As far as sitcom Christmas episodes go, this one is surprisingly touching but not overly sentimental episode. Marlo Thomas' Ann is sweet as she stays behind in a school she is teaching at to stay with a student who has nowhere to go
In this flashback episode with Ann being Santas'a helper, Ann tells Donald how she spent Christmas with an 8 year old student whose parents were away for Christmas (In a job she had before becoming an aspiring actress). After being told by the school that she can't take the boy to her parents's house, Ann stays behind and tries to give the kid a memorable Christmas. Her father is uncharistically supportive of her decision. (The kid was all over the place in the 60's, playing Linus and Lucy's son in "Yours Mine and Ours".) Overall, a very good Christmas episode.
This episode explains what Ann was like before the series started, which is that she is exactly the same person. She gave up a Christmas with her family to help a little boy without his family. It was very sweet and endearing, showing compassion and love. This series was the first to embrace people's differences and display them as equals. The little boy goes to see one of his friends more Christmas, but we find out the the family is Jewish. The family celebrates Christmas just for him, perhaps showing that no one is that much different than anyone else.
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