Merry Happy Whatever: S1E6 Merry Ex-Mas
A Note to Parents: Merry Happy Whatever is designed to be a family show, yet things have changed since The Brady Bunch was popular. This show features a teenager deciding he’s an atheist, a young woman embracing her homosexuality, and the implications of unmarried couples sleeping together. We at The Source For Parents never want to introduce something to kids that you wouldn’t want them to watch, so we develop discussions that parents can use if they feel the show is appropriate for their child. This show avoids the language and violence we often see today, but each parent will need to decide on their own if it’s appropriate for their family.
Season 1, Episode 6: Merry Ex-Mas
It’s finally Christmas Day and the Quinn family is ready to celebrate. They start the morning enjoying some of their traditions such as coffee with a dash of cocoa and a candy cane, and the upcoming Christmas Day brunch.
At the forefront of this episode is the relationship between Matt and Emmy. At the beginning of the season, they were headed toward a Christmas Day engagement. Now that the day has arrived, the relationship has taken a complete turn in the opposite direction. While they still love each other, they are not communicating well. Their struggles in communication has led to them both making some assumptions about the other. These events have led to Matt decide he is not going to propose to Emmy on Christmas morning, despite the preparations he had made to make this happen.
Matt now realizes he does not have a Christmas gift for Emmy, since he no longer will be giving her the engagement ring he purchased.
Emmy: I can’t wait to exchange gifts with my super awesome boyfriend.
Matt: Right back at you, my super awesome girlfriend.
[BOTH CHUCKLE, EMMY LEAVES THE ROOM.] [MATT SIGHS]
Matt: (to Todd) Dude, I don’t have a Christmas gift for Emmy. I got so caught up deciding whether to propose or not, I did not even think about needing a backup gift.
Todd: Remember last night when everyone was mad at me for trying to make our baby Jewish? You make me look so good!
Comedy ensues as Matt decides to sing a song to Emmy, and for some reason chooses to perform the exact song that he was going to use to propose – but with a few words being different.
Matt: And the only thing that’ll make this day Go more merrily… is Emmy, will you…keep dating me?
Obviously Emmy is confused and discouraged because she had previously found the engagement ring and was expecting Matt to pop the question.
Emmy: (to Kayla) I mean, it’s just so frustrating. Like, that song was clearly supposed to be a proposal. And then, it just went down the disposal. See? Even I can write a better song than him. I just don’t understand why he didn’t do it.
Everything comes to a head toward the end of the episode as Matt and Emmy are able to get some elusive alone time. They are finally able to be mostly honest with each other and hash things out, or at least attempt to.
Matt: I didn’t propose because I found your job offer letter. And when were you gonna tell me about that?
Emmy: I didn’t think I was gonna take the job.
Matt: You didn’t think, but you might have? You might have taken a job and moved back to Philadelphia? – Cool. Good to know.
Emmy: Okay. Well, I’m sorry, but it’s hard for me to turn down opportunities when I’m the only one thinking about the future instead of just floating through life, hoping everything’s gonna work out.
Matt: Yes! Yes! I have a different approach to life than you. I don’t feel like I have to control every single detail of it. But it’s who I’ve always been.
The reality is that neither Emmy nor Matt are making efforts to understand each other. They are assuming, attacking, protecting themselves, and the result appears that they will be breaking up at the end of the episode.
What we see here is a great example of what happens when we fail to heed the wisdom we find in Proverbs about understanding each other.
Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
It’s easy for you and I to express our viewpoint on things before we gain understanding. What might have happened if Matt and Emmy had an honest conversation before Christmas morning? What might have been if Matt had asked her about the job offer to understand what had happened and what he was thinking? Consider how things might have been different if Emmy had tried to understand why Matt was turning down opportunities to play music, and why he didn’t propose to her.
Let’s take some time and discuss what happens when we air our opinion instead of seeking understanding.
Discussion Questions (for parents and their children to engage in together)
- Have you ever forgotten to get someone a Christmas gift and had an experience like Matt did?
- What is the earliest you’ve ever gotten up on Christmas morning?
- Why do you think Matt and Emmy are not communicating so well?
- What do you think is easier: to talk to someone or to talk about someone? Explain why you think the way you do.
- What do you think the Bible means when it says someone is a “fool”?
- Can you think of a point in this episode where someone tried to understand another person?
- Why do you think it’s so easy to “air our own opinions” instead of understanding?
- Who are some people in your life that try to understand you? What do they do to gain that understanding?
- When you think about our relationship, do you think we tend to try and understand each other, or do we spend more time airing our own opinions? [Explain your answer, and give examples]
- How can you and I avoid miscommunication and do a better job in understanding each other before we react?
Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org