It really doesn’t feel like Christmas when this hilarious episode of Modern Family opens with the entire family hanging by the pool. Claire and Mitchell find out their mom ran off with her new beau and won’t be joining them for Christmas. The rest of the family realize that this might be the last time they’re together before the holidays. Phil comes up with the bright idea to have an Express Christmas ™ (you know he means business when he says TM). He gives the family 4 hours to buy gifts, wrap gifts, buy a tree, and cook dinner so they can have Christmas on December 16th.
Each family member is given a task to make this Express Christmas a success. Gloria and Luke’s mission was to find the angel tree-topper in the attic. Gloria doesn’t like going in the attic because that is where Jay hid his Dog Butler. After a few mishaps, Luke finds the angel and they head back to the Dunphy’s.
Claire and Haley tackle a long shopping list. Claire encourages Haley to use her shopping skills and she is victorious. When a shopper takes the last Ladybug nightlight (their gift for Lily), she disguises herself as an employee and tricks the shopper into giving it to her. At this point we see she will stop at nothing to complete her task.
Cam and Jay were to wrap presents and Cam attempted to give Jay a thoughtful gift. It was a cork from the wine bottle they shared while watching their first football game together. Of course when Jay doesn’t remember the game, Cam is beside himself. He tells Jay he also got him a duplicate bottle of wine with the date and the score of the game engraved in the bottle. Cam’s feelings are hurt and he storms out of the room in true Cam fashion.
Mitchell, Alex, and Lily go shopping for a Christmas tree and a worker attempts to help them by pointing them in the direction of a truck full of trees, but they think he is pointing at a Pink Christmas Tree. Alex stands up for her “obviously gay uncle” but is quickly embarrassed when she realizes he was only trying to help. Lily makes it worse by saying “I have two Daddies!” (one of the funniest moments in the episode, I might add). They grab a tree close by and strap it to the roof of the car. When leaving the lot, Mitchell brakes suddenly and the tree flies into the middle of the road. Gloria and Luke happen to be driving by and run right over the tree. We then see Gloria scream and throw the angel out of the sunroof because there is a spider on it. A truck runs right over the Angel.
After Phil and Manny pick up a turkey, Phil stops in an alley to buy a vintage Joe DiMaggio baseball card for Jay from Craigslist. Manny doesn’t want to be left alone in the car because he is afraid of being kidnapped. The card seller decides to add an additional $50 to the price and when Phil says he doesn’t have it, the card seller says he’ll take the Butterball in the car. Manny doesn’t realize he is talking about the Butterball turkey.
Manny thinks he’s about to be kidnapped, so he reaches into the glove compartment and tries to zap the guy with Gloria’s stun gun. He misses and Phil’s the one who gets zapped. The shockwaves from the stun gun cause him to squash the Joe DiMaggio card. So Christmas is looking grim at this point with no gift for Jay, a crushed tree, a broken angel, and no turkey.
Once everyone discovers how badly the Express Christmas™ is turning out, they want to cancel it. Gloria senses that Claire and Mitchell are taking this tough because their mom canceled on them at the last minute and gives them both a loving hug. Jay suggests they go out for Chinese food. They all head out the front door into a beautiful winter wonderland. Jay hired snow-making machine workers for his family. Now it starts to feel like Christmas.
Everyone has a blast playing in the snow. Cam is moved by Jay’s gesture and they share a 4-5 second hug. Way to save Express Christmas™ Jay! Happy December 16th everyone!
If you missed this episode, it can be seen on abc.com