There are many fantastic Christmas specials from the shows 27 year run, but this recent episode from season 23 is one of my favorites.
We see a glimpse into the future of the Simpson family and their now extended family. In the year 2041 Lisa and Milhouse are married with a bratty teenage daughter name Zia, Bart is a divorced father of two sharp young boys and Maggie is a rock star who is about to pop. Homer and Marge have the family over for Christmas dinner and drama ensues.
Bart is currently at an all time low, living at Springfield Elementary under Seymour-who is now his landlord. His boys arrive for Christmas and bring complaints and the heartbreaking news that their mother has remarried. Lisa is fed up with her disrespectful, cyber addicted daughter and desperate to communicate with her while Marge tries to criticize her parenting style. Both feeling frustrated, Bart and Lisa bond over their family issues.
Homer decided to have a day out with his two grandsons, so he takes them to a some of Springfields famous spots-like the Kwik E Mart- and to a bizarre cryogenic freezing cemetery to see their great grandpa Abe. After seeing how hurtful and inconsiderate he can be, Homer explains to them that even though a father isn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean that you won’t miss them someday.
After a weird Mad Max-meets-Matrix-esque storyline transports Lisa inside of the internet to talk to her daughter, and a revelation brings Bart to apologize to his kids, all of the families issues are resolved by the episodes end.
This episode speaks to me as one of the more relatable. Marriage issues, parenting issues, personal issues and professional issues are all forms of baggage that people carry around with them-even in such a joyful time as Christmas. A group of people come together and either wallow in their miseries or they forget all about them for a few hours. Sometimes your family is worth giving up a little bit of pride if it will keep them close. Family is-at the best of times-what Christmas is all about.