Arnold's Christmas

An in depth look at the Hey Arnold Christmas special
December 25, 2017
Hello fellow retro junkies it's December 23 2017 and you know what that means.

It's almost Christmas

We all have our favorite Christmas movies and specials and they all strike a cord with us one way or another. Today I'd like to share my favorite Christmas special with all of you. It's Arnold's Christmas from the hit 90s Nicktoon Hey Arnold.

For those of you not familiar with the show Hey Arnold was about a boy named Arnold who had a football shaped head who lived with his Grandparents in a boarding house that they own. Hey Arnold dealt with the trials and tribulations of being a kid in a big city and most episodes had fairly simple plot lines. But with every hit kids show there's always that one episode that sticks with you through out your entire life. The episode that did it for me is the Christmas episode Arnold's Christmas.

It's Christmas time at the sunset arms boarding house and everyone is gearing up for the holiday with the annual secret Santa. Arnold picks his secret Santa and he selects Mr.Hunyh a single boarder who Arnold doesn't know much about. In an effort to get an idea for a present for Mr.Hunyh Arnold stops by his apartment one night. Arnold tries many attempts to find out what Mr.Hunyh likes but is unsuccessful in every try. Arnold then spots a picture of a young girl and asks Mr.Hunyh who she is. Mr.Hunyh then tells Arnold that it is his daughter Mai. Arnold learns that Mr.Hunyh was separated from his daughter during the fall of Saigon during the end of the Vietnam war in 1975. Mr.Hunyh tells Arnold that when he made it to the US embassy that there was only enough space for one more person on the helicopter and Mr.Hunyh gives Mai to the US soldier so that she can have a better life.

After hearing this story Arnold gets the idea to try and reunite Mr.Hunyh and his daughter for Christmas. Arnold and his best friend Gerald go to the office of missing people to see what they can find out there but unfortunately it's Christmas eve and a majority of the employees are gone for the holiday. Arnold and Gerald find a Mr. Bailey who is the only employee working if he can help them find Mai Huynh. Mr. Bailey is busy with work of his own and is behind on his Christmas shopping. Arnold and Gerald make a deal with Mr. Bailey that if they can get him everything on his list then he'll find Mai for them. Arnold and Gerald manage to get everything on the list except for one thing. Nancy Spumoni snow boots a pair of designer snow boots that are that year's hottest Christmas gift and not a single store has a pair in stock and won't until after Christmas. Arnold and Gerald return to the office but unfortunately for them Mr. Bailey says that when he said everything he meant everything and refuses to find Mai Huynh for them.

Arnold disappointed that he failed to get Mr.Hunyh throws the list away in a public trash can. By luck the wind happens to blow the list away and it is found by Arnold's classmate Helga a mean girl who secretly has a crush on Arnold. Helga was fortunate enough to receive a pair of the highly coveted snow boots for Christmas and in an act of selflessness gives away the boots to Mr. Bailey so that Arnold doesn't lose his faith in miracles.

Christmas morning comes and all the boarders receive their gifts from their secret Santas with the exception of Mr. Huynh. When Ernie one of the other boarders notices this he immediately brings up the lack of gift to Arnold's Grandpa who begins to look under the tree for a present but Mr. Huynh says that he does not need a present. Then the doorbell rings and Grandpa goes to see who it is at the door. Upon opening the door it is revealed that the person is no other than Mai Huynh Mr. Huynh's long lost daughter. The father and daughter embrace each other as everyone in the boarding house looks on with tears in their eyes as Helga looks through the window and proclaims Merry Christmas Arnold.

The reason why this episode has stuck with me since childhood is because it was very realistic and was very unique. Most kid's Christmas specials usually involve some plot about saving Christmas from being cancelled or a special gift that they want or more often then not a special about whether or not Santa Claus is real.

Specials and movies like this are always favorites of mine because they exemplify the true meaning of the season which is giving to those who are less fortunate then you and helping others.

I hope you all enjoyed my first article and may you all have a safe and happy season.
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