Perhaps it’s simply impossible to let the holiday season pass without using it as the backdrop for at least one feel good episode. So Up All Night gives its fans its first Christmas effort, and a valiant one at that, with Jason Lee and Blythe Danner back for their recurring guest star roles how could it not be a Merry Christmas?

Let’s jump right into the sea of awkwardness that was the mother-in-law/son-in-law conversation. There were gobs of plot attached to this skin crawling moment, like Chris (Will Arnett) feeling the need to prove his manhood by buying his wife an expensive gift. (She makes 70% of what the male executive producer at Ellen makes after all.) Since he’s the house husband, the tennis bracelet he wants to purchase seems insurmountable. The plot goes right along with what we said would be Chris’s season long story arc: adjusting to his new role as homemaker and primary caregiver. It’s pretty believable that feelings of inadequacy would continuously pop up, and as long as they don’t harp on the same sides of the issue it should continue successfully. It was just these feelings of inadequacy that led Reagan’s Mom (Blythe Danner) to call out Chris’s attempt to sell all his stuff as just another pissing contest, complete with his own whip it out sound effect, “KAH-goosh!” She was completely right, but there really is nowhere for the conversation to go once your mother-in-law makes up sound effects for your penis. It’s probably better that he blocked out the sound of her advice and still got Reagan the “di-ah-mounds” because no matter what crap your woman tells you, she wants to yell out, “F*CK YOU EVERYBODY MY HUSBAND ROCKS!!!” Seriously men, put down that thoughtful handmade gift and pick up something gaudy, expensive, and dripping in diamonds and/or fur, depending on her political positions. Trust us men; we know what we’re saying.

But since the episode is entitled “First Christmas” let’s get to it, or rather to Reagan’s (Christina Applegate) first unrestrained Christmas. Thanks to her parents’ nonchalant attitude toward holiday decorations, having her daughter’s first Christmas was just an excuse to release all her pent up decorations desires, including, but not limited to, a tacky roof Santa and Reindeer set. Three important points: First, this plotline is the best illustration of how easily parents can make something for their child solely about them. Sure, Amy lit up for the decorations, but as Chris pointed out, she lit up while playing with a grown man’s shoe. It makes no difference until she can readily identify where her nose is. Secondly, calling the Grinch a Dickensian character has got to be the most pretentious bit of crap ever uttered on a sitcom, save for Frasier of course. (No offense Niles and Frasier, we love you.) It worked for that moment, proving how ridiculous a line Reagan‘s mom had toed because really, who do you think you are pretending you don’t know who the Grinch is, or that you’re too good for the Grinch? Lastly, all it takes to erase years of pent-up aggression and truly bond with your grown child is to steal the object of your daughter’s childhood devotion, namely, the exact tacky Santa and Reindeer set Reagan coveted all her life.

When Kevin (Jason Lee) has to cancel his trip with Ava (Maya Rudolph) to Utah to present a united front for his daughter after the divorce, Ava appropriately dives into a jealous tailspin. Women, if you truly feel you have never felt this way or done this you have either never cared for someone or you are LYING TO YOURSELF. Men, we are all like this. Some of us are just better at keeping quiet about it. And since we don’t all have a best friend living across the street from the object of our affection like Ava, the twenty-first century woman checks his Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Google+ status. When Ava showed a little of her crazy Kevin professed his love, so hey, maybe throw caution to the wind this Holiday 2011 season and let your cray cray out for him to see. What’s the worst that could happen, right? (Actually, that could go really wrong for you, keep it bottled up until you get super drunk and then blame it on the booze.)

Holiday shoppers take heed: as someone who worked in a toy store during two long Christmas seasons we can attest that those forced to work in holiday shops during the holidays hate their lives completely and have hearts blacker than the deepest part of night. They care about precious little, and the closer the second hand inches to the end of the shift the less they will tolerate your crap. Be careful dear friends. Happy Holidays!!