When I was a kid, I was a big fan of the show Home Improvement. Don’t judge me; I was just a kid, but I’ll say that the show more or less holds up today. Its brand of inoffensive slapstick is a nice detour from the Chuck Lorre tripe that passes for sitcoms these days. One thing they always managed to do well was their holiday episodes, especially Christmas.
One of the biggest running jokes on the show was Tim’s ongoing competition with neighbor Doc Johnson over their Christmas light displays and as this was a first season episode, this is where that gag started. There is also a story about Randy being in the Christmas play (as the innkeeper) and Randy and Brad telling Mark that Santa died right before he was born.
I really don’t watch much network television these days, but something I always remember about 90s TV is how much holiday episodes became events. For Halloween, you always waited around to see what The Simpsons and Roseanne would do. Thanksgiving belonged to Friends and, as far as I concerned, no one did Christmas better than Home Improvement. The holiday played into the Toolman persona, as Tim was allowed to screw up holiday projects regularly. It’s a fun blast from the past and the final act of the episode is a nice little note to end a family show on.