"The following depicts a Bundy Christmas. It could be upsetting to small children and others. Parental guidance is suggested."
— title card for You Better Watch Out

Bundy Christmas Card S11

The Bundy Christmas card from God Help Ye Merry Bundymen

Christmas is a primarily Christian holiday and festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, as well as a cultural and commercial phenomenon celebrated by people all over the world. It is most commonly observed on December 25, Christmas Day. Some people, however, celebrate December 24, Christmas Eve, as well. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.[1] The Bundys' traditions vary a little from that.

Bundy Christmas traditions Edit

Presents Edit

While Al does acknowledge that Christmas is about love, family, and giving,[2][3] all the Bundy family really cares about during the holiday season are the presents, which Al more often than not fails to provide. Almost every year he joins a Christmas club[4] and saves up money for presents, however, something usually prevents him from getting them. Either the bank is closed when he gets there or Peggy finds the money and spends it all on herself (or her mother).[5]

That's why in 1974 he came up with a "foolproof" system of turning his family members against each other. When he asks whether they have been good, they stick together but once he tells them that his budget is limited and he could either get three crappy presents or one good one, they start snitching on each other, thus proving each other unworthy of presents. Soon enough (18 years later), the family figures out his system and manages to stick together as a "United Bundy front" resulting in him finally giving in and actually getting them presents that year (which he had to steal from a bar because he lost his money there).[6] For the years in which that does not happen, Bud and Kelly have come up with the "a shell-shocked vet and the blind girl" routine that they do in the mall in order to get some Christmas money from strangers.[5]

When it comes to getting gifts for Al, Peggy and the kids usually rewrap old clothes that Al never uses (such as his underwear) because as Peggy's mom always said "the best presents are in dad's closet".[4][2] For Peggy's family they simply rewrap the gifts they got from Al's family the year before and vice versa. The Rhoades/D'arcys normally do not get anything from the Bundys, except for an old fruitcake one year, which Al's aunt Poo gave the Bundys the year before.[2]

Feast Edit

Peggy's dismay for cooking does not spare the holidays so their usual Christmas dinner consists of either pizza[2] or the Christmas platter at Denny's until one Christmas the price is raised so they can not afford that anymore and have to go to Spud Hut for their Holiday Tater Feast instead.[3] In the year Peg's mother is living with them she buys (and perhaps cooks) them a large Christmas dinner.[5] Peggy and the kids also like making their own snow cones using snow from the backyard, mouth wash for lime flavor, and cough syrup for cherry flavor.[3]

Decorations Edit

Due to their tight budget, the Bundys usually can not afford a nice Christmas tree themselves so Al sends the kids to look at the neighbors' Christmas trees and pick out the best one so they can steal it the day after Christmas when the neighbors throw it out.[2] One Christmas Al manages to blackmail his boss Gary into letting him take home the tree from his shoe store, which is, unlike the Bundys' house, always beautifully decorated.[7] The Christmas when Peggy's mother is staying at their house she manages to earn so much money that she buys the family lots of beautiful decorations for their home including a big Christmas tree and stockings for everyone that they hang on the staircase.[5] Other Christmases the family just resorts to using tiny trees they could find outside[6][8]. One year, they even use Bud as a tree, hanging ornaments on him, causing him to get a rash from the tinsel.[7] Al does put up Christmas lights on the house, however, they are so old that most of the light bulbs have stopped working.[3] For more cheap decoration the kids often thread popcorn.[2]

One year Peggy decides to bake gingerbread houses and ends up making the whole neighborhood. However, no one is allowed to eat them as they are for decoration only. Peggy even ends up winning $100 and a trophy from the neighborhood decorating contest when the judges spot her display in her window. Marcy and Jefferson only get second place because the Bundy kids accidentally beheaded their Mary and Joseph figures from the nativity scene (hand-carved and imported from Bavaria for $5000) in an attempt to kidnap them and blackmail the D'arcys so the kids had to pose as Mary and Joseph themselves. However, Marcy does not want the fruitcake they win so she gives it to the Bundys, too.[7]

Santa Claus Edit

Al often has to dress up as Santa Claus for the New Market Mall he works at and listen to the childrens' Christmas wishes. It is one of the reasons he does not like Christmas as he is often spit, drooled, peed, and thrown up on,[6] and simultaneously has to hear all the nagging women who are out looking for presents.[4] That is why he goes to Ray's Bar when he's off work to drink a beer with all the other miserable mall and street corner charity Santas. One Christmas, a Santa from the Lakeside Mall lands in the Bundys' backyard and dies because his parachute did not open.[2] Despite knowing that many dress up as him, Kelly still seems to believe that Santa Claus is real (even at 25).[9] Bud, however, stopped believing in him very early on.[2]

Other traditions Edit

On Christmas Eve, Al and Peg always sit in front of the TV and fight over what to watch since nothing good is on (except for It's a Wonderful Life, which Al hates).[8] When carolers come, they turn off the lights and hide.[4] Peggy likes to wear Christmas themed outfits every year.

Christmas presents Edit

1987 (Season 2) Edit

  • Al - one of his shirts and one of his ties from Peggy, Bud, and Kelly, and a donation to the National Organization for Women in his name from Steve and Marcy
  • the Bundy family - gift certificates for the Lakeside Mall, they found in their backyard from the dead Santa
  • Marcy and Steve - a fruitcake from the Bundys (which they got from Aunt Poo)

1989 (Season 4) Edit

  • Al - his toothbrush from Kelly, his underwear from Bud, and his winter coat (which Buck has been sleeping on) from Peggy (she also puts on a Christmas themed nightgown for him)

1992 (Season 7) Edit

  • Bud - a dartboard from Ray's Bar from Al
  • Seven - beer steins from Al
  • Kelly - a small TV from Ray's Bar from Al
  • Peggy - a golden necklace spelling Ray from Al

1993 (Season 8) Edit

  • Peggy and Al - "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole on vinyl (it's the only thing left from the jukebox they initially wanted to give them) from Bud and Kelly
  • Kelly - Al's watch from Peggy
  • Bud - a "Merry Christmas" from Peggy

1995 (Season 10) Edit

  • Kelly - a handshake from Al
  • Griff - 20 minutes of free phone sex from Al
  • the Bundy family - lots of presents, decorations, and a big feast from Peg's mom

1996 (Season 11) Edit

  • the Bundy family - Christmas cookies from the D'arcys

Christmas episodes Edit

References Edit

  1. Christmas on Wikipedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 You Better Watch Out
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 It's a Bundyful Life (Part 2)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 It's a Bundyful Life (Part 1)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 I Can't Believe It's Butter
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Christmas
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 God Help Ye Merry Bundymen
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Worst Noel
  9. Children of the Corns