On The 8th Day of Christmas: Black-ish-“Black Santa/White Christmas”

Dre is a huge Christmas enthusiast and when his colleague passes away abruptly, a new opening for playing Santa at the company holiday party opens up. He quickly mobilizes into action and creates a pitch for why it’s time for a Black Santa to emerge and he is ready to come to task. But not before the head of HR Angelica claims her stake. Dre argues his case and wins his boss’ vote.

Bow Don’t Know Cooking!

Meanwhile, back at the house, Rainbow wants to take a stab at Christmas Eve dinner this year in lieu of Grandma Ruby’s magical feast, to everyone’s dismay. She start’s plotting her roast turkey meal which of course, goes left. That’s okay, Grandma will whip something up to save the day! She thinks it would be great to have the kids perform some carols at the office party so she begins coaching them. Unfortunately, the kids can’t really keep a tune but have no fear, Rainbow has a back up plan.

Forgot About Dre?

At the party, Rainbow stage manages the performance with choreographed moves and a touch of autotune, adding a modern touch to the classic songs. It’s surprisingly entertaining. Dre is ushered in as Santa, and he is so excited to make his debut only to figure out that there are no actual presents to give away to the invited children. Angelica apparently “forgot” to let him know that Santa is responsible for coordinating the toy drive. SABOTEUR! Dre is mortified. First Black Santa and he fails. Defeated, they head home for dinner. Rainbow catches Ruby in the middle of a food delivery. Homemade mac and cheese and ham my butt! She promises not to let anyone know her secret in exchange for splitting the credit. Finally, some vindication! Dre comes up behind and quietly mentions all the food delivery boxes out in the garage. Rainbow doesn’t miss a beat and agrees to forget the questionable websites in his search history if he keeps his trap shut. Tis the season for white lies and same-day delivery sweet potato pie!

Why It Works

It’s a great modern take on Santa. I love Dre’s advertising pitch on the rebranding of Santa. He suggests adding some diversity – #representationmatters in the North Pole, too! It’s a real conversation being bought to light with this ep. And the pressure of being the first Black Santa is a lot even for one of his biggest fans. The show open of the whole family enjoying Christmas traditions made me want to teleport there and get a set of matching pajamas. And love that Rainbow finally gets some vindication against Grandma Ruby. Also, I want all the auto tune versions of the Christmas carols, is there a playlist somewhere for those?

Memorable Quotes

Ruby: “First of all, Christmas is about Jesus, not Santa. And second, leave Santa to the white folks. Let’s get a black James Bond first….. Idris Elba.”

Rainbow {jumping in}: “Hennessy… Shaken, not stirred.”

Ruby: “Ooh! Ooh!”

Dre: “the White House was just that… white. Until one man broke through and gave my people hope. Dennis Haysbert in “24.””
Charlie: “That was beautiful. You’re gonna nail Santa.”
Dre: “Terrible choice of words.”

Rainbow: “When I was a little girl, my mom used to dress me and my sisters up as the Three Wise Women and we would sing ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem.’”
Ruby: “Why? Was she a drinker?”

Kid at Party: “No toys? This never happened with white Santa!”

Watch Black-ish‘s “Black Santa/White Christmas” (Season 1, Episode 10) here

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