Did I Mention It's Christmas?
: If this is their idea of Christmas, I gotta
be here for New Year's.
This is one of those fairly rare occurrences when a story takes place at Christmas time or has some heavy Chistmassy elements to it but isn't about peace, good-will to all men, the birth of Christ, Ol' Saint Nick, or any of the usual trappings of a jolly old Christmas tale. In fact, with this trope the holiday setting has no bearing whatsoever on the story in question (except maybe for some added tension that all this chaos is happening when people should be celebrating). In fact, in most of these stories if it wasn't for the occasional appearance of a Christmas tree or some other decorations or music you'd most likely forget it's Christmas at all!
Compare Soapland Christmas
, which is the polar (heh
) opposite of this trope. For explosive action in a Christmas-y setting, it's An Ass Kicking Christmas
. Contrast Do They Know It's Christmas Time?
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Anime & Manga
- In Mobile Suit Gundam the Battle of Solomon, featuring the iconic Mobile Armor Big Zam, takes place on Christmas Eve, though you could be forgiven for not noticing this.
- In The Walking Dead, Dale off-handedly notes to Rick that, by counting the days, they've guessed that it is Christmas Eve. Rick angrily tells him not to spread it around, as he doesn't want to disappoint his already traumatized son.
- Harry Potter: Given the fact that each book takes place over the course of one school year, the narrative always at least mentions Christmas in passing.
- From the Jane Austen canon, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma all contain scenes which take place over the Christmas season, but it has next to no bearing on any of their plots. The closest it comes is in Emma, in which it's mentioned that the bad weather gives Emma an excuse not to go to church on Christmas after the minister's uncomfortable overtures to her in the carriage a few days prior.
- To be fair, that's because many trappings of the 'traditional' Christmas are Newer Than They Think, and the more racous old customs of the season wouldn't have been practised around Austen's carefully brought-up heroines. The one effect it would have had would be that, as now, extended families would come together (especially significant in times when they otherwise might only have contact by letter for months on end.)
- The novel version of The Hunt for Red October takes place during Christmastime. The only serious Christmas related event is a brief mention of Ryan going out to buy presents for his kids.
- Richard Matheson's horror novel Hell House takes place between December 18 and December 24, but the only mention of the holiday comes in the very last sentence of the story, when one of the characters wishes another a merry Christmas. (The film adaptation The Legend of Hell House keeps the same datespan, but omits any reference to Christmas at all.)
- The Baby-Sitters Club has an in-universe example with one of Charlotte Johanson's favorite stories. When Charlotte initially reads the story to Stacey, it seems like a story about a lost dog. It isn't until Stacey sees the pictures, virtually all of which contain trees or other decorations, that she realizes it was supposed to be a Christmas story.
- In Herman Melville's Moby-Dick the initial launching of the Pequod is done on Christmas as referenced by the fact that the chapter in which it happens is called "Merry Christmas." However, the fact that it is Christmas is mentioned only once within the actual chapter.
Live Action TV
- An early Leave It to Beaver episode has Beaver losing his barbershop money and getting Wally to cut his hair in an attempt to keep his parents from finding out. At the very end of the episode, we see the Beav wearing an angel costume and singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" at a school pageant...after no prior mention of Christmas in the whole episode!
- The West Wing's Christmas episodes tended to be tellingly named and heavily decorated and feature a carol here and there, but the actual plots could have belonged to any episode — in contrast to the Anvilicious Thanksgiving storylines (a boatload of Chinese refugees seeking freedom to practice Christianity in the U.S.; representatives from a Native tribe staging a sit-in in the White House to protest the government's treatment of their issues).
- The first part of the Doctor Who story "The End of Time" was broadcast on Christmas (and the second on New Year's). Whereas each year of the revived Doctor Who had had a very Christmassy Christmas special, this one barely mentioned it. Lampshaded with the line, "Christmas is cancelled!" partway through the first episode.
- Likewise "The Snowmen" three years later, following two even more Christmassy Christmas specials. To the point that The Other Wiki's synopsis doesn't even mention that it's set on Christmas Eve, because it's totally irrelevent.
- During the season 4 LOST episode "The Constant" the characters only find out it's Christmas Eve when they spot the date on a calendar, being too busy with much more important things.
- The Kraft Suspense Theatre episode "Are There Any More Out There Like You?" takes place at Christmas time to ironically drive home that the protagonist's family is falling apart.
- The Wham! song "Last Christmas", apart from the title and some jingle bells, has nothing to do with the holiday. You could have substituted "Last Arbor Day" if you could have gotten some trees to rattle together properly.
- Although it takes place on Christmas Eve, The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" is actually not about celebrating Christmas at all. It is more about the eroding of dreams and the people you've come to hate (but are stuck with). The British keep voting it "Best Christmas Song" in various polls. Something about being stuck with family resonates with us, we think.
- Condemned has a level set in a mega-store which is decrepit and abandoned. From the décor and the faint ghostly music you can hear playing, it's evident that the store closed down one Christmas. This is arguably one of the most atmospheric levels of the game largely due to the out of place Xmas setting.
- Parasite Eve is a great example of getting to watch the good people of Manhattan celebrate Xmas 1996 through spontaneous combustion and mass melting.
- Raw Danger is a sequel to Disaster Report which is all about a city flooding and the peoples attempt to escape alive. The Xmas themes are pretty heavy with stores around the city all playing xmas music and decorations being all over the place, plus at the start of the game you are working as a waiter at a big fancy party that has a costumed santa clause walking around entertaining the guests. Other than cosmetic themes though the fact its Christmas seems to be purely incidental.
- The only indication that Snatcher takes place on December is the billboards and stock Christmas music that plays in the downtown street scene. Later on, you find one of your contacts disguised in a Santa costume.
- Rabbids Go Home takes place in late November and early December, according to the dates on the security-cam footage. It's used as the basis for a Surprise Santa Encounter, and one Christmas Level. However, most of the work is not exceptionally Christmassy.
- The PC adventure game Darkstone has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. It therefore remains unexplained how Santa Claus ends up in the world of the game and must be rescued from one of the higher-level dungeons.
- Yakuza, the first game at least is set at Christmas. you have to look pretty hard to see it but there is a few decorations and one or two stores play Xmas tunes.
- In AMY, despite the fact that the game takes place on Christmas Eve, there's no snow and no other reference to the holiday beyond the conversation between the train conductor and Lana (who subsequently gives Amy the digital drawing pad as a present) at the beginning of the game.
- One Dungeon Town in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time seems to have been in the midst of celebrating Christmas when the Shroobs invaded. If nothing else, it provides for some Mood Dissonance.
- Virtue's Last Reward begins with the main character being kidnapped on Christmas Eve, and although he isn't sure how long he's been asleep when he finally comes to during the Nonary Game, he generally believes it to be Christmas Day. A few conversations take note of this, but the game isn't Christmas-themed.
- Though The Firemen takes place on Christmas day, outside of your partner's complaining and occasional Christmas trees or other decorations around the building it has no real effect on the plot.
- Both Kyle Hyde games are set around this general period. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is set on the evening of December 28, 1979 and the sequel Last Window covers the period of December 18-26, 1980. Other than a Pet the Dog moment in Hotel Dusk and the Christmas Tree in the corner of Lucky's Café in Last Window, it doesn't play much of a role at all in terms of the overall story.
- However, the Christmas presents Kyle receives in Last Window prove essential for advancing the story.
- The prologue of Grand Theft Auto V takes place sometime around Christmas (as evidenced by a Christmas tree and several decorations), while the protagonists are robbing a rural bank blind.
- Bad Days has an episode in which Nick Fury and The Avengers spend Christmas Eve bowling together. Aside from the facts that this premiered on Christmas Eve, and the bowling alley has Christmas decorations adorning it, this didn't relate too strongly to the holiday.