Episode: S7E15 "It's Christmas in Canada"
Original airdate: December 17, 2003
Santa? Canadian Santa
Other holidays mentioned: Hanukah
Availability: Netflix, HuluPlus and southparkstudios.com
Unique Christmas Story:
South Park has a rich history of Christmas episodes to choose from, but there is a distinct reason I choose this one, and that's because it takes place in Canada.
The plot of this episode is terrific, from the events that set it in motion through the entire second act and concluding with its big reveal. This isn't just a very funny episode of South Park, it's actually one of its better attempts to tell a full story.
The Broflovski family is rocked when their adopted son Ike is taken from them by his birth parents. Kyle is determined to get him back to his family, but he has a hard time convincing his friends to help out. Kenny, Stan and Cartman don't want to miss Christmas to go bring back Ike, but their Christmas plans are put in jeopardy when the town of South Park unexpectedly rallies around the Broflovski family, pledging the money they would have spent on Christmas gifts to help the family pay the legal fees to fight the Canadian government.
However, this presents an opportunity for Kyle. He doesn't want to wait for the legal system to get his brother back, and his friends don't want their parents spending their money on anything but presents. So the boys hop on plane to Canada in the hopes of not only retrieving Ike, but saving their Christmas presents.
It's a good commentary on people's charitable nature during the holidays. They only give enough to not infringe on their own celebrations, and put their conscience at ease.
Stan, though, presents perhaps a even more poignant message about Christmastime. As I mentioned, South Park has a number of excellent Christmas episodes, and Stan doesn't want to miss out on this year's adventure by being stuck in Canada. Once he and friends arrive in Canada, they embark on one of the greatest Wizard of Oz parodies of all time, but Stan repeatedly states throughout the episode that he wants to get back in time to have a Christmas adventure.
A lot of the time we don't realize how great the things are that we already have. We're too busy focusing on something else, we miss what's right in front of us.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are relentless in their mockery of Canada, but they somehow manage to make it all seem in good fun by weaving it around a touching story about family and friends coming together during Christmas.
Watch the entire episode here, and hit the comments with your favorite thing about Canadian Christmas.
Unique Christmas Message:
Christmas in Canada is a wonderfully strange thing.
My run of animated episodes concludes with a literal War on Christmas.