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Did I Mention It's Christmas?

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"If this is their idea of Christmas, I gotta be here for New Year's."
Argyle, Die Hard

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, goodwill to men, the birth of Christ, good old Saint Nick, or any of the other 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, perhaps, to lampshade the sheer irony of all this chaos happening when people should be celebrating), and in most of them you'd likely forget it was the holidays entirely (that is, assuming you even noticed in the first place) if not for the occasional appearance of a Christmas tree or or the presence of some other decorations or music.

For explosive action in a Christmas-y setting, it's An Ass-Kicking Christmas. For when it being the holidays is important, but not in a good way, see Twisted Christmas, Crappy Holidays, or Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The climax of Chrono Crusade takes place on Christmas Eve. This gets mentioned briefly a couple times, but the heroes are far too busy saving the world to hang up their stockings.
  • Gundam:
    • 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.
    • Similarly, in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing both Zechs' attempt to blow up the Earth and the Mariemaia Army's insurrection two years later both take place around the holiday season.
  • Ruby and Saint Snow's Character Focus episodes in Love Live! Sunshine!! occur around Christmas. A Christmas tree appears once or twice and the subplot involves Ruby and Leah performing a song for the Christmas festival, but barely any mention of Christmas is otherwise used and it's set up in such a way that you could essentially use any other seasonal event and the result would be exactly the same.
  • Episode 8 of Gate has Itami being called in to speak at a Diet, and Lelei, Tuka, Rory, Bozes, and Pina are brought in attendance as well. Driving through the winter streets of Ginza, the Gateworlder girls notice that there are people out shopping along with a decorated christmas tree in a shopping center.
    Lelei La Lelena: (sees the Christmas tree) They've decorated a tree?
    Rory Mercury: Maybe a charm of some sort?
  • Karas takes place during the Christmas season, but other than the snowy weather and the Christmas decorations and a character selling Christmas cake during the opening scene there's not much allusion to it.
  • Episode 3 of Space Battleship Yamato 2202 opens on Planet 11 of the Sol System, a colony world beyond Pluto that is orbited by an artificial sun that is populated by both Human and Gamilan colonists. Space Calvery Hajime Saito carries in a big Christmas Tree that several Human and Gamilan kids gather around to help decorate, who were beforehand hanging around an elderly Wheelchair-bound survivor of the Gamilas War who was dressed up as Santa.
    Hajime Saito: Can't get into the Christmas Spirit without a proper tree, can ya?

    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: A good chunk of Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge adventure The Crown of the Crusader Kings takes place on Christmas Day. Despite this, there's absolutely nothing festive about the story and the characters don't seem concerned that they're spending Christmas on a treasure hunt far away from home.
  • The Golden Age: The opening of Tex Thompson's secret diary, which reveals the secrets of both Thompson and Dynaman, takes place around Christmas, with Joan Dale interrupting Lance Gallant and Paula Brooks' intimacy to bring the secret to light.
  • 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.
  • X-Men: The series does this quite a bit. Several issues of Uncanny X-Men bring up the holiday but mainly just as background scenery, especially in Chris Claremont and John Byrne's run.
    • #98 starts off during Christmas, but any Christmas tropes related to it are quickly forgotten when the Sentinels attack. After that it quickly moves past the holiday by at least a couple of days and has the arc move on for a few more issues, ending with the famous moment where Jean is transformed into the Phoenix.
    • #119, despite being titled "The Night Before Christmas", only takes place on the day at the very end, and most of it is focused on the team stopping a terrorist in Japan.
    • #143, Byrne's final issue, only brings up the holiday early on despite the entire issue actually taking place on Christmas Eve this time. You'd be forgiven for forgetting it with the story focusing on Kitty Pryde/Spryte trying to survive a demon from another dimension that's invaded the mansion while she's alone.

    Fan Works 
  • Always Visible: The final chapters of the third act take place on December 27, 1991.
  • The events of Batman: Angel of Death are set approximately a week leading up to Christmas. The threat has evil twists on religious themes, but the holiday itself is only brought up for minor things, e.g. occasional descriptions of decorations, a Running Gag of Damian being annoyed by Christmas songs, and Selina wrapping presents in the epilogue.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Steven Spielberg's 1941 (1979) is a pretty good example of this. While its December setting makes sense, considering it takes place a few days after the events of Pearl Harbor, outside of some lines said by various characters about the holidays, and references to characters Hollis Woods occupation as a Christmas Tree salesman, all references to the holiday are kept minimal at best. Granted you see a few Santa Clauses in the extended edition of the movie, but that's about it.
  • The American President takes place over a two-month period, from November through early January, setting the stage for the State of the Union address and an upcoming election year. There is a scene set in the White House Christmas party (and earlier, Sydney Ellen Wade's mention of Frank Capra prompts a mention of It's a Wonderful Life) but apart from that it's not really a holiday movie.
  • The Apartment takes place around Christmas and New Year's, but the holidays don't have much to do with the story other than to underscore the emptiness of the characters' lives.
  • Better Off Dead mentions Christmas at least once in the film, as it is one of those times when Lane Meyer tries to kill himself, that time via car exhaust asphyxiation.
  • The Black Hole includes a few sentences in the opening speech about it being Christmas (the novelization mentions special food), and when the Cygnus's lights come on they're described as a "tree lit up on Christmas morning". But then it's not mentioned again. Somewhat justified by being in space, and the majority of it taking place on a ship long out of contact with earthly calendars.
  • Brazil is a dark, surreal and bizarre dystopian fantasy set during Christmas:
    • In an early scene, we see a little girl who is worried that Santa can't visit them because they have no chimney. Immediately after that, an alternative method of entering the house is used by a SWAT team to arrest the father.
    • Sam gets the perfect Christmas present: a decision-making machine for business executives! Good to know that your odds of being fired on a whim are a solid 50/50.
  • California Split: Takes place around the holidays, but we only know that because Barbara and Susan have decorations up.
  • Cobra: The movie takes place at Christmas, which is hinted at by some of the grocery store's window dressing, the Christmas lights arranged in a diner where one of the Night Slasher's victims works, and a full-length Toys R Us Christmas ad plays before the news in Cobretti's apartment.
  • The magnificently titled Japanese film Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! is about a detective who undertakes The Infiltration of the Yakuza in order to take down several yakuza gangs. The news mentions it's Christmas, and later Sally's nightclub is shown with a "Merry Xmas" sign and a big tree. This has no relevance to the story at all.
  • Die Hard and Die Hard 2 both take place during An Ass-Kicking Christmas. The first film takes place during a company Christmas party, and the second is during the Christmas travel week.
  • Diner takes place during the last week of 1959, from Christmas to New Year's Eve, but nothing seems to be made much of it by the characters. Justified, however, since the major characters are Jewish and don't celebrate it.
  • Much of Edward Scissorhands takes place at Christmastime, but it's not a particularly Christmassy film by any stretch.
  • Eyes Wide Shut takes place during Christmas, as evident by the occasional Christmas tree in the background and the cold weather.
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High has a mention of Christmas at least once in its story, where the only highlight of it is a Mall Santa dealing with a wet lap from a child peeing in his pants.
  • First Blood is another film where Christmas decorations are visible in several scenes, although no mention of the holiday is ever made by the characters. The decorations were put up by the town they were shooting in, but the director decided to leave them in because it did a good job of subtly reminding the viewer that Rambo's on the run during a very cold time of year in just a wifebeater and jeans.
  • The French Connection apparently takes place at Christmas or close to it. The first time we see Popeye Doyle he's working undercover as a sidewalk Santa.
  • Full Metal Jacket. Boot camp runs through Christmas, which is covered by the recruits being made to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.
  • Go takes place on Christmas Eve and involves Simultaneous Arcs of people's plans for the holiday. There's a major Christmas-themed rave going on, one group of people have Christmas lights strung up around their car, and one character wears a Santa hat while shirtless.
  • Gremlins is mostly set on Christmas Eve, as Gizmo the Mogwai is a Christmas present, but the film is mostly about surviving and killing monsters.
  • In The Hateful Eight mention is made of Joe Gage wanting to pass the holidays with his mother, and Señor Bob plays (badly) "Silent Night" on the piano. That's it. And everything "Joe Gage" says during the film is a lie anyway.
  • Holiday presumably begins on Christmas Day, given the two carols sung during the church scene, but none of the characters wish each other "Merry Christmas" or otherwise acknowledge it in any way.
  • The Holiday takes place during the last two weeks of December, but apart from a few brief mentions, Christmas has pretty much nothing to do with the plot.
  • Hook has Peter Pan's kids getting kidnapped on what may very well have been Christmas Day. Ouch.
  • Iron Man 3 is set around Christmas, but the holiday has little bearing on the plot. Though it must be admitted that Tony trudging through the middle of nowhere hauling his broken armor would lose something without the snow.
  • It's a Wonderful Life is unequivocally considered one of the essential "Christmas movies", even though nearly all of it is spent showing How We Got Here and what would have happened if George hadn't been born; using the holiday as a Framing Device really only serves to make things extra warm and fuzzy for the final scene.
  • The present day real world portions of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle take place around Christmas, going by all of the decorations that can be glimpsed in yards and on houses.
  • Jurassic World takes place during the Christmas season, a fact that's only made clear in the first couple scenes where there's snow on the ground and Tony Bennett singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the background. Once the movie shifts to Isla Nublar, there are no further hints of anything Christmas-y.
  • The James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service is set around Christmas. Notably, Blofeld places an ornament on a Christmas tree during the mandated Evil Gloating scene and distributes Christmas gifts containing his Virus Omega dispensers to his Angels of Death. Also, there's the Winter festival scene where Tracy helps Bond to escape from Blofeld's goons to the tune of "Do You Know Where Christmas Trees Are Born" — which was specially written for the film by John Barry, with lyrics by Hal David.
  • The final act of Peter Jackson's King Kong occurs during the winter, and includes a scene in a park where all of the trees are covered in Christmas lights. No other reference is made to the holiday season.
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is set around Christmas, and opens with Harry in New York while it's snowing, trying to steal a toy for his niece. The only real sign of it once the story moves to LA are some decorations and girls in Sexy Santa Dress.
  • Lady in the Lake: Set at Christmastime, seemingly for no other reason than to provide an ironic counterpoint to a Film Noir story of betrayal and murder. A hard-nosed cop gets distracted from his interrogation of Philip Marlowe when the cop's daughter calls the office and starts reciting "Twas the Night Before Christmas" over the phone. The opening credits are presented as a stack of Christmas cards picked up one at a time, eventually revealing a gun at the bottom. Marlowe interrupts an office Christmas party to accuse the woman organizing the party of murder.
  • Spoofed in Last Action Hero with the in-universe film Jack Slater III, where it's explicitly pointed out that the action-packed events of the film are happening around Christmas even though it otherwise has no bearing on the plot. (The film is a parody of the films of Shane Black, who's a big fan of this trope and has multiple examples on this page, and who later rewrote the script himself.)
  • The first Lethal Weapon movie takes place at Christmas, as is shown by the tree in Murtaugh's house and the complete destruction of a large stack of eggnog cartons in an action scene. During the climax, the villain shoots a TV playing the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol and declares, "I hate Christmas!" Plus, the first scene with Mel Gibson shows a drug dealer using a Christmas tree lot as a front for his real business.
  • Mitchell takes place during the holidays (a Christmas tree is visible in the scenes at Deaney's house, Christmas cards can be seen at the police station, Greta is hired as a "Christmas gift" for Mitchell), but it doesn't really figure into the plot at all.
  • Most of Mon Oncle Antoine takes place over Dec. 23–24, but that has little relevance to the story, except for the increased business coming to Antoine's general store for the holiday.
  • Moonstruck was shot during the Christmas season in New York, and lights and trees are visible in a number of the outdoor scenes, but the holidays really don't figure into the narrative at all.
  • Nobody's Fool starts off around Thanksgiving and goes through Christmas, but we never see any sort of celebration (the closest is when Wacker causes a disturbance on Thanksgiving by running into dining room table while he's naked and knocking down all the food, and Birdie does decorate the bar for Christmas).
  • The Odessa File is a political thriller about a German reporter trying to find a former Nazi concentration camp commandant in 1963. The movie opens on November 22, 1963 (the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination) with said reporter (Jon Voight) driving through streets lined with Christmas decorations as Perry Como's song "Christmas Dream" plays over the credits.
  • Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension takes place in the lead up to Christmas 2013. Characters put up Christmas decorations, the demon throws the angel off the top of the tree and at one point a toy starts playing Christmas songs spontaneously. Other than that the holiday season has no real bearing on the plot which is the standard Paranormal Activity fare of strange things happening, characters filming them and witches summoning demons.
  • Pocketful of Miracles takes place at Christmas time, but the only clue to this is the presence of some decorations in the hallway of the fancy hotel where Apple Annie gets her letter.
  • Police Story takes place near Christmas, but this doesn't seem noticeable at all until the climax, when Kevin fights some gangsters inside a festively-decorated shopping mall.
  • Prometheus is actually set at Christmas time and captain Janek even sets up a Christmas tree. It has nothing to do with the plot and nobody else cares.
  • The Proposition is set at and around Christmas - with a climax at a Christmas Day dinner - but being an extremely violent drama set in colonial Australia, has neither the tone nor the iconography of a Christmas film. This is lampshaded when Emily Watson's character, an English rose transposed to the outback, holds up a piece of white wool and says "Look. Snow." But for plot purposes, Christmas could just as easily have been substituted for "next Sunday".
  • Psycho begins on "Friday, December the Eleventh" according to an onscreen graphic during the opening shot, and Christmas decorations can be seen in downtown Phoenix as Janet Leigh's character leaves town. However, no further allusion to the holiday is made although the film's narrative extends later into the month. This was a case of Serendipity Writes the Plot, since they didn't notice there were Christmas decorations in their on-location takes until after filming had concluded, and then they just mentioned it was mid-December in the opening to properly compensate.
  • RoboCop 3 begins around the time of Christmas, as an armed robber enters into a doughnut shop with some Christmas decorations put up and the song "Here Comes Santa Claus" playing in the background — and the doughnut shop is full of cops.
  • A few of the Rocky movies take place over Christmas. The original and V both have scenes taking place during the holiday, while Rocky's match with Ivan Drago in IV takes place on Christmas Day, but other than that it's inconsequential to any movie in the series.
  • SHAZAM! (2019) is set around Christmas, both in the prologue and the story proper. There are decorations up, a mall Santa makes several appearances, and the climax takes place at a winter carnival, but that's about it. The theme of the movie is more about family, which tangentially ties into "goodwill toward all", but it wouldn't really lose anything by moving the story to a different season. Billy and Silvana's keepsakes (a compass and Magic 8 Ball, respectively) aren't Christmas gifts, and Darla, the youngest foster child, doesn't even mention Santa or presents once until her Older Alter Ego meets the mall Santa, that is.
  • In Star Trek: Generations, the first place Captain Picard enters into in the Nexus is his family house celebrating Christmas with his family, until he realizes with Guinan's presence in the room he is in that he is in the Nexus, and she helps him find Captain Kirk, who is also in the Nexus in whatever fantasy life he's living.
  • The Sure Thing features college students during winter break... still partying it up at college and throwing a Tahitian-themed Christmas party.
  • Three Days of the Condor. It seems that wherever Condor goes in New York, there is a Salvation Army Christmas Caroling squad nearby.
  • Trading Places starts around Thanksgiving, then climaxes during Christmastime, when Louis Winthorpe has degenerated into a Bad Santa and Billy Ray Valentine finds out about the bet between the Duke Brothers and their plan to corner the frozen concentrate orange juice market around New Year's Day, after which he tracks down Winthorpe and they team up to stop the Dukes.

  • Artemis Fowl comes out of the Time Stop at the end of the first book and is surprised to find that several months have passed and it's now Christmas Day.
  • Spinetinglers: Book #2 (Billy Baker's Dog Won't Stay Buried) is set on Christmas, but it's only relevant in one scene and it's not mentioned too much otherwise.
  • Eileen takes place over the Christmas holidays, but the subject matter is just about the opposite of the spirit of Christmas. Eileen never liked Christmas much, and she and her father stopped celebrating it once her mother died. The climax of the book takes place at a Christmas party held at Rebecca's house, but the "party" is more of a tense one-on-one conversation than any sort of celebration, and it culminates in a reveal that Rebecca broke into someone's home and tied the owner up in order to investigate a crime involving murder and child molestation. This quickly gets out of hand. Hardly heartwarming holiday material.
  • 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 raucous old customs of the season wouldn't have been practiced 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 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.
  • Discworld: A major scene in Wyrd Sisters is set on Hogswatchnight, but apart from Granny Weatherwax insisting witches are supposed to stay home that night and Nanny Ogg getting round this by holding a huge party at her cottage, none of the other Hogswatch traditions are mentioned. This could be Early-Installment Weirdness, since Hogswatchnight didn't really gain its You Mean "Xmas" form until the references in Reaper Man and Soul Music some years later.
  • 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. While Christmas sets the stage for meaningful events in each of the first six books, in Deathly Hallows, the sound of Christmas carols being sung at a distance helps Harry and Hermione mark time when they're on the run and tracking down Horcruxes.
  • The Goosebumps novel The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb is set around Christmas, but the holiday has absolutely no bearing on the plot whatsoever, only being used to explain why the American protagonist is in Egypt (he and his parents decided to spend Christmas vacation there).
  • 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 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.
    • The novel version of Patriot Games has the prisoner transport (And subsequent breakout) of Sean Miller happen on Christmas Day, while Jack and his wife celebrate the holiday in a more traditional manner on the other side of the Atlantic.
  • In Les Misérables, Jean Valjean first meets his adopted daughter-to-be, little Cosette, on Christmas Eve. This has no bearing on the plot beyond giving him an excuse to give the little girl her first gift, a beautiful doll she's been pining for, as well as symbolic significance of new beginnings and hope (a la the birth of Christ) for them both. The Christmas setting of this sequence is omitted in the stage version of the popular musical adaptation, but restored in the film version.
  • In Herman Melville's Moby-Dick the initial launching of the Pequod is done on Christmas is 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.
  • In Murderess, Lu spends the period between September 1st, 2011 and January 17th, 2012 in England, but never so much as mentions any holidays and barely even mentions the weather, despite it being the coldest in the UK in 100 years. Apparently, she is just that apathetic.
  • Valkyrie returns to her own dimension at the end of Skulduggery Pleasant: Seasons Of War and is surprised to find out its Christmas Eve and complains she hadn't seen any decorations.
  • Christmas is mentioned at least once in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, as the time that Milkman Dead decides to break off his relationship with his second cousin Hagar as he finds that it's getting stale and Hagar seems to want something more from him.
  • The Velveteen Rabbit opens with the Boy receiving the Rabbit as a present in his Christmas stocking, but otherwise the plot has nothing to do with Christmas.
  • Wuthering Heights features a Christmas sequence where the Linton family comes to Wuthering Heights to share the holiday dinner with the Earnshaws – Edgar Linton insults Heathcliff, who throws hot applesauce (the traditional accompaniment for Christmas goose) onto him, starting their lifelong enmity. Otherwise, the holiday has no bearing on the plot.
  • In A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, the funeral of Christine Taylor's brother Lee takes place around Christmas, as Christine and her friend Dayton Nickles both go to a restaurant in the Montana area that still has its Christmas decorations put up. There's also a brief mention of a Christmas that Ida George (Christine's adoptive mother) has with her family around the time that her aunt Clara announces she's pregnant.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place: Where Christmastime with the Bunkers was a time when:
    • Archie had to admit to his family he didn't get a bonus he counted on because of a workplace screwup.
    • Edith had a cancer scare.
    • Archie started an angry argument when a guest was revealed to be a draft dodger.
    • The family witnessed the brutal beat-down and murder of a transgender family friend.
    • Mike and Gloria announced they've separated.
    • A recently widowed Archie faces loss of custody of his niece, Stephanie, after her grandmother deems Archie unfit.
    • Archie tries to patch up the uneasy relationship between him and his brother, Fred.
  • The second-season finale of Babylon 5, "The Fall of Night", takes place in the last week or so of the year (each season of the show aligns roughly with a calendar year), but the heroes are too busy dealing with their numerous problems to include providing refuge for a damaged Narn warship to spend much time celebrating. The big reminder, ironically, comes from the one Jewish member of the command staff, Commander Ivanova, who gifts Captain Sheridan with a piece of a nigh-invincible alien warship he famously destroyed a decade prior, and which she managed to track down and acquire.
  • The sixth episode of Band of Brothers takes place during Christmas, but the holiday is only occasionally mentioned. This example is completely justified, as the men are a little too preoccupied fighting in the Battle of the Bulge to do any celebrating.
  • Cold Case:
    • In "Sabotage", getting scammed after buying a defective shower radio is the straw that breaks the camel's back for the episode's villain and sends him in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. It's also during Christmas, but that has no bearing on the plot.
    • "Saving Patrick Bubley" features a couple of Thanksgiving dinners, but it likewise has no bearing on that episode's plot.
  • There are a couple of successive episodes of The Conners where Christmas decorations can be seen in the Mexican restaurant and the Conner family's living room, but are unremarked upon.
  • Famously Coronation Street didn't have a Christmas Episode in 1960, for the reason it started on 9th of December 1960 meaning that there wouldn't have been enough known about the characters for a story, so instead the last episodes beforehand make reference to Xmas Day, with a choir singing Silent Night and characters buying presents and cards.
  • CSI: NY:
    • The show's only mention of Thanksgiving is in season 3 when Sid asks Mac over if he doesn't have plans. Mac says he does, but won't tell Sid with whom...then walks away smiling.
    • That same year, in "Silent Night," the outside of the first victim's house is shown decorated for Christmas. The investigators remark that it should be on a greeting card, not in crime scene photos. The ep bookends with a grandmother giving her infant granddaughter a snow globe. It's implied, but never stated, that it's her Christmas gift.
    • In mid-December of season 7, Jo goads Mac into going window shopping with her so they can see a particular store unveil it's "holiday" window display. He spots a pickpocket in the crowd, and when the window is revealed, there's a dead body in it. Mac grumbles, "Now you know why I hate shopping." The word "Christmas" is never uttered.
    • The victim of season 9's "The Real McCoy" is found impaled by a stand at a Christmas tree lot. After the team leaves the scene, no further mention of the holiday is made.
    • Averted in another season when the team collect toys for children of fallen officers, Mac & Stella deliver a very large Christmas tree to the venue where they'll be handed out, a fellow officer of Flack's is recruited to play Santa, and several of the team dress up as elves.
  • The first few episodes of Da Vincis City Hall take place around Halloween, but the only indication of this is the decorations that can be seen in the background of a few scenes.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The End of Time": Part 1 was broadcast on Christmas (and the second on New Year's). Unlike all of the previous Christmas specials, which had been quite Christmassy, this one barely even mentions it. It's even lampshaded:
      Naismith: Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas is cancelled!
    • 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 irrelevant.
    • "The Return of Doctor Mysterio" sets a new record for "least-Christmassy Christmas special", as only the opening scene, where eight-year-old Grant meets the Doctor and accidentally gets superpowers, is set at Christmastime. The rest of it takes place in the spring or summer, about twenty years later.
  • The Have I Got News for You Christmas specials used to feature the set extensively decorated, with tinsel, holly and ivy, fake snow, Christmas trees and other things (the apex being the 2008 special, which featured the entire panel in costume, Victorian lamp-posts and a special lighting effect designed to make it look like snow). The 2009 "special" featured none of these, with the set as it usually was, which did not go unnoticed by guest host Bill Bailey:
    Bill: Good evening. I'm Bill Bailey, and welcome to a special Christmas edition of Have I Got News for You. [He looks around for a few moments.] Hm. Not very Christmassy, is it? [He reaches behind the desk and pulls out a single piece of tinsel, which he drapes over the desk.] That'll do.
  • Peter Pan Live, finds the Darling nursery decorated for Christmas, making it possibly the only Peter Pan adaptation to follow the source material in setting the opening scenes at Christmastime. But just like the book only mentions that fact in passing, the decorations aren't even acknowledged. It's especially weird in this case, because, unlike in the source material, there isn't a section of Neverland which represents the season of winter. The production did air on TV during the Christmas season, though, which probably explains the choice.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 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 only Christmassy thing about the Frankie Goes to Hollywood song "The Power of Love" is the music video, which depicts the story of the Nativity.
  • 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.
  • "Breathe Again" by The Reign of Kindo is about a man who chases down and brutally murders a thief who broke in and robbed his house on Christmas Eve. Add in some Lyrical Dissonance due to such dark lyrics set to a slow, jazzy melody, and this might be in the running for darkest Christmas song ever.
  • 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.
  • East 17's "Stay Another Day" is about the death of the little brother of the band's songwriter, Tony Mortimer. The campy music video of the boys in their fluffy Christmas parkas in fake snow, and the chimes in the music, make it a staple of the British Christmas music canon.
  • Eminem daughter Hailie was born on December 25th, and he had a near-fatal drug overdose on December 24th 2007. The result of this is that several of his songs take place incidentally at Christmas, but are really about his drug overdose and children; "Rock Bottom" and "Mockingbird" mention struggling financially around Hailie's first birthday ("Mockingbird" even mentions the Christmas tree), and "Mr Mathers (skit)", "Deja Vu", a verse of "Hello" and "Going Through Changes" all discuss his overdose. "Castle" and "Arose" discuss both his overdose and Hailie, being an epistolary song where the final letter to her is dated December 24th.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Strangely used in of all places The Bible itself. Though in its case, it's the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which in the gospel of John is mentioned as the Feast of Dedication. Jesus and the Jews celebrate it, but the holiday itself is eclipsed by Jesus having another discussion with the Jews about His being the Messiah.

  • The episode of The Unbelievable Truth broadcast on 24 December 2018 acknowledged that it happened to be going out on Christmas Eve in David Mitchell's opening monologue, but it was never mentioned again; not even the subjects of the lectures were in any way festive.note 
    David: You join us on Christmas Eve, and what a privilege to be entertaining the nation at this special time of the year. Plus, we recorded this show in September, so it's really no skin off my nose. Today, I've got four panellists eager to climb down the chimney and empty their sacks onto the end of a child's bed...

  • The original stage version of Annie takes place over the Christmas season, ending on Christmas morning. This has very little bearing on the plot, though; the 1982 and 2014 film versions both easily reset the action in the summer.
  • The first and second acts of La Bohème take place on Christmas Eve. This has no bearing on the plot apart from adding a cold, wintery atmosphere to Act I and a festive atmosphere to the street scenes of Act II.
  • The Lion in Winter, oh so very much.
    Henry II: What shall we hang... the holly, or each other?
  • Pinocchio: The Musical has the final part of the story set on Christmas Eve. Outside of a few offside mentions of the fact and a whole musical number about it, this doesn't play at all into the actual story.
  • The entire first act of La Boheme's contemporary musical adaptation RENT takes place on Christmas Eve and into the early hours of Christmas morning. The second act starts a week later on New Year's Eve and plays out over the course of the year, with the finale once again on Christmas Eve. As in Boheme, aside from it needing to be winter to set up Mimi and Roger's meeting (her heat went out), the holiday doesn't play into the plot very much.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins takes place over Christmas Eve (and eventually crosses over into day once it goes past midnight) but aside from seeing decorations in the scenery and Alfred bringing up Christmas dinner at a few points, it doesn't play too much into things.
  • Bayonetta 2 happens during Christmas Eve. Rodin dresses up for the season as Santa.
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins 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.
  • 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.
  • ESP Ra.De. takes place around Christmas as evidenced by the Christmas trees in the Shopping Mall stage (and you only see them if you play as J-B 5th or Alice Master) and the stage progress M2 Gadget in the ESP Ra.De. Psi Updated Re-release confirms that the game takes place on December 24-25. However Christmas never factors into the original release. That said, one of the promotional artwork for Psi features the protagonists gathering around to open Christmas presents, and the Irori's Room mode in Psi features a holiday-themed medley of the game's music as well as many decorations for the characters' rooms, including Christmas decorations.
  • 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.
  • In Ghost Trick, we can see that Lynne has Christmas decorations in her apartment, and there are other hints scattered about, but no one ever comments on it.
  • 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. This is justified in that a near-deserted bank during the holidays would make crowd control vastly easier.
  • Like a Dragon series:
    • Both Yakuza and Yakuza 2 take place in December of 2005 and 2006 respectively. You have to look pretty hard to see it but there are a few decorations and one or two stores play Xmas tunes, and Kashiwagi mentions it Christmastime when he brings a small army of Kazama family soldiers to reinforce Kiryu during his final fight against the Shimano Family. "Amazing Grace" plays over the credits of the first game, while "Silent Night" plays over the credits of the second.
    • The third and fourth games avert this, taking place in early March of 2009 and 2010 respectively.
    • The fifth game takes place around Christmas of 2012, with several Christmas decorations and songs being played throughout. Thanks to a chunk of the game being set in and around Sapporo's fictional Tsukimino district (a recreation of the real world Susukino district), the atmosphere is significantly more Christmassy; Saejima even gets to beat up some thugs while wearing a Santa suit (and can even crush them with a Christmas tree or turn them into a snowman to boot!).
    • Yakuza 0 takes place roughly from December 1988 to January 1989, with some references to Christmas being thrown around, but not as frequent as in 5.
    • When you visit Sotenbori in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, a handful of shops and locations have Christmas decorations up. There is no evidence of Christmas in Yokohama and Kamurocho, but you can find a few people who say it's cold if you look around enough.
  • 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.
  • According to the manual of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the events of the game take place between the 24th and 25th of December, 1999. There's little reference to this other than the name of Holly White and her asking Snake to take her out to Christmas dinner.
  • In Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness, there are wreaths and colored light strings hanging up in the small Icelandic fishing village where Nancy is investigating a disappearance. Neither Nancy nor anyone else mentions them, and some notes Nancy sorts through suggest in passing that it's actually early January when she arrives: Icelanders just tend to leave their holiday decorations up until Epiphany, in part because it's so gloomy there in mid-winter that any excuse to brighten the long nights is a relief.
  • Parasite Eve is a great example of getting to watch the good people of Manhattan celebrate Xmas 1996 through spontaneous combustion and mass melting.
  • The fact that the final boss fight of Persona 5 takes place on Christmas Eve isn't acknowledged until after the threat is destroyed for good and snow starts falling. Christmas isn't exactly on the Phantom Thieves' minds when they have to contend with a god who intends to eradicate humanity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Soma: Some of the events in the backstory take place on and around the date recorded as "2103-12-25." There is no mention of this being Christmas, possibly due to everyone involved trying to escape from a derelict underwater base.
  • Taken to extremes in the Sega Genesis Superman game. The newspapers between levels show that the game takes place on December 22-24, 1992. Absolutely no references to Christmas are made anywhere; no decorations, no carols, not even a single flake of snow!

    Visual Novels 
  • 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 title character of Melody wears a Christmas-themed costume for a romp with the protagonist (on her romantic path). This is the only mention of Christmas in the entire work. This is understandable, as the story takes place during the summer, which is par for the course in the lead developer’s native Australia, but confusing for the majority of readers who live in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The fourth case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney begins on Christmas Day. The characters themselves don't make much notice of this until partially into the case, where it finally hits them that everything that's happening is happening on Christmas.
  • Hideo Kojima also did this in Policenauts, possibly as a reference to Snatcher, or perhaps to make Beyond Coast's perpetual summer more surreal to the American characters.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur:
    • Bizarrely, in "Bitzi's Break-up", the school has a "Happy St. Patrick's Day" sign. The episode has absolutely nothing to do with the holiday, and the sign is never called attention to by the characters.
    • The episode that takes place near Valentine's Day isn't revealed as such until the very end, both to the audience and to the characters... who had been too preoccupied with trying to invent a new holiday to get over the post-Christmas/New Years slump they were in.
  • DuckTales (2017): In "The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest!", Louie complains about the fact the group is spending Christmas on a mountain-climbing expedition instead of at Scrooge's mansion waiting for Santa. Scrooge tells Louie that Santa is not welcome at the mansion, with no explanation other than "He knows what he did!". Aside from this exchange, the holiday isn't mentioned or seen at all.
  • Madeline: Blink and you'll miss it, but at the beginning of Madeline and the Bad Hat, the old house's entry hall is decorated for Christmas. Since Madeline's Christmas was the previous special in the series, it's a subtle Call-Back that creates a sense of continuity between the two.
  • An episode of Phantom 2040 had the characters suddenly celebrating Kwanzaa with next to no build up, such as it being wintry, or reference to other holidays that take place around the same time, like Christmas or New Year's Eve.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The ad announcing Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie mentions it's coming for Christmas. Despite showing its release in detail, the C word never comes up again.
    • Dude, Where's My Ranch? starts with the Simpson family going caroling. They learn how some carols are copyrighted, and so Homer sets out to write his own. After an interruption by Flanders, he dedicates the entire song to being a diss track towards him. The song catches on and becomes so popular that Homer grows to hate it, and moves to a ranch for a week to get away from it. All Christmas theming disappears from the episode after Homer finishes his song.
  • In the opening of Skysurfer Strike Force, Sliced Ice is listed as having been born on December 24. In one episode, the characters celebrate her birthday, with there being no signs of it being Christmastime.
  • The South Park episode "Butters' Very Own Episode" had a Christmas greeting play on Linda's car radio at one point. Other than that, it's just a run-of-the-mill episode of the show.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Who Cares That Its Christmas


Space Battleship Yamato

Three years after the Mission to Iscandar, Earth and Gamilas managed to forge an alliance with one-another. On Planet 11, Human and Gamilas colonists live and work and are celebrating Christmas together.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / DidIMentionItsChristmas

Media sources: