WARNING! THERE MAY BE UNMARKED SPOILERS!
- Anvilicious: It has a thumpingly unsubtle Motherhood Is Superior message, ranging from the sci-fi angle where the futuristic tree harvestors are outwitted and captured by motherly instinct to the fantasy angle where the tree people reject males (even the Doctor) as their vessel because "You are weak", but accept females - Madge in particular - as "the mothership". British journalist Caitlin Moran figured that having spent the day corralling the family and making Christmas dinner for everyone, mothers would appreciate the boost "Yeah, we're the USS Enterprise".
- Heartwarming Moments: "We always set a place for you. It's Christmas, you moron."
- The Scrappy: Madge Arwell is not well liked by the fandom for having an inconsistent characterisation, surprisingly bad performance by the usually hilarious Claire Skinner, and the Anvilicious moral being centred on her.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The Androzani Miners, especially /Bill Bailey's, are generally well liked for their hilarious interactions but are barely in the episode for 4 minutes and leave little impact on the paper thin plot.
- Tough Act to Follow: The general feeling is that compared to "A Christmas Carol" it's not quite as good as its predecessor.