to make no secret of your shark-jumping. It’s a shame FOP had to undergo about three more jumps of the shark before someone finally put it out of its misery.
But I digress.
Christmas Everyday, the FOP Christmas special that precedes this one, is a beloved Christmas Nicktoon classic. I love it, and I watch it every year. I said as much when I reviewed it for 2017’s AVAHS. The main issue I had with that episode was the ending. The main conflict of the special was the other holidays looking to basically snuff Santa so they could take over the year with their own celebrations because they felt overlooked and underappreciated while standing forever in Santa’s shadow.
Timmy talks them down by…confirming that they’re nowhere near as good as Christmas but they like them just fine, even though the song earlier spent a whole verse talking about how crappy the other holidays are (“New Year’s Eve’s for Mom and Dad. The Easter Bunny’s eggs smell really bad! Valentine’s Day always makes me sad…” “Cuz Timmy just can’t get a girlfriend!”) and greatly contradicts that sentiment. He makes no effort to talk about their good points….and it works.
The other holidays realize they were wrong or something, Santa’s returned to normal and they’re able to unwish the constant Christmas wish. The only real lesson of the special is that Christmas is something really special that should only be celebrated once a year, otherwise it’s not special anymore.
With Merry Wishmas, we have a pretty good setup, but it is the part of the episode that makes the least amount of sense. Timmy doesn’t get the sled he asked for, so he celebrates ‘Wishmas’ which seems to be a holiday he made up to wish for everything on his list that he didn’t get, starting with the sled. The message is already kinda in your face because Timmy literally has a mountain of presents and he’s bitching about not getting a sled. If the message wasn’t already in your face, Wanda has to straight out tell Timmy that he shouldn’t focus on the stuff he didn’t get and should just be thankful for the things he did get.
He goes off sledding with his friends only to find them sledding on their crappy gifts, like Chester riding on a trash can and AJ riding on a printer. I had to pause here because, really Santa? You gave Chester, the dirt-poor kid in town, a trash can for Christmas? While Timmy gets a mountain of stuff AND fairies? What is wrong with you?
Also, I thought AJ was rich. Why is he complaining about anything?
It seems no one in town, not even Timmy’s dad, got what they asked for this Christmas – so much so that the song of the special is the kids singing about the weird gifts they got in place of the stuff they asked for. The song is called ‘Not on the List’ and even though ‘I Wish Everyday Could Be Christmas’ is better, I still really enjoyed this song. It’s very catchy and easy to sing along with. However, given the more negative sentiment, I’d be hardpressed to want to sing it during the holidays.
Also, some of the presents make sense and are things kids sometimes get in place of the stuff they actually wanted for Christmas, like the wrong toys, educational toys, books and underwear, but who is giving these kids cheese, a backhair trimmer, self-help books, tickets to a golf invitational and beef jerky?…..And why did Chester get a damn trash can!? I’m not letting that go.
Why was Santa doing this? Some kids, like Vicky, just don’t deserve what they asked for, but it seems like no one got what they wanted this year. The ending might imply that he planned for this to happen, but we’ll cross that bridge in a bit.
Timmy wishes that everyone in Dimmsdale had their own ‘Wishmas’ by having Cosmo and Wanda dress up like holiday mailmen and deliver a coupon to everyone that was worth one wish each. Timmy’s heart is in the right place here, but like every episode, it backfires on him.
Of course, everyone wishes for ridiculous stuff, and Vicky nabs the most obvious wish loophole and wishes for a million wishes. I first thought Vicky would be the main villain of the special after that, but she isn’t. The massive magic needed to use these coupons overloads the Big Wand back in Fairy World, but, shockingly, Jorgen isn’t upset about it.
Since everyone in the world now loves Wishmas, Jorgen jumps at the chance to take Christmas for himself since he views Santa as a glory hog for getting all the love and attention on Christmas when he uses all of the fairies’ magic to give the gifts. He won’t allow Timmy to unwish the wish or wish away Wishmas because he’s loving the fame and attention now. Yes, believe it or not, Jorgen is technically the baddie in this special, though the focus really isn’t on combating him.
It’s strange. You’d think Jorgen wouldn’t be on board with this because obviously giving one or unlimited wishes to everyone in world, even just for one day, would be a bad idea and a huge strain on their magic supply, but I guess we’re just working on the honor system that no one will wish for world conquest or for time and space to fall apart or for this godforsaken series to last ten seasons.
Santa, who is still in his fat and jolly form even though continuity would dictate that once he no longer had fairy magic he’d revert back to his other more ‘normal’ businessman-esque form, but whatever, for some reason needs to move in with Timmy now that he’s out of a job, taking his wife and elves with him. This twist doesn’t make full sense to me, but I’m choosing to ignore it.
Timmy spends the bulk of the year hoping Santa will get up the heart to fight for Christmas, but it takes him until Christmas rolls back around for Timmy to take matters into his own hands. He captures Cosmo and Wanda in a butterfly net and traps Jorgen in a magic cell, forcing Wishmas to not come and Christmas to return.
Timmy and every other kid realizes that they should share their gifts with those less fortunate and be thankful for what they have. Christmas returns, and the kids start giving away a bunch of the stuff they asked for to other kids who aren’t as privileged, and Santa even kinda encourages the viewer to do the same.
During the entire episode, Timmy has been following an eerily accurate Christmas storybook about the current events. It’s not dictating his actions, it’s kinda predicting how everything goes and narrates as the story goes on. It’s not constant, though, so it’s never annoying. However, the ending reveals that Santa wrote the book and left it under the tree for Cosmo to find and read, probably after he heard Timmy being ungrateful for what he had, which….raises a massive load of questions.
Assuming Santa didn’t purposefully not give everyone what they wanted for Christmas, he decided to put the entire world at risk by leading Timmy into wishing for Wishmas, allowing everyone at least one wish (Jorgen does shut down the magic when they wish too much, so there’s a cap here, but still) Santa maybe intentionally crashed with Timmy even though, logically, he should have a place to live even without a job, just to further this story. He tormented Timmy’s poor parents for a full year, practically destroyed their house, and all because Timmy made the misguided wish to help everyone get what they wanted for Christmas and he wanted to teach Timmy a lesson about appreciating what you got and focusing more on giving, not receiving.
That’s uhm…..Ya know, Timmy wasn’t even one of the people singing the ‘Not on the List’ song. Though, maybe that’s because he just wished for the sled he didn’t get. I have to wonder how Timmy even has stuff to wish for on Christmas. He has fairies all year round. Why wouldn’t he wish for a sled before now?
Timmy was ungrateful, sure, but he didn’t really act bratty about it. Also, how does getting a buttload of wishes and then getting them taken away the next year teach the populace that giving is better than receiving? I would have put an addendum on the coupon that said ‘you must use this wish for the sake of another person’ or something. People are pissed because they want to use the coupons for themselves, but they find using the wishes for the good of others is great. Giving away gifts when the wishes are taken away is the next best thing.
Despite there being a lot of logistic issues in the writing, I have no problem saying this episode is about as good as Christmas Everyday. The overall plot may have a lot of wrinkles, but the dialogue and pacing are very snappy. I found myself smiling several times and even laughing and rewinding to re-hear jokes because they were that good.
I’d say that the smaller overarching plot problems spanning the entire episode, collectively, are about as bad as the resolution in Christmas Everyday. I might even say that Merry Wishmas is funnier than Christmas Everyday and has an actual message to it that’s beneficial, even if it takes some mental gymnastics to get there.
The only thing that might keep notching it down to the same level as Christmas Everyday is the fact that Santa went way overboard with this, and his plan doesn’t really make a lot of sense, at least the way he framed it.
He built it like this. Make Wishmas – everyone’s happy – loves Wishmas – No longer needs Christmas – take Wishmas away – People appreciate what they get for Christmas more and want to give not receive.
However, when you really think about it, this is what would logically happen. Make Wishmas – everyone’s happy – loves Wishmas – No longer needs Christmas – Take Wishmas away – Greedy people no longer get stuff they want – must beg Santa to return to keep getting stuff.
Nowhere along that path can I really see where Timmy and the other kids would suddenly start gaining an appreciation for what they have and feel compelled to share their things with those less fortunate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice that the message is in there, but the plot didn’t properly set the stage for the actual revelation. It was moreso setup and divebomb into payoff.
That and Jorgen’s acting really out of character in this episode. He initially gets angry, sure, and he does love the spotlight, yeah, but putting the entire world at risk by giving literally everyone at least one wish (maybe even Crocker!) is not something he’d do for a little attention once a year. The fact that he wants to take down Santa when he makes his return is even worse.
Overall, despite my problems with the plot’s writing, this is a very funny, sweet and enjoyable FOP Christmas special that I would be glad to add to the annual Christmas special watch list. It’s certainly on par with Christmas Everyday, I can safely say that much. I didn’t even notice Poof was there most of the time, which is weird, because at this point he hasn’t even been in the series long enough to warrant changing the theme song animation. You’d think he’d get a little more focus. It’s even Poof’s first Christmas, so that’s a bit of a missed opportunity there.
Side-note: This episode really makes me miss Timmy’s dad. He’s such a hilarious character when they actually take advantage of Daran Norris’ voice acting properly. His antics as ‘Nogman’ here were definitely a major highlight and a great way to build upon the running joke from Christmas Everyday.
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