Mallory Pike wants an old-fashioned Christmas this year. After deciding on it, while taking a walk with Jessi, she rushes home and tells her parents her idea. Luckily, everyone in the family agrees. This year, they’ll make cookies, have holiday dinners at home, make gifts for each other and even make their own Christmas decorations.
Vanessa hears on television that the news wants to film an old-fashioned family Christmas and submits her own family. They love the idea so much that they offer the Pike family $10,000 if they open their home to the film cameras. After some careful thought, they decide to do it.
Apparently the Pike family has never seen a reality show before because they hate it almost as soon as it starts. The cameras follow their every move during the holidays and make a huge mess in the process. The film crew wants to add more lights to the house, the director accidentally steps on Pow and they generally make a nuisance of themselves.
At the same time, the local nursing home needs help running a fair to raise money. The BSC volunteers to help price things and (of course) sit for shoppers’ kids. The cameras follow Mallory there and Uncle Joe decides not to have anything to do with their family Christmas because he sees what happens when the camera is around. The cameras also follow them to a tree farm and ruin the experience. First they make Mallory repeat the same conversation over and over again. Then they make the family wait an hour, just to strap a camera to the roof of their car, for a POV shot of the tree.
They also follow the family to the mall, so Claire can see Santa. They promise the family that they can skip the line and go right up front. The manger denies them access and doesn’t even want them filming, so they try to get the family to leave. The kicker comes when they decide to film them opening gifts on Christmas Eve. They keep making them stop and start and Byron throws a fit.
Mr. Pike asks them to leave and they have a serious discussion. No one wants to do the show anymore and when the crew comes back, he tells them to leave. They give them back the check and have their perfect Christmas after all. Even Uncle Joe comes by for a few hours.
*Claire is the only Pike that still believes in Santa and the kids act kind of snotty about it. Considering she’s only five, I’m not sure I get why it’s a big deal. Half that family should still believe!
*Mallory makes a big deal out of the BSC having their Christmas party at her house. She bought everyone a journal, but it really annoys me that there’s no description of what anyone else gave.
*The Pikes do a really cool thing where they make a wish on a slip of paper and draw names. The person who draws your name has to find a way to fulfill your wish. Mallory wishes for the greatest Christmas story ever and Vanessa gives her a blank book, saying it hasn’t been written and to get started.
*Vanessa wishes to be rich and famous, so Adam gets her a fake newspaper that says she was elected president and a stack of fake money. It’s really cute, but not so realistic for a 10 year old boy.
*Claudia’s mom donates library books to the nursing home sale. Yeah, I live in a super small town and even my library has book sales. It’s a good way for the library to make extra money.
*Do we really need to go over the contract thing? You know, how the Pikes can’t just walk away from a contract to do a TV show because they aren’t happy.
*So, the TV show is being filmed this year, but apparently it won’t air until next Christmas. That seems like kind of a waste to me.