It’s a well-worn trope of current show’s annual Christmas episode to feature a central character learning about the True Spirit of Christmas. What happens is a character is behaving uncharacteristically greedy and self-centered and is then put through an hommage to It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol. The 1980’s series Moonlighting did this for the former and WKRP in Cincinatti did it for the latter when Mr. Carlson opted to use the station’s profits to buy a new sound board instead of bonuses for the staff. Remember Dr. Johnny Fever as the Ghost of Christmas Future showing the all-automated WKRP of tomorrow in which Herb is the only employee?
Christmas episodes walk a weird line in that while they can discuss “the spirit” of the holiday, they rarely explicitly mention the holiday’s religious origin. Not because Hollywood is run by godless gay atheists (although it is true) but because the overall tone of the show would feel off if, say, on an earlier episode of Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen, while repeatedly touching his nose, started talking about what the birth of Jesus meant to him.
Note- I have never watched an episode of Two and a Half Men so I’ve actually no idea if Charlie Sheen ever gave a speech about Baby Jesus. I’m just assuming.
This vague confusion about the holidays was sent up rather well in the Trailer Park Boys Christmas episode, Dear Santa, Go Fuck Yourself:
And, of course, Ricky gives a speech at the end of the episode in which he discovers the true meaning of Christmas.
I think no matter what our beliefs are, we can all agree that at least once a year, you need to have a brain-learning thing pop in your head that wasn’t there a second ago.