Modern Family (2009– )
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Express Christmas 

Phil proposes that the entire family celebrate "Express Christmas" together on December 16, when they discover that they won't be spending Christmas Day together.



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Episode cast overview:
Craigslist Guy
Tree Salesman


Phil proposes that the entire family celebrate "Express Christmas" together on December 16, when they discover that they won't be spending Christmas Day together.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 December 2011 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


At around 4:15, after Phil has explained *express Christmas* and everyone begins to walk away, you see Stella following Jay into the kitchen. Then, when Mitchell is standing with Lilly you see Stella [again] jump off the couch and run into the kitchen. See more »


Manny Delgado: First you lose me at the grocery store, then you leave me alone in a dark alley. Why don't you just put a sign on me that says "Free Kid"?
See more »


Modern Family Main Theme
Written by Gabriel Mann
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User Reviews

13 January 2012 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Most conflicts in family life happens as the Christmas season arrives. To complicate the situation, most extended families make plans to take off before Christmas for a vacation at a resort. Not many upwardly mobile families stay home, as it was the norm in the not too distant past. This year all the Dunphys and Pritchetts will not be together to celebrate together on December 25th, the way we, mere mortals will.

As they meet around the pool, the three different families realize they will all be someplace else on different destinations. Phil Dunphy comes up with a brilliant idea. He calls it "Express Christmas". He proposes that instead of waiting for the traditional day in which to be together, exchange gifts and have a nice meal, to do it that same day. Of course, this involves a lot of concentration, patience and planning.

Claire enlists Haley to go with her to Target where most of the presents will be bought. Phil has to go get a "Butterball turkey" with Manny and a present for Jay, a precious baseball card that is being sold. Mitch and Alex are in charge of getting the Christmas tree. Gloria and Luke are to get the ornaments from the attic. So everyone is involved with the big project and we are asked to follow them going about their tasks.

As with everything so hastily put together, the concept of "Express Christmas" turns out to be a royal disaster. After everyone arrives at the Dunphys, they realize the feast that was envisioned, is not going to happen. Jay, who is clearly disgusted, suggests to take the whole group to have a Chinese dinner they all can enjoy as a family without all the other pressures. What no one realizes is that Jay has a surprise in store for everyone which was not in the special celebration.

Directed by Michael Spiller, and written by Cindy Chupack, the episode was one of the most enjoyable of the 2011 season. Everyone has something to do, as Mr. Spiller has everyone involved in the family project at a dizzy spell which pays off well. It is no wonder the three families will rest in their beach resorts and look fondly at what they went through to make this Christmas so special.

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