Why 'Modern Family' Fans Celebrate Dec. 16 as 'Express Christmas'

This Modern Family is always spending time together, except for one Christmas. Instead, they decide to do an “Express Christmas,” (an idea trademarked by the ever-creative and optimistic Phil Dunphy.) 

Here’s our recap of one fan-favorite holiday episode of Modern Family, titled “Express Christmas.”

The Dunphy-Pritchetts wouldn’t be spending Christmas together for the first time

For this season 3 episode, the Dunphy-Pritchetts were lounging around the pool when they had a thought — some people are going to be away on Christmas, meaning this was the last time they’d be together until the holidays were over. Not to worry, though, Phil always has an idea. 

This time, he decided to set up an “Express Christmas” situation, which is when you can’t do Christmas on the actual holiday, so you do it beforehand. In this case, it took place on Dec. 16. On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, and Vixen!

Each of the family members did different Christmas tasks

To save time, the family splits up and decides to meet back in time for dinner. Cam and Jay are in charge of gift wrapping, Phil and Manny are in charge of the turkey, and Haley and her mom are in charge of shopping at Target.

Alex, Lily, and Mitch went out to find a Christmas tree, discovering that they’re actually pretty similar. They both hate shopping and Alex isn’t afraid to stand up when her uncle faced discrimination. When it came to tying the tree to the roof of the car, though, these two don’t exactly excel. 

Gloria and Luke teamed up to find the angel tree-topper, which was in one half-finished attic. There’s a bit of a problem when Gloria sees a spider and accidentally throws the angel out of the car. 

Jay Pritchett had a special Christmas surprise for his family

With “Express Christmas” happening so quickly, a lot of things went wrong for this family. Thanks to Jay, though, there’s still some holiday magic in their last moments together before leaving. “Express Christmas” is one of the many holiday-themed episodes of this comedy series. 

There’s also the “White Christmas” episode, where Gloria planned for the family to have a traditional Christmas despite the weather not cooperating. The first Christmas spent with the Dunphy-Pritchetts, “Undeck the Halls,” featured a major interrogation from Phil once he found a burn on the couch. 

Fans could also spend plenty of Halloweens, Thanksgivings, and Valentine’s Days with this extended family. After 11 seasons and a handful of impressive Emmy wins, Modern Family ended its run on ABC during 2020. 

Some episodes of Modern Family are available for streaming on Hulu, while other episodes, like “Express Christmas,” are available for purchase digitally on Amazon.

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